This is an Official Review by an Eye On Romance Official Reviewer
for Where Azaleas Bloom
Date of Review: 07/24/12
Official Reviewer for Eye On Romance
Once again, Sherryl Woods delivers an amazing story of love, family and friends. Her trademark style makes this book a delight for her readers. New readers will know immediately what type of author Sherryl Woods is and will find themselves compelled to read even more of her books.
Lynn Morrow lives in a small town which she loves. She feels safe in this small community, but when her marriage falls apart, find there is a downside to small town living. Everyone seems to know her business and she feels as though she is talked about whenever she leaves the house. It doesn’t help that she is struggling to feed her two children and that the money from her part-time job just barely covers the bills. Lynn doesn’t know how to ask for help and her pride won’t let her. She doesn’t know what she is going to do, but soon learns that she has more friends than she thought who are willing to help.
Mitch Franklin is undergoing his own turmoil. He lost his wife just over a year ago and is slowing coming to terms with his grief. His two sons are both away at college which leaves him alone in his big house. Mitch relies on the company of friends and his construction business to keep him busy. Mitch knows the power and heartache of living in a small town. When he reconnects with Lynn, whom he had a crush on in seventh grade, he will do anything he can to help her learn how to smile again.
These two characters are dealing with the end of a marriage and the emotional changes that entails. Mitch has to learn how to move on without the company of the woman he thought he would spend his life with. Lynn has to move on while still dealing with her ex through the courts and the shared custody of their children. Sherryl Woods does a nice job of showing how each of these situations is difficult in its own way, but yet the emotions are similar as they both grieve for the lives they thought they would have.
The emotions in this book let the reader get to know the characters quickly. We have all lost someone we love and the grief and heartbreak of Mitch and Lynn are emotions we can relate to. The two situations are handled with poise and grace by Sherryl Woods. These characters take their time to learn how to be together before rushing into anything which makes their relationship feel more authentic.
I loved that this book also included the power of friendship. Both Mitch and Lynn need their friends to help them through difficult times. Without people to talk to, they feel isolated and alone. Having people that you know will support and help you no matter what is a powerful thing.
This is the tenth book in the Sweet Magnolias series, but you don’t need to read the other books to fall in love with these characters and their friends. If you have read the other books, you will enjoy checking in with some of your favorite characters to see how they have grown and changed.