Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Anita Higman's Marriage in Middlebury ~ Reviewed

Marriage In Middlebury 
By Anita Higman
Pages 304
Binding Softcover
Release Date Nov 5, 2013
Publisher Abingdon Press
ISBN 1426733879

Charlotte Rose Hill has been serving up country delicacies, uniquely blended teas, and matchmaking advice for her quirky but beloved customers for more than 10 years. But for her, marriage seems like an elusive butterfly, always out of reach. At 18, Charlotte fell in love with a young man, Sam Wilder, but his family convinced her to walk away from their relationship. She did, and then became engaged to another man, who later died before they were married. Now, more than a decade later, Charlotte finds that she still has feelings for her first love. Initially thrilled to learn that Sam has come home to Middlebury, Texas, Charlotte is devastated to learn that he s brought someone with him: his fiancee. But all is not lost when the townsfolk decide to get involved. Will Charlotte and Sam find their way back to each other?


A Marriage in Middlebury tells the story of Charlotte Rose Hill.  She lives in a small town, and is loved by everyone.  She is the owner of Rose Hill Tea Room, and takes pride in knowing her customers enough to make them their own special blends of tea.  She is content, but when she hears that her high school sweetheart is returning to town after being gone for nearly 20 years, she’s not sure what to think.  In the meantime, Sam Wilder has come back to Middlebury due to the failing health of his father.  He seeks Charlotte out right away, but only to tell her of his engagement to a woman named Audrey, who ironically, ends up asking Charlotte to cater their wedding.  Though Sam and Charlotte try to fight it, it becomes obvious to everyone around them that they still have feelings for each other.

This was a very nice, light hearted book.  I sympathized with Charlotte’s character.  I got married later than most, and can remember feeling like I would never be married and would always be alone.  I was definitely rooting for her through the whole book.  And I really liked the ending, and how everything worked out for everyone!

Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers

Bonus Review: 

I’m thankful for the review copy that introduced me to a sweet quaint town called Middlebury where arrays of colorful and fun people live.  I also enjoyed reading about Charlotte Hill owner of The Rose Hill Cottage. It’s a tea house filled with teas of all kinds, a beautiful atmosphere and a restaurant filled with love. It’s a place I’d like to go in person and felt like I was virtually there by reading this novel. “Charlotte felt that this cottage was a sanctuary for her and for all of Middlebury.”

It’s a place where everyone knows your name and your business. Grin! It reminded me of the Andy Griffith show and their town of Mayberry. Alls well in Middlebury until Sam brings his bride to be Audrey, back to this hometown to live. Charlotte thought she had forgotten her first love and their plans to be married until she sees Audrey and Sam Wilder together.

“Charlotte reached for her apron to feel the river stone, something she’d kept…It was a reminder of smooth things in life that brought delight and in the hard times – those potentially sanctifying moments that tumbled off rough edges and turned humans into real people. Poor Edith was being tumbled and so was she.”

Middlebury was a town full of fun loving hard working people. The cast of characters were fun to hang out with and most frequented The Rose Hill Cottage. My heart went out to young Obdie. He has it rough and when things get scary he hides in a decorated outhouse in Charlottes’ garden in back of the tea house. He pretends it’s a time machine, fun!

Meredith an antique shop owner whose nickname was cricket says, “I’ve had the nickname all my life. As you know crickets are noisy and pesky, but in some parts of the world they’re considered the most delightful creatures.”

Meredith reminded me of Aunt Bea in Mulberry. She loved everyone, up in their business and loved match-making.  She made me smile, and laugh as she also had a conscious that got the better of her match making plans!

Then there’s Audrey who’s new in town. She’s from a big city and doesn’t get this small town thing. Audrey says, “Maybe I am jealous…of how treasured Charlotte is by everyone who meets her. I don’t get it. How does one person become so beloved by so many people? A champion to widows and orphans.  I’ll bet she even befriends every stray dog in town.”

Charlotte has been asked to cater Sam and Audrey’s wedding.  It’s hard on all of them. Audrey hadn’t a clue how serious Sam’s relationship with Charlotte was when she asked her services. It’s uncomfortable for them all. It makes for fun feel good reading.

“Everything we do, every tiny or big choice we make follows us into our future.”

That’s the theme of this book wrapped together with fun loving quirky characters that have clothed themselves in God’s love and naturally and honestly apply his principles for themselves. It’s not preachy but real.

This story has a predictable yet surprising ending that will definitely satisfy.  Millbury and the tea house are places I’d like to go and hang out with the people that go there. This story shows a fun humorous side to this authors writing I loved.  It’s a great book club pick because there is so much in there to talk about. The main focus is not just on Sam and Audrey. She lets each group shine and fits them neatly together for great fun. The characters and their situations will make you laugh out loud in parts. Every time you think of Millbury and The Rose Hill tea house it will bring a smile to your face I highly recommend this book for book club and for your enjoyment.

Reviewed: Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins

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