From the publisher:
A delightful novel about two headstrong sisters, a small town’s efforts to do right by the community, and the power of a lost dog to summon true love
Nora, the owner of the Miss Guthrie Diner, is perfectly happy serving up apple cider donuts, coffee, and eggs-any-way-you-like-em to her regulars, and she takes great pleasure in knowing exactly what’s “the usual.” But her life is soon shaken when she discovers she and her free-spirited, younger sister Kit stand to inherit the home and land of the town’s beloved cake lady, Peggy Johnson.
Kit, an aspiring–and broke–filmmaker thinks her problems are solved when she and Nora find out Peggy was in the process of selling the land to a big-box developer before her death. The people of Guthrie are divided–some want the opportunities the development will bring, while others are staunchly against any change–and they aren’t afraid to leave their opinions with their tips.
Time is running out, and the sisters need to make a decision soon. But Nora isn’t quite ready to let go of the land, complete with a charming farmhouse, an ancient apple orchard and the clues to a secret life that no one knew Peggy had. Troubled by the conflicting needs of the town, and confused by her growing feelings towards Elliot, the big-box developer’s rep, Nora throws herself into solving the one problem that everyone in town can agree on–finding Peggy’s missing dog, Freckles.
When a disaster strikes the diner, the community of Guthrie bands together to help her, and Nora discovers that doing the right thing doesn’t always mean giving up your dreams.
There are a couple of editors that I read regularly, and Pamela Dorman is one of them. Some of her authors are Jojo Moyes, Shari Lepena, Gail Honeyman, Nicci French, J. Ryan Stradal, all of whom I enjoy. Louise Miller is another. I loved her first book, The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living, and this is another charmer. Plus there is a recipe in the back of the book that I am definitely going to make (Burnt Sugar Cake with Maple Icing!) despite the havoc that cake causes in the story.
I loved these characters, from the taciturn Nora to her free spirit sister Kit, Kit’s boyfriend, the zen-master Max, and all the townsfolk of this quirky, alluring town. If only small town life were so! We see this world through somewhat rose colored glasses, and that is not a bad thing. Miller really knows how to bring her characters and her setting to life, and I loved spending time with them all.
It is easy to see why People Magazine picked it for their “best new books” feature. If you are looking for an entrancing, entertaining and easy read, this is your book – it was certainly mine.
9/18 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
LATE BLOOMERS’ CLUB by Louise Miller. Pamela Dorman Books (July 17, 2018). ISBN 978-1101981238. 336p.