Honey Grove by Genell Dellin
May 3, 2011
Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Get out of my sight Doreen Semples, before I come around this counter and snatch you bald-headed right here in front of God and everybody.”
When Lilah Briscoe is seriously injured, her granddaughter Meredith feels compelled to save her farm, Honey Grove, despite their troubled past. Help arrives in the form of bad boy Caleb Burkett, who awakens feelings Meri didn’t know she had. Maybe now, Meri will finally find the home she always wanted… (goodreads)
When Meredith Briscoe arrives in Spring Rock Texas for her mother’s funeral, she expects to pay her respects and leave. But her grandmother, Lilah, wants her to stay so they can get to know each other. Meredith doesn’t know her grandmother. Meri’s mother took her and left Rock Springs when she was a baby; consistently moving around so Lilah could not find them. When Meri was fourteen her mother abandoned her at a neighbor’s house causing Meri to learn that you can only depend on yourself in life.
Things start off bad when Meredith (Meri) runs over Lilah’s cat Henry and Lilah is seriously hurt. Meri finds herself at a cross road in her life. She needs to get back to New York to save her law career but also feels she needs to stay in Rock Springs and care for her grandmother and the cat. She leaves briefly but finds her way back when she loses her job. She soon finds out that there is a bank note on Honey Grove, her grandmothers farm, that due in 30 days and Lilah has no way to pay it.
As Meri and Lilah try to find common ground and save the farm, they both learn more about each other and what the meaning of family really is. SMeri also catches the interest of Caleb Burkett. Caleb is the local “bad boy” but after spending time with Meri, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep her in Texas and at his side forever.
Honey Grove is a family orientated contemporary which tells us the story of a grandmother and grand daughter, kept separate by circumstances, who have a chance to come together as a family. Character driven, the pacing is slow as we find out what happened between Lilah and Edie Jo (Meri’s mother) and how that affects Lilah and Meri’s relationship today. Both Lilah and Meri are stubborn, strong, and like to be in control. They like things their way and they tend to butt heads through out the story. Lilah and Meri don’t fall into each others arms and swear to, “save the farm together.” They have to work at trusting each other and trying to build a relationship. They also try to find away to forgive the one person who abandoned them both-Edie jo.
Ms. Dellin has created an interesting cast of characters infused with realism. They will have you shaking your head and thinking, “Oh Lawd…I know someone like that.” She doesn’t candy coat their emotions or personalities. You see them make mistakes and say the wrong things to the ones they love. That is what saved the book for me. I enjoyed the honestly that is prevalent through out.
The humor is light but true to life in a southern town where grudges are set in cement and the local pie baking contest can make or break you. Emotional world building gives us a closer look at farming and the trials and tribulations that small towns face when their way of life is threatened and they have to adapt or lose it all. Nothing is very in depth and I really felt only the surface was scratched concerning this town, it’s inhabitants, and their lives.
The romance of the story is very low key and slow developing. It’s not the main focus of the story but rather flows lightly through like a slow moving creek. I enjoyed that neither Caleb or Meri fall into each others arms and bed right off the bat. Ms. Dellin gives them (and us) time to get to know one another and find their way at their own pace.
The ending is predictable as everyone finds their way to forgive and go on with their lives. I was a little surprised how abruptly it ended. It had the feel of a series ending to it; leaving us with a few questions. A nice very lightweight and low key contemporary.
Overall Rating: C