Author: Anita Higman
Publisher: Abingdon Press
ISBN: 978-1-4267-3387-1

“Over the years the stone had been a pleasant memento, reminding her of the smooth things in life that brought delight, but it had become a burden to her as well. Lately, it had become too heavy to carry,” Anita Higman writes in her novel, A Marriage in Middlebury.

At three hundred and four pages, this paperback tome is targeted toward readers who love romance, small town gossip, and the cozy comfort of a tearoom. With no profanity, overtly sexual scenes, or violence, topics of abandonment, marital indiscretions, and bigotry makes the story acceptable for young mature adults or older. This reader wishes all pronouns related to God were capitalized for reverence.

Trying her best to be content, unmarried thirty-something year old Charlotte Rose Hill is the town of Middlebury’s perfect citizen with no known flaws; everyone loves, honors, and respects her in whatever she does. As she concocts her blended unique teas in her Rose Cottage Tearoom, she hugs each customer, gives free food and advice to those in need, and is a good shoulder to cry on for her employees and friends.

Yet Charlotte still lives in the past, when she was eighteen and in love with Sam Wilder. As she rubs the river stone constantly in her possession from so long ago, she wants God’s will in her life as she stoically resolves one conflict or calamity after another around her, wishing she was not alone.

But when Sam and his beautiful, seemingly confident fiancée stroll back into town to deal with his father and his estate almost decades later, Charlotte must come to terms with why she shunned his love.

Knowing his bride-to-be has issues of her own upbringing, Sam tries to be patient and understanding as he questions his own feelings of his past with Charlotte. With help from the town’s pastor, who becomes enamored with one of his parishioners, and his fiancée’s fascination of a man down on his luck, Sam becomes confused of his true motives.

With several interplays of romantic relationships, grace and forgiveness becomes forefront while several townspeople deal with their own moral dilemmas in this tender but very predictable tale. With a sprinkle of sappy, mushy dialogue, the reader may be charmed at some of the “tea” talk mixed with flavored metaphors.

This book was furnished by The Book Club Network Inc. in lieu of an honest review.

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