Review: Meadow Falls by Carolyn Brown

Posted March 28, 2024 by Sophia Rose in Contemporary Romance, Rating A, Reviews Tags: , , ,

Book cover of Meadow Falls by Carolyn BrownMeadow Falls
Author:
Carolyn Brown
Reviewer: Sophia Rose
Rating: A-

What I’m Talking About:

After the death of her last living relative, a woman in her mid-thirties realizes for the first time that she is free of her father’s stifling expectations and is free to be herself.  What will she do with her life now?

Carolyn Brown is among my favorite authors and pretty much one that I barely glance at the blurb before reading. Much of the time, the reader gets light, heartwarming country charm full of multi-generational family and small town romance. But, every once in a while mingled among these is a book with all that, but a whole other thin layer of the bittersweet.

In the case of Meadow Falls, the bittersweet is the result of Angela Marie reaching the age of thirty-five, living at home and working the wealthy peanut farm that has been in the family for generations, but never once feeling love, acceptance, or approval from either of her recently deceased parents. Her mother died of cancer and her father most recently passed and theirs had been a cold marriage of convenience with Angela Marie experiencing that plus her own disconnect from both. Thank goodness Mandy the long-time nanny raised her on love and common sense.

This heavy feeling of sadness for what was and could have been permeates not just Angela Marie’s life, but also her best friend like a sister, her nanny’s great-granddaughter Celeste, another woman left unaccepted by either parent and reared by Mandy.

This could have felt dreary and depressing, but Angela Marie has old Mandy and soon Celeste is back home. Soon followed by Celeste’s army buddy, Devon, to work the farm as equipment manager with his bright outlook and friendly attractiveness that Angela Marie is determined to resist at first. Angela Marie discovers the healing and joy of found family and new chances.

But, what Angela Marie and Celeste find mostly are answers and eventual healing. Mandy is persuaded to finally give both women the answers to why they were emotionally abandoned as well as physically abandoned in Celeste’s case.  

Mandy’s stories go back to the beginnings of the farm. The family saga for both women is spread out over the whole book so there is a past timeline in story form from Mandy as well as the current situation of Angela Marie, determined to move on and break the mold that has kept her family rigidly on a self-destructive course.

Meadow Falls moves from sadness to hope and, finally, to triumphant happiness, and I was carried along with it. Carolyn Brown outdoes herself and plunges into the emotional depths of life. A sure-thing read for women’s fiction fans who like a smidge of small town romance in the background.

My Rating: B+
Sophia Rose

About the Book:

An emotional novel about a small-town Texas family, forgiveness, and coming to terms with the past by New York Times bestselling author Carolyn Brown.

Angela Marie has spent all of her thirty-five years on Meadow Falls, the farm that’s been in her Texas family for generations. It wasn’t her plan. It was an obligation. Now that her parents—less loving kin than strangers—have passed, the whole shebang belongs to Angela. And a legacy she never wanted is hers to uphold.

She can’t forsake it now. Her beloved nanny, Mandy, who was always more of a mother, needs a caregiver herself. And Mandy’s great-granddaughter, as close to Angela as a sister, has returned to roost. When a handsome veteran arrives seeking work as a farmhand, Angela thinks the future might not be half-bad after all.

But it’s the past that proves enlightening. Mandy is revealing secrets Angela never knew about her parents. As the clouds on her family history begin to part, the inheritance feels more like a precious gift, and Meadow Falls more like the home Angela’s been looking for her whole life.

Release Date: October 10, 2023
Publisher:
Montlake
Series:
Standalone
Genre:
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Format(s):
paperback (283 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Netgalley

Purchase Info:
Amazon (affiliate link)