Release date: May 15, 2018
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Allie, Des, and Cara, each having her own reasons for wanting a share of their father’s estate, meet in the grand Victorian home in which he grew up, only to be greeted by another secret he purposely hid from them: his sister Bonnie. The women reluctantly band together to take on Fritz’s challenge, working with a local contractor to begin the renovations financed by an account Fritz had set up for the task. While the restoration appears to go smoothly at first, it soon becomes apparent that the work will be more extensive than originally thought, and Des, elected to handle the money, needs to find ways to stretch out the remaining savings while searching for new sources of funding.
As strangers linked only by their DNA try to become a family, the Hudson sisters also try to come to terms with the father they only thought they knew. In the process, each woman discovers her own capacity for understanding, forgiveness, love, and the true meaning of family.
Last year I read The Last Chance Matinee and was totally captivated by the Hudson sisters and the authors inspiration for the books. The first time around you meet all three of the sisters but it was really Cara’s story and this time around it’s Des turn. It’s not completely necessary to read the first book, but you would be more familiar with the characters and their histories if you started at the beginning.
Des is a character that I warmed to quickly the first book so I was excited to learn more about her this time around. She’s a huge animal lover, she runs a shelter back home in Montana so if you’re a dog lover there are some sweet moments with some pups here. The girls Aunt Barney is my absolute favorite, she’s a sassy gal, full of wisdom and charm, just the sort of matriarch you imagine when you think of a mature woman with a heart of gold.
The family is still trying to restore the old theater and it’s not an easy process, especially as they’re running out of funds. I love that this has such a realistic plot, there are no heroic rescues or unbelievable saviors, they face the same issues anyone of us would come up against. The romantic aspect is also true to real life, relationships evolve at a reasonable pace, no one falls in love at first sight, no Prince Charming, but it is sweet and fun still.
There are still some family secrets and mysteries to be solved although Stewart does answer a few questions she leaves a few things hanging, a surefire way to keep me continuing with this series. This is a well written, smooth novel, ideal for a summer read, more depth than a beach read but with all of the fun!
Sugarhouse Blues in three words: Charming, Authentic and Captivating.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.