A Haven on Orchard Lane

A Haven on Orchard Lane

by Lawana Blackwell

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Overview

A Haven on Orchard Lane by Lawana Blackwell

Much-Loved Lawana Blackwell Delivers Another Charming Victorian-Era Tale

In difficult circumstances, Charlotte Ward, once a famed stage actress, tries to restart her career--only to experience disaster. Against her better judgment, her estranged daughter, Rosalind, comes to her mother's rescue and moves her to a quiet English coastal village.

Charlotte is grateful to get to know Rosalind after years apart. As one who has regrets about her own romantic past, it's a joy for Charlotte to see love blossom for her daughter. For Rosalind, however, it's time away from teaching--and now she must care for the mother who wasn't there for her. And what could be more complicated than romance?

Together, mother and daughter discover that healing is best accomplished when they focus less on themselves and more on the needs of others.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764217937
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/07/2016
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 647,332
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Lawana Blackwell has thirteen published novels to her credit, many of them set in the English countryside of the nineteenth century. She and her husband live in Frisco, Texas.

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A Haven on Orchard Lane 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
jacksonmomLV More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this latest book by Lawana Blackwell! Her characters are refreshingly droll, and she weaves such gentle faith and humor into their conversations that I immediately feel I know them as good friends (or enemies, in the case of Lord Fosberry and Mrs. Hooper!). This story was especially captivating because the main character was my age and not a slim young thing. She dealt with regrets that sounded remarkably modern, though the story was set in the late 19th century. The developing relationship between Charlotte and her estranged daughter Rosalind was tender and honest. The romance that began in a bookstore (one of my favorite places!) was equally temperate and touching. Even the "supporting cast" of characters was carefully fleshed out and given great lines. It was interesting to see how Biblical principles kept emerging in the quiet village of Port Stilwell: that things once hidden would be shouted from the rooftops, that what men mean for evil God can work out for good, that our lives have the most meaning not when we are honored and served, but when we serve others. The gentle pace of this book and attention to detail made me feel that I was in England myself. I was torn between quickly turning the pages to find out what happened next, and slowly rereading passages to make the book last. I have to say that I often find epilogues to be a weak way to tie up loose ends, but not so here - Blackwell's epilogue is a delicious finale to a well-told tale, the best ending I've read all year. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian fiction set in Edwardian times. As for me, I'm going to hunt for any other Blackwell volumes I may have missed reading. She is truly my "cup of tea."
StudentofParables More than 1 year ago
Of all the styles of books I love, stories of redemption are the ones I love the most. And “A Haven on Orchard Lane” definitely fits that bill! I grew up reading Mrs. Blackwell’s books, and have always enjoyed her style. The vivid settings, the rich plots, and deep characters stay with you. These books are carefully crafted, honed by great talent. New authors should definitely take notes from Mrs. Blackwell on the creation of a story. This work has a lot going on! There are several plot-lines crisscrossing each other, keeping the reader glued to each page, so as not to miss a minute. Mrs. Blackwell also tackles many deep subjects through the characters, talking with the reader about the danger of assumptions, those dealing with abuses, and as stated before, redemption, among others. I really enjoyed this work, and highly recommend it! I received a review copy of this work from the publisher through NetGalley
Debragg More than 1 year ago
"A Haven On Orchard Lane" by author Lawana Blackwell is a historical romance set in London. Charlotte Ward used to be a wonderful actress who has not acted for 5 years. She has no money left now, so she wants to start to act again. Her daughter Rosalind comes and tries to help her mother and takes her to a small town to relax away from it all. They have a very rocky relationship. Rosalind starts to feel trapped by her mother and is getting resentful of their situation. But, will mother and daughter have a safe future? I really enjoyed these ladies' stories. I give this book a 4/5. I was given this book by Bethany House Publishers and all opinions are mine.
artsybookworm More than 1 year ago
A Haven on Orchard Lane by Lawana Blackwell was a welcome surprise to me. I remember loving her books when I was younger, but I haven't seen any from her in a long time. When I saw a book written by her to review, I was so excited! But then when I read her premise I was hesitate. I wasn't sure if I would enjoy her story or not, but I was willing to take a chance to read her writing again. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I was into the story, but honestly, I shouldn't have been since her writing has always been superb. Her characters have always had depth and realistic problems to resolve. Charlotte Ward has been in a demeaning, controlling marriage for the last few years so when she gets an unexpected opportunity to go back on stage she is ecstatic. But she has let herself go in her new life and is nervous if they would be happy with her. Because of her husband, Charlotte had to leave in the middle of the night to get to London where she happily reunites with the theatre. But at her first play she sees her husband smirking at her and blanks out. Rosalind, Charlotte's daughter, gets a message about her mother at the school she teaches at. She hasn't seen her mother in years and doesn't want to renew her acquaintance with her, but her friend encourages her to help her mother out. Charlotte is happy to see her daughter after years apart and is hoping that they can finally be close, but notices Rosalind isn't as happy about the situation. Will they ever be able to reclaim their lost relationship? I really enjoyed the depth of this story. The mother and daughter relationship was superbly done, and I loved how Rosalind really desired to do what God wanted even if it wasn't what she wanted to do. I think this story would be enjoyed by anyone who loves stories with more depth. You don't have to be a historical fiction enthusiast to fall in love with this book! I was given this book for free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.
SusanSnodgrassBookworm More than 1 year ago
I hadn't read a Lawana Blackwell book in many years when this book and synopsis caught my eye. I am very glad I bought the book. Lawana had done an outstanding job with this one. Charlotte Ward, former actress of stage in London, now married to an uncaring man, is offered a chance to come back to the stage. Things do not go well and she is forced to go incognito to a small village in Devon. Her long estranged daughter, Rosalind, goes to see about her, in the village. Can their relationship be mended? Is there a future for them in this little village? This book reads like one of those wonderful British miniseries. It is so full and rich and profound. It draws the reader in immediately and you just want to take up residence in a cottage next door! Many characters abound here and Blackwell fleshes them all out very well. Many have secondary stories and I loved that about this book. I was amazed at how rich this book was! The spiritual lesson is also wonderful here. Even when we think we have totally messed up, God still has a plan for us. A wonderful plan to bring fullness to our hearts and give us great hope. I highly recommend this book.
Bookish-Bakes More than 1 year ago
When I first began to read this book, I will admit I was a bit leery. I haven’t read a lot of books with older main characters. While the book does switch to Rosalind’s point of view, the story focuses mainly around Charlotte. I fell in love with her character right away. Being that my own mother is about the same age, I could not help thinking of the older woman as a wonderful motherly figure. Throughout the story, her many flaws and mistakes are revealed making the story very relatable. Lawana Blackwell drives home the importance of decision-making and shows us how our actions now can affect our future. It is a lesson that anyone young or old can learn from. Along with Charlotte, there are many more flawed characters all with lessons to be learned. While the main character struggles to accept her past mistakes, her daughter, Rosalind, frets over making any. It really shows the difference between young and old. Their relationship was not only believable but also very enjoyable to watch as they grew closer. This made such a wonderful mother-daughter book. It really boggles my mind, when I see how differently women were treated in that period. Most of the men in this book really appalled me with their actions. Their egotistical attitudes only emphasize Rosalind’s successes as a teacher and graduate. She really is an amazing woman when you consider all the things she had to face and overcome. Her kindheartedness, even after going through the things she has, make her a wonderful character and a perfect match to Jude. I particularly liked Jude the most of all the men, but then again, compared to most of the men in this book, Jude was like a saint. For a man who has endured quite a few harsh comments about his lineage, he is surprisingly patient and kind to those who consider him an outcast. His respect for women proves that not all men think themselves better than women. His relationship with Rosalind was honestly adorable and cute considering how awkward they both really were to ‘normal’ people. Blackwell does a fantastic job with their scenes making the relationship believable and one to be admired. You can tell that the author is experienced. Her story pacing is good, not too fast or slow, and she does a great job at keeping the reader’s attention. The first couple of chapters were harder for me to get into, but once the story began to unfold, I could not put it down. My only complaint would be the ending. I guess I was expecting something a bit bigger or earth shattering. Regardless, I was satisfied with the ending, and I really liked the epilogue. The extra tidbit to the story was a wonderful treat, and I would definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy Christian and Historical fiction. I just love the Victorian era, and Lawana does a beautiful job at whisking you away and making you feel like you are really there with the characters. I will most certainly be reading more of her books in the future.
hjsnyder28 More than 1 year ago
Lawana Blackwell's novel A Haven on Orchard Lane is set in Victorian London and tells the story of the renowned actress, Charlotte Ward, who finds she must suddenly change her own present course in life. Charlotte's life has taken many turns, some which she deeply regrets, until one day desperate measures must be taken in order to care for her sanity and safety. Her marriage to Lord Fosberry is composed of only stabs to her heart from the man she thought she once knew. Lord Fosberry's attitude and character only derail Charlotte; therefore, she must take refuge someplace else. But where? And does she have the courage to leave behind all she knows? Her life in London was glamorous, but can she lead that life anymore? Sudden surprises place obstacles in Charlotte's life as she embarks upon a journey she never thought would satisfy her soul. Miss Rosalind Kent enjoys teaching children. Although, the hours of her young life were spent in many moments of misery. Her aunt was quite strict and governed her every move--including the friends she made and the boys she associated herself with. This life was due to the fact that her mother had given her up, which is something Rosalind never quite got over. In truth, she began to forget about her mother, since she had forgotten her. She never guessed her mother might one day need her, or that she would come to her rescue. Why would she ever feel any empathy after all? Jude Pearce owns the small town bookshop. His dog Jinny welcomes each customer that comes through the door, and Jude honestly finds he enjoys recommending various books, based on his own literary knowledge, to the locals. After a young woman comes in one day requesting science-fiction books, Jude realizes in an instant how quickly his life could change. Will Jude embrace this new wonderful opportunity in front of him? Or will he let jealousy and mistrust govern his thoughts and actions? There are so many colorful characters throughout the pages of this book. So many, that I ended up having to highlight each one, so that I could keep them all straight. The Victorian era is my favorite literary era, so I was very excited to read this text. The overall plot was interesting and reminiscent of the time period; however, I did find that because there were so many subplots, it overshadowed the main purpose of the text. The "soap opera" act of moving from scene to scene rather quickly made certain parts a bit confusing, which at times made for a lack of fluidity to the piece. There were moments when I also wondered why certain information was included, and in doing so, I forgot where the story needed to ultimately end up--rescuing Charlotte. As I stated, I love the Victorian era, but I did not always feel that time period, because the language and events did not seem historically set. Apart from the mention of a lord and lady, this story could have taken place in America or even England at a later date. Overall, I still enjoyed this novel, because I was happy to read another book from Lawana Blackwell. I read her Gresham Chronicles series years ago and fell in love with her characters. I highly recommend that series to anyone who loves reading stories set in England. This book, A Haven on Orchard Lane, is perfect for anyone who loves long novels and wishes the story would never end. This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for my copy.
NDowning More than 1 year ago
Historical fiction. One of my favorite genres. I guess I should say, when it is written “right”, meaning the way I like it. Historical fiction can be written one of three ways. 1. Like a history lesson with a little fiction thrown in. 2. Heavy on the fiction with the only historical part being the setting. 3. A nice balance of history and well-written fiction. This book is definitely in the third group. Lawana Blackwell brings her characters to life England in the 1880’s. I have read other books by Lawana Blackwell and have enjoyed them all. I give this book a five out of five stars. If you are ready for an escape from this time and place, read it. Bethany House Publishers provided this book to me for an honest review.
Jani417 More than 1 year ago
This delightful, heartwarming story is about forgiveness, faith, love and wisdom. The characters are likable and realistic. The author allows readers into the thoughts and feelings of each main character which endears them to the reader. An estrangement between mother and daughter is healed as they work to understand one another in the cozy cottage on Orchard Lane. Various other characters enter the story, many locals from the small, coastal fishing village, others of more mysterious origin. God in His goodness provides wisdom to His children and new relationships form, and old wounds heal. The story is told in a full and satisfying manner, including an epilogue to eliminate guessing at the future. Readers are very likely to want to find a quaint English cottage of their own after reading this book. I was given a free copy of this book for the purpose of honest review and am happy to be able to recommend it to those readers who enjoy a suspenseful, faith-filled love story.
Sydney More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up because I was dying to know what Charlotte's desperate circumstances were, and what made her have to run away and hide, and why would the gossips be after her? It's funny, but if this was set in the current era, I wouldn't have bothered. But in Victorian England? Yes, it totally piqued my interest! I felt for Charlotte. From having entrusted her heart to a man who it now turns out only wanted her for the riches the gossip columnists claimed she had, to the rejection of her only daughter, to the terror of being discovered where she has hidden away. Her strengths shine through, though - Charlotte is no fool, and refuses to wallow in self-pity. Rosalind I was prepared to dislike, but I couldn't after getting to know her a little. The author shows us why Rosalind feels the way she does towards her mother, and as her feelings change there is a logical and believable reason for the change. Rosalind falling in love was a treat, especially for anyone who has felt their years of finding love behind them. The book doesn't only follow the lives of mother and daughter, but of those they come in contact with, including a book seller, the household servants, and two little boys Rosalind meets by asking directions of them. A lively cacophony of village life in Victorian times. As for me, I enjoyed reading this. The stories are a bit unpredictable, which is nice, and the characters are genuine and relatable. Another author whose work I will happily pick up in the future if this is any indication. **I was sent this copy from Bethany House in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.**
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
A Haven on Orchard Lane is the latest novel by Lawana Blackwell. Charlotte Ward was an actress until she married Roger Fosberry, Viscount of Spilsby. Charlotte is desperate to escape his clutches. Roger is not a kind man and his housekeeper is more like a jailer. Charlotte receives an invitation to come back to the Lyceum Theater from Mr. Henry Irving (it took some work to get the letter to her). With a little help, Charlotte escapes one night and heads to London. Charlotte steps out onto the stage and collapses. Charlotte needs rest and a safe place to hide from the press. Rosalind is Charlotte’s daughter from her second marriage (Roger was her third husband). Rosalind was raised by Aunt Vesta and is now a teacher in Cheltenham. Rosalind reluctantly heads to London. Rosalind collects Charlotte and takes her to Port Stilwell to recover. They rent a house (well, they thought they were getting a whole house) and Rosalind gets Charlotte settled. Rosalind is hoping she will be able to return to her teaching post soon. These two have a complicated relationship, but maybe this is there chance for them to get to know each other and mend fences (everyone deserves forgiveness and a second chance). Rosalind soon finds a friend (and maybe more) in Jude Pearce, the local bookseller. Rosalind and Charlotte find friends in this quaint town and have a chance to help others (like Danny and Albert Fletcher). But then someone tries to destroy the life they have built. If you want to know more, you will have to read A Haven on Orchard Lane! I fell in love with Lawana Blackwell’s novels many, many years ago. I was tickled to see a new book by Ms. Blackwell. A Haven on Orchard Lane is a lovely, historical novel with a Christian theme (forgiveness, helping others, trusting in God, second chances). The writing is very good, but the pace is a little slow (I also felt the novel was also a wee bit too long). I liked the characters (they are complex and well developed as well as realistic) and the writer did a great job with describing the locations (London, Fosberry Hall, Port Stilwell, and the bookshop) as well as the historical content. I give A Haven on Orchard Lane 4 out of 5 stars. I thought the book was a little flat, but overall a nice book to read on a relaxing afternoon. A Haven on Orchard Lane is a nice escape book. A book without violence, foul language, and intimate relations. I will definitely read future books by Lawana Blackwell (I have actually read all her published books). I received a complimentary copy of A Haven on Orchard Lane in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel.
Bookworm_Debbie More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful historical story about second chances. There is a marvelous cast of well-developed characters in this story. There are a number of different personalities included that cover just about all that you will find in any community you visit. They are easy to recognize and either relate to or hate depending on your own personal taste. There are a number of individuals that are hoping to have a second chance of one kind or another. For some of them it is finding someone to love. For some it is in trying to better their station in life through hard work. For a few they are trying to improve family relationships. I really enjoyed seeing this recurring theme for these great characters. One of the aspects that really caught my attention was that Jude Pearce owns the only bookstore in little Port Stilwell. Many of the scenes throughout the book took place in his shop and discussed the books that were available for sale in 1880 England. I actually went online and looked a number of them up and each one I checked was accurately presented. Being a complete bookworm I was fascinated by the titles mentioned. I received a free eBook copy of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book not really knowing what to expect, and was soon engulfed into the lives of Charlotte Ward and her daughter Rosalind. As I read on the blurb on the back of the book about Charlotte, a renowned actress, but failure as a mother, or was she? I found Charlotte as a very caring woman, she seemed to be there for others whom were less fortunate, or to help them onto the right path, but some of her life decisions were pretty bad. For one thing she really had bad choices of men, including the current husband, who now was accusing her of outrageous sins. Now the time of this story is the 1880’s in England, and woman are really second-class citizens, without many rights. Rosalind is an accomplished teacher, and does come to her mother’s aid even though she has many issues with her, and I could really understand where she was coming from. She takes her mother to a quaint coastal town, which made me want to live there. So many hurtful things to get revealed, and we can understand what the causes of some of the problems were. Of course life cannot be all sunshine and roses, and our ladies have a few trials and are taken by people who mean harm, and are out for their own gain. I recommend this book, what a great summer read, and you won’t want to put it down! I received this book from the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book description: "Famed actress Charlotte Ward stepped away from the Victorian London stage five years ago. Now in desperate circumstances, she tries to restart her career--only to experience a complete collapse. Against her better judgment, Charlotte's estranged daughter, Rosalind, comes to her mother's rescue and moves her to a quiet English coastal village where her mother can evade the gossip columnists, at least for a time. Charlotte is grateful to re-establish even tenuous family ties with Rosalind. As one with regrets over her own romantic past, she's happy to see love blossom for her daughter. For Rosalind, however, it's time away from teaching, and now she must care for the mother who wasn't there for her. And what could possibly be more complicated than romance? But there can be no permanent escape from the threats of recent months. As the privacy they seek is threatened, mother and daughter must make some difficult decisions--ones that jeopardize those they care about most." My review: "A Haven on Orchard Lane" is a very simple story with plenty of wit and charm. I think this is the first book I have read by this author, and while I would not put Lawana Blackwell on my list of favorite authors, I certainly wouldn't mind reading some of her other books. To me the plot is a little flat, but I still enjoyed the story. The characters are unique and fit the story very well. If you are looking for a laid back novel that flows steadily along, this is the book for you. I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
PaperBlossoms More than 1 year ago
A Haven on Orchard Lane by Lawana Blackwell is summed up on the back of the book thus: "Famed actress Charlotte Ward stepped away from the Victorian London stage five years ago. Now in desperate circumstances, she tried to restart her career- only to experience a complete collapse. Against her better judgment, Charlotte's estranged daughter, Rosalind, comes to her mother's rescue and moves her to a quiet English coastal village where her mother can evade the gossip columnists, at least for a time. Charlotte is grateful to re-establish even tenuous family ties with Rosalind. As one with regrets over her own romantic past, shes happy to see love blossom for her daughter. For Rosalind, however, it's time away from teaching, and now she must care for the mother who wasn't there for her. And what could possibly be more complicated than romance? But there can be no permanent escape from the threats of recent months. As the privacy they seek is threatened, mother and daughter must make some difficult decisions- ons that jeopardize those they care about most." From the first paragraph of this story I was captivated. And to my utter delight and pleasure the story only gained in interest and solid characters and complex plot until the very end. I am a fast reader and especially fast if I am swept away, so I finished this 407 page book in 3 days. The story line is intriguing but believable, complex and simple all at the same time making it a book I didn't want to put down. Mrs. Blackwell's writing style is a mix of beautiful description and strong character building that makes you attached to the characters from the moment you meet them. All of her language and time frame references were point on. I give this book a resounding 5 stars and heartily recommend it to anyone wanting a wonderful, touching story to be swept away in. This is a book that I will re-read in the years to come and will even read to my children when they are a bit older. A wonderful work of fiction which I find very rare these days.
kp68 More than 1 year ago
I had not seen any new novels written by Lawana Blackwell in years; so I was excited to stumble upon A Haven on Orchard Lane. Lawana's latest book is as easy to read as all her previous novels. This tale is a delightful journey to take with the book's primary characters: Charlotte Ward and her daughter, Rosalind! Charlotte Ward is a former actress who is currently in a marriage that will not allow her any freedom. When Charlotte is finally able to make her escape, her reentry into London's theater world is met with failure! Rosalind is on break from the school where she is currently teaching and finds herself with time on her hands. When Rosalind hears the ugly gossip being proclaimed about Charlotte in the papers, even though she has not seen her mother in years, she knows that she must reach out to try to find her. Rosalind and Charlotte surprisingly cross paths at the railway station where Charlotte's husband is trying to force her to return home. Rosalind steps in to take Charlotte by the hand and lead her in a new direction! Charlotte and Rosalind end up in Port Stilwell, a small fishing village that neither woman had ever visited before. You will not believe how both lives are transformed in this quiet corner of the world by the end of this tale! A Haven on Orchard Lane was a delightful read. You do not want to miss this one! I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my unbiased review. http://penlessreview.blogspot.com/