Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Lost Husband by Katherine Center

4 Star

After the sudden loss of her husband in a car crash, Libby Moran falls on hard times-so hard, in fact, that she's forced to move in with her hyper-critical mother. There, sleeping on the pull-out sofa so her two children can share the guest room, she can't stop longing for the life she had. So when a letter arrives from Libby's estranged aunt offering her a job and a place to live on her goat farm, Libby jumps at the opportunity. But starting over is never easy. With an aunt who is nothing like she imagined, a shaggy farm manager with a tragic past, a psychic at the feed store who claims to be able to contact the dead, and a bully at her daughter's school, country life isn't at all what Libby expected. But it also offers her what no other place can: A chance to define the good life for herself. A chance to piece together the mysteries of her own past. A chance, even, at love. And, finally, a chance to bring herself, and her family, back to life.

Lydia - 4 Star

The Lost Husband is a cute, fun book. This is a quick read about a serious subject matter - moving on after the loss of a spouse - yet Katherine Center carries it through with just the right amount of humour that it is not morose or morbid.  A novel about loss and starting over, as well as the added trio of motherhood, romance, and a disaster of a mother are covered in this delightful tale.

At the heart of this novel is a woman whose husband died tragically in a car accident two years prior. After leaving her penniless - something Libby was unaware about until his passing - she was forced to move in with her over-bearing mother. After two desperate years, a surpise letter from her estranged aunt with an offer to move out to her farm sends Libby leaping at the opportunity. She packs up her kids on what she thinks is an escape and adventure, but little does she realize just how much the move will change her life.
At the heart of this novel is a woman who, even with the distressing situation, doesn’t take herself all that seriously. She knows how to laugh at herself, which I love in a protagonist. She takes her role as a mother seriously though - perhaps a little too seriously at times - but I'm sure every mother has been overprotective at some point. Although mostly lighthearted, the novel touches on serious themes including some bullying surrounding her children.

I loved watching the kids blossom at the farm and I enjoyed the farm itself and the humour in several situations. Aunt Jean was probably my favourite character, although I enjoyed them all, I loved her spunk and quirkiness. And even though it was predictable, I enjoyed the love interest.

The Lost Husband is a lighthearted tale and fans of Gil McNeil would be sure to enjoy as I thought this had a very similar feel to her series starring Jo McKenzie.

Thank you to Ballantine Books/Random House for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

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