Hurricane Season

Hurricane Season

by Lauren K. Denton

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Overview

Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton

Now a USA TODAY bestseller!

“A poignant and heartfelt tale of sisterhood, motherhood, and marriage, Hurricane Season deftly examines the role that coming to terms with the past plays in creating a hopeful future. Readers will devour this story of the hurricanes—both literal and figurative—that shape our lives.” —Kristy Woodson Harvey, national bestselling author of Slightly South of Simple

From the author of the USA TODAY bestseller The Hideaway comes a new story about families and mending the past.

Betsy and Ty Franklin, owners of Franklin Dairy Farm in southern Alabama, have long since buried their desire for children of their own. While Ty manages their herd of dairy cows, Betsy busies herself with the farm’s day-to-day operations and tries to forget her dream of motherhood. But when her free-spirited sister, Jenna, drops off her two young daughters for “just two weeks,” Betsy’s carefully constructed wall of self-protection begins to crumble.

As the two weeks stretch deeper into the Alabama summer, Betsy and Ty learn to navigate the new additions in their world—and revel in the laughter that now fills their home. Meanwhile, record temperatures promise to usher in the most active hurricane season in decades.

Attending an art retreat four hundred miles away, Jenna is fighting her own battles. She finally has time and energy to focus on her photography, a lifelong ambition. But she wonders how her rediscovered passion can fit in with the life she’s made back home as a single mom.

When Hurricane Ingrid aims a steady eye at the Alabama coast, Jenna must make a decision that will change her family’s future, even as Betsy and Ty try to protect their beloved farm and their hearts. Hurricane Season is the story of one family’s unconventional journey to healing—and the relationships that must be mended along the way.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780718084257
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 04/03/2018
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 49,119
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Lauren K. Denton now lives with her husband and two daughters in Homewood, just outside Birmingham. In addition to her fiction, she writes a monthly newspaper column about life, faith, and how funny (and hard) it is to be a parent. On any given day, she’d rather be at the beach with her family and a stack of books. Website: LaurenKDenton.com; Facebook: LaurenKDentonAuthor; Twitter: @LaurenKDenton.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Betsy

She usually stayed in bed until at least six, but this morning she was restless, like animals get when the barometric pressure drops before a storm. It wasn't the cows, or the approaching hurricane season, or even the milk prices, which had dipped lately. It was something else, something she couldn't quite name. She felt like she needed to both run a mile and go back to sleep for the next three hours. It was energy and lethargy, anticipation and dread. Anna Beth would likely diagnose it in a heartbeat, but Betsy had always been good at pretending everything was just fine.

She kicked her legs out from under the sheet, her feet searching for a cool spot in the bed Ty had just vacated. Even with the windows closed and the AC pumping, heat still seeped in, filling the cracks and crevices of her old house with thick Alabama heat. The meteorologists on the news last night had been in a frenzy as they pointed out heat waves radiating across the country. It was only mid-June, but two tropical waves had already rolled off the shores of Africa. Thankfully, they'd fizzled out before reaching land.

"We likely won't be so lucky later in the summer," the forecasters thundered, striking terror into the hearts of all those living near the coast, including those in Betsy's small town of Elinore, fifteen miles north of the Gulf of Mexico. "The most active hurricane forecast in two decades," NOAA predicted with eager excitement.

El Niño this, La Niña that, everyone had a handy explanation for the coming tide of heat and storms that promised to pummel south Alabama and surrounding coastal areas, but Betsy had her own ideas. This summer she'd turn thirty. Not as big a milestone as forty, but it was a milestone nonetheless. The idea of thirty had always felt maternal, heavy with maturity and substance. While everyone else was talking about the fanfare of an active season — every word punctuated by an exclamation point! — all she felt was a slow hiss of air. It leaked gradually, lazily, not so quickly that anyone else would notice, but she felt it. Like a slow but steady lightening.

Downstairs, the toe of Ty's boot beat out a rhythm on the kitchen floor as he waited for the coffee to finish dripping. She heard his jumbo-size metal coffee mug scrape across the shelf and thunk down on the counter. The coffee pouring into the mug, the carafe sliding back into place on the hot pad. She imagined Ty's face, prickly with the night's passage. His hands, big and warm, knuckles sticking out from his long, sturdy fingers. His brushed-silver wedding ring.

When the screen door thudded closed, she swung her legs over the side of the bed. She grabbed a clip from her nightstand and twisted her long brown waves up into a bun, then pulled her light cotton robe around her shoulders and padded into the kitchen. At the window over the sink, she brushed aside the curtain to peek into the backyard. Ty made his way across the dewy grass to the barn. Only the curves of his shoulders were visible in the moonlight.

The coffee was good and hot, scorching her throat on the way down. After pulling her breakfast casserole out of the fridge and popping it in the oven, she opened the back door. Damp morning air met her face with a whisper. On the porch Etta was curled up in a tight ball in her favorite spot on the couch. Betsy couldn't stand the layer of fur Etta always left behind, but the cat was too cuddly to stay mad at for long.

She reached down and scratched Etta's chin and behind her ears. When she pushed open the screen door, Etta jumped down from the couch and slid between Betsy's feet. By the time Betsy reached the bottom of the porch steps, the cat was already halfway to the barn to check for spilled milk.

Crossing the yard, she inhaled the aroma of damp grass, earthy hay, and fresh sawdust coming from the henhouse. It was the same henhouse generations of Ty's family had used on this property. She and Ty had repaired as necessary and added extra space a few times to accommodate more hens, but the house was basically the same. Not a typical box made of wood and screen. It had a shingled roof, weathered wood siding, even a screened porch. A trumpet vine covered in long red flowers climbed one corner post, and a gravel walkway snaked around the side. Some mornings, when dewy fog hung heavy over the farm and everything was blurry and half erased, Betsy imagined the henhouse as a home for fairies or hobbits.

The hens got anxious if she robbed them of their eggs too early in the morning, so she crept in quietly, eased the door closed behind her, and locked it to keep the determined hens from making a quick escape. The interior was full of quiet clucking. The hens were mostly content, but Betsy knew from experience that exasperation at her intrusion wasn't far off.

"Good morning, little mamas," she murmured as she pulled out eight brown eggs, lightly speckled, two yellow, and one as blue as a robin's egg. "Worked hard this morning, didn't you?"

She placed the eggs in the basket hanging by the door, then scattered a few scoops of feed across the ground. The hens fluttered down from their perches to dine, all indignities forgiven.

With the henhouse door locked tight behind her, she paused before turning back to the house. It often stopped her, the beauty — almost perfection — of their little space on this earth. Franklin Dairy Farm, the land Ty had worked and shaped and brought to life. The sky was now streaked with bold purples and blues, bright pinks and yellows. Oaks and hickories — tall, thick, and majestic — dotted their five hundred acres. She could hear the steady whoosh whoosh of the milking machines even out here in the yard. Faint strains of Chris Stapleton's "Tennessee Whiskey" floated out of the speakers Ty and Walker had jiggered up in the nooks and crannies of the barn.

Through the steadily increasing light, she could just make out Ty's outline as he stooped over a cow hooked up to a machine. Ty was thick but not overweight. Just solid, as if he could carry the weight of the world on his shoulders and not buckle or even protest. She'd liked that about him when they first started dating, and it hadn't changed.

She thought about going out to the barn and kissing him good morning. It would surprise him, delight him. She closed her eyes and could feel his lips, warm and soft, faint prickles at the edges. He'd still smell like sleep, but also like oats, grass, and good outside air.

She opened her eyes, lips tingling, and grabbed the basket of eggs off its hook. The eggs clattered against each other but didn't break.

Instead of turning toward the barn, she retraced her steps back to the house, keeping her head down to avoid the two ant beds that always magically reappeared, always in the same place, the morning after she'd poured vinegar and boiling water over them. It was amazing — they had the most industrious animals, even insects, on their property. Ants that did nothing but work, just as they were supposed to. Cows overflowing with maternal milk. Hens that offered eggs each morning without fail, their bodies giving forth life as they should. Even Etta had once offered them a litter of kittens, much to their surprise. It seemed every body on the farm consistently obeyed God's natural order of things, producing and giving life, working and contributing as they should.

Betsy sidestepped the ant mounds, and when she looked up, the first thing she saw was the swing, moving slowly in the breeze. The swing hung from the lowest branch of the sweeping oak tree in the backyard. The tree was like something from Grimms' fairy tales — it sat in the middle of an otherwise treeless yard, its limbs extending twenty, thirty feet from the trunk, arms of Spanish moss swaying in the breeze, fingers of ivy trailing up and across the limbs. The shade underneath was thick and dark, always at least fifteen degrees cooler than the heat-saturated yard.

It was the kind of tree Betsy and her sister, Jenna, would've loved to have had in their backyard growing up — a backdrop to their adventures, even if most of their adventures were only in their minds.

Under the swing was a dirt patch where broods of kids — including Ty — had swung, their feet trailing in the dirt and stomping out the grass. That swing was the first thing Ty had showed Betsy when he brought her to the farm their senior year of college. They'd been together for about a year, but it wasn't until she saw this place that she understood who he really was and what a life with him would look like. When he had pointed out the swing, she was confused at first.

"The swing?" she asked him. "You want to take over your grandfather's farm because of a wooden swing?"

"No, not the swing. The farm will be profitable. I can make a few changes and get this place running smoother than lake water. It's gonna be great." Then he put his hands on her shoulders and turned her so she faced the swing directly. "Tell me what you see there."

"Wood. Dirt. A tree."

"I see children," he said. "I hear laughter. I see a childhood spent outside in the heat and air and light. I see our future."

Staring at that swing now, Betsy took a deep breath and squeezed her eyes closed, then opened them again. The swing swayed back and forth on an invisible breeze. With her free hand, she brushed back a lock of hair that had escaped her clip and started for the house. On her way past the swing, she raised her leg and gave it a swift, hard kick.

CHAPTER 2

Jenna

The babysitter was late, Addie and Walsh were flying around the house in superhero capes yelling the Batman theme song — "Da-na-na-na-na-na-na-na Batman!" — and Jenna had just poured a mug of coffee when Walsh bumped into her from behind, spilling hot liquid down the front of her black Full Cup Coffee T-shirt.

"Walsh, please!" She set the coffee mug down and pulled her damp shirt away from her skin.

"Sorry, Mommy." Walsh's brown eyes were wide. She crept backward, then turned to run but stopped to grab a dish towel off the kitchen table first. "Here." She dabbed at Jenna's shirt with the towel, itself too damp to do the job.

Jenna took the towel from Walsh and kissed her cheek. "Thank you," she whispered. Walsh grinned and took off, her cape flying behind her.

After wiping her shirt as well as she could — she'd be wearing an apron over it anyway — Jenna leaned against the counter and took a long swallow. She still didn't understand how she could make coffee all day long, then drink the stuff at home. But at least she believed in what she was selling. Full Cup did make a good cup of coffee.

She sighed. Where was Kendal? Her head hurt and she had ten minutes to get to the coffee shop, a drive that usually took twenty with traffic. She thanked her lucky stars she wasn't opening today — as manager, she had the ability to pencil someone else into those early-morning slots — but it meant getting home later.

As Addie and Walsh zoomed through the kitchen and wound around her legs like cats, part of her wanted to call in sick and stay home with the girls all day, but another part of her wanted to get in the car and drive away. Maybe not come back for a while.

She squeezed her eyes closed and raked her hands through her hair. Then the doorbell rang and there was Kendal, her stand-in babysitter for the next two weeks until summer daycare began for the girls. With red, puffy eyes and a trembling voice, Kendal explained that she and her boyfriend had broken up the night before.

"But don't worry, Miss Sawyer, I'm fine. I brought my craft box for the girls. We'll have a blast." With one more messy sniff and a swipe at her eyes, she dropped her bag in the foyer and attempted a smile.

Jenna sighed and pushed the door closed. With her long blonde hair and killer legs, Kendal was Jenna a decade ago, except Jenna never would have allowed herself to wallow in misery over a boy. If anything, it had been the boys miserable over her. Back then, she always left before they did.

But no sense thinking about those old days — Kendal was here and she was a mess. Jenna wasn't super comfortable leaving Addie and Walsh with her, but what else could she do? She'd already been late to work this week — car troubles, a lost stuffed hippo, long story — and she couldn't afford to lose this job. It paid for the girls' school, offered surprisingly good insurance, and on good days, it made her feel like she was contributing something to the world, even if it was only a perfect heart in milk foam. Not quite the artistic contribution she'd had in mind all those years ago, but it was something, and it was all she had.

"Addie? Walsh?" she called. "I'm heading out."

Small feet pounded on the hardwood floors, then two tornados of early-morning energy slammed into Jenna's legs, their arms squeezing her tight.

She knelt in front of them. Addie's blonde curls were a tangled mess, but her blue eyes were bright and her mouth curved into a smile. Walsh's still-pudgy wrists were covered in every plastic bracelet in their dress-up box and a few of Jenna's. Walsh reached up for a hug, her breath soft and sweet in Jenna's ear. "Bye, Mommy," she whispered.

Jenna smiled. Thoughts of running evaporated like steam over a cup of French roast. She pulled the girls close and kissed their foreheads. "Listen to Kendal, okay? I think she brought some fun things for you to do today. I'll be home after work, and we'll have something yummy for dinner."

"Breakfast! Can it be breakfast for dinner?"

As both girls chanted, "Pan-cakes! Pan-cakes!" Jenna kissed their cheeks one more time and slid out the door.

In her car she exhaled a rush of air. Through the front window of her tiny two-bedroom East Nashville house — once crisp white but now faded to a light gray begging for a new coat of paint — she could see the girls still bouncing, the sparkles from their princess pajamas visible from the driveway.

Kendal pushed her hair back from her face, offered a bright smile, and led the girls into the den, out of Jenna's sight. Only then did Jenna remember her almost-full coffee mug sitting on the kitchen counter.

* * *

Traffic was lighter than usual and she skidded into the small side parking lot with a minute to spare. Just enough time to shove her purse into a locker in the back, grab her apron, and put on her best smile.

She checked the time. Eight fifteen. She switched her phone to silent and slid it in her apron pocket. She was setting out a stack of CDs a local songwriter had dropped off when a customer burst through the door. Jenna looked up to see Lisa Rich, CEO of Trust Partners, a well-known accounting firm with an office down the block. Purse dangling from her elbow, Bluetooth in place on her ear. Obnoxiously complicated drink order. Notoriously bad tipper.

Jenna slipped behind the counter and tapped the barista on the shoulder — the new girl, Melissa, already bracing herself for Lisa's deluge. "I got this," Jenna whispered.

"Thanks," Melissa whispered back before cowering behind Jenna.

"Hi, Miss Rich," Jenna said, despite the obvious fact that Lisa was talking to someone on her Bluetooth.

"It's Mrs. and I'm in a hurry."

"I'm so sorry," Jenna said, discreetly pulling a Post-it off the underside of the counter by the register. "We'll have your order out to you in a moment."

Lisa reached up and pushed a button on the contraption stuck to her ear. "Wait — I haven't given you my order."

"Would you like your regular?" Jenna's voice was innocent.

The woman's right eyebrow rose just a millimeter. Probably all the Botox would allow. "Yes. My regular."

"We'll have that right out." Jenna turned and handed the slip of paper to Melissa.

Melissa eyed it with suspicion, then looked back up at Jenna. "You're a genius."

"I know."

Melissa grinned and reached for the fat-free milk. "Does this even taste good?" she whispered.

"I have no idea and no desire to find out."

As Melissa worked on the grande double shot, four pumps sugar-free peppermint, nonfat, extra-hot, no foam, light whip, stirred white mocha, Jenna walked the counter and checked the three other baristas working hard to fill drink orders. She was able to get a pack of napkins for Mario and open a sleeve of cardboard cup sleeves for Jensen before Melissa had the drink ready.

"I'll let you do the honors." Melissa handed the drink to Jenna like it was gold plated. "Think it'll do the trick?"

"Nah," Jenna muttered. "Probably nothing will. Mrs. Rich?"

Mrs. Rich pressed the button again on her Bluetooth and clicked her heels across the tile floor. She stared at Jenna before taking the cup. "The peppermint's sugar-free?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"Extra hot?"

"Extra hot."

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Hurricane Season"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Lauren K. Denton.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Hurricane Season 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved The Hideaway and looked forward to a second book. Was not disappointed. Great story about sisters who were different but so alike in their hearts. Wonderful story. Easy reading. Highly recommend it.
Anonymous 4 months ago
From South AL ...enjoyed the book!
ShareeS 6 days ago
Hurricane Season by Laura Denton is the story of two sisters who are complete opposites in every way yet bear a touching and deep-rooted bond. Jenna’s reputation as the bad girl / difficult daughter has marked her since her teen years, but she’s worked hard to prove she’s not that person anymore. When an invitation to attend a retreat comes her way, and all the details are worked out, she goes hoping to rediscover the passions she once held for photography. Betsy is the good girl who does everything right. She’s taken care of Jenna since they were kids so when her baby sister calls for help, Betsy doesn’t think twice and doesn’t bother asking her husband. But caring for Jenna’s young children tears at Betsy’s heart cry to be a mother herself. And when Jenna doesn’t come back for the girls as intended, Betsy finds herself caught between doing what’s right and doing what she’s always wanted. Hurricane Season is beautifully written. Ms. Denton took me into the story and the characters came alive. It’s a touching book about sisters and the bonds that make and break them.
Holly 17 days ago
Hurricane Season is the story of how one simple storm can change everything for two sisters. Betsy and her husband, Ty are diary farm owners with a simple dream to have a baby of their own but nothing is going as planned. Until Betsy's younger sister, Jenna shows up unannounced with her two young daughters with the plan to attend this retreat in the woods by herself. As we go back and forth between different view points from Betsy, Jenna and Ty; you can't help but to feel for each one of these people for what they are doing and what they had to do in the past to get them to this pivotal moment. Then you add this Hurricane into the mix that threatens Betsy's and Ty's livelihood just at the right time for everything to change for everyone. It took a bad storm for everyone to figure out what they need to do in order to survive and find that happy place they always dreamed of. Plus, that ending will leave you with a happy tear in your eye! The only thing I asked myself while reading this book is why have I not noticed this Author until now? This book has everything I love in a good read, it's set in the South, it deals with a hard issues and it brings a little craziness to the situation. For nearly the entire book I wasn't pleased with Jenna but by the end, she won me over for what she had to do in order to provide for those girls of hers. If there is one book that will get you hooked on this Author, this book is it and you won't regret it!! Thank You to Lauren K. Denton for this awesome read that made me become a fan of yours from this day forward!! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley!
Jennybug52 4 months ago
4 stars- There were two things that I could easily relate to in this book: hurricanes and infertility. Growing up in Florida, hurricane season was as much a part of life as summer, winter, fall and spring. You watched the weather forecast a little more closely between June and November and planned accordingly. Infertility was a bit more unplanned, not an expected part of life for sure. I enjoyed Lauren Denton’s story of 2 sisters on two very different paths in life. I could definitely relate the most to Betsy. Having experienced many of the same emotions and feelings over the years it wasn’t hard to put myself in her shoes. Both sisters are struggling with life and striving to make life better for themselves and their families. I found this to be a heartwarming story that explored the differences in siblings and the complex dynamics of family. It was an enjoyable story with a lot of heart and good lessons for Christians & non-Christians alike. I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
Jennybug52 4 months ago
4 stars- There were two things that I could easily relate to in this book: hurricanes and infertility. Growing up in Florida, hurricane season was as much a part of life as summer, winter, fall and spring. You watched the weather forecast a little more closely between June and November and planned accordingly. Infertility was a bit more unplanned, not an expected part of life for sure. I enjoyed Lauren Denton’s story of 2 sisters on two very different paths in life. I could definitely relate the most to Betsy. Having experienced many of the same emotions and feelings over the years it wasn’t hard to put myself in her shoes. Both sisters are struggling with life and striving to make life better for themselves and their families. I found this to be a heartwarming story that explored the differences in siblings and the complex dynamics of family. It was an enjoyable story with a lot of heart and good lessons for Christians & non-Christians alike. I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
Jennybug52 4 months ago
4 stars- There were two things that I could easily relate to in this book: hurricanes and infertility. Growing up in Florida, hurricane season was as much a part of life as summer, winter, fall and spring. You watched the weather forecast a little more closely between June and November and planned accordingly. Infertility was a bit more unplanned, not an expected part of life for sure. I enjoyed Lauren Denton’s story of 2 sisters on two very different paths in life. I could definitely relate the most to Betsy. Having experienced many of the same emotions and feelings over the years it wasn’t hard to put myself in her shoes. Both sisters are struggling with life and striving to make life better for themselves and their families. I found this to be a heartwarming story that explored the differences in siblings and the complex dynamics of family. It was an enjoyable story with a lot of heart and good lessons for Christians & non-Christians alike. I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
susanwalkergirl 5 months ago
A Simple Treasure One of my favorite things is finding new authors whose books I love. I found a wonderful book and author when I read Hurricane Season by Lauren K Denton. Wow…loved this book! The storyline is what first caught my eye. A couple, Betsy and Ty, own a dairy farm in Alabama and they are always busy with the day to day operations of the farm. In recent years they’ve struggled with infertility and it’s taken it’s toll on Betsy and Ty’s relationship. Entering into the equation is Jenna when she suddenly springs a surprise on her sister, watching her two young children, while she heads off to Florida to work on photography as part of a mentorship program. It’s something she’s longed to get back into for years. The threat of a hurricane may not be the only storm brewing on the horizon. Hurricane Season was simple, yet deep. It was beautiful but dealt with the difficult and hard things of life. It showed the beautiful and extraordinary things about ordinary lives. I loved the characters, their relationships and looking back at what’s shaped them. I loved the beauty of the farm and the retreat in Florida, captured so beautifully by the author. The characters were decent good people who I’d would want to know. There were some profound thoughts and observations shared throughout the book that made me think about my own life. I loved reading Hurricane Season by Lauren K Denton and I look forward to reading her future books. I want to go back and read her first book, The Hideaway. I would describe Lauren as a safe writer. What I mean by that is that she takes the time to develop a story and lets the readers get to know the characters. She doesn’t manipulate the storyline and characters don’t make stupid thoughtless decisions, just to advance the story or grab the reader’s attention. Lauren knows how to make the ordinary both interesting and beautiful. It’s with pleasure I highly recommend Hurricane Season by Lauren K Denton. I would like to thank Thomas Nelson Publishers and BookLook for the opportunity to read Hurricane Season in exchange for an honest review. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.
Ellen-oceanside 7 months ago
Second chances and choices one makes in life. A dream to go to a two week art retreat, Jenna takes. Leaving her twins at her sisters farm. Life as a single mom now, she remembers the days of travel and pursuing her career. A dream to have a family, is what Betsy has longed for,now with watching the twins. Hurricane season, brings changes, as it does for these two sisters. Can they find a balance, that would fulfill the need for both of these two women. A nice easy flow to read and enjoy, of second chances. Given ARC copy by Thomas Nelson for my voluntary review and my honest opinion.
pianosue 7 months ago
This is a good clean book with a good story line. Betsy & Ty Franklin have a desire for children of their own. This is their story of the battle to have children and keep their farm going. The pain of infertility and the struggles. It also shares the story of her sister Jenna and her children and how our lives intertwine. Will Betsy & Ty find peace about their situation? Will the hurricane that is coming thru hit their farm? Will Jenna finally grow up and return home? A good story but not what I would consider Christian fiction since there was only 1-2 mentions of praying.
LucyMR1 8 months ago
Hurricane Season speaks to me not just of the storm approaching but of the internal hurricanes in the lives of the characters. This story is written from the perspectives of Betsy, Ty, and Jeanna and each chapter is labeled so you aren’t in doubt of whom is speaking. Each character is struggling and hiding feelings that need to be dealt with in order to heal and move on. This is a powerful story of family relationships and internal struggles that will leave you emotionally involved with their lives when the last page is turned. Finding Hope in the midst of the storm is the best description I can find for this story that tugs your heartstrings. I received a complimentary copy from the Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction Guild. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
Laeljeanne 9 months ago
Jenna, a single mom, asks her older sister Betsy to watch her children while she attends an artist retreat to reconnect with photography. Despite her infertility issues and resulting melancholy (unbeknownst to Jenna), Betsy agrees, as she’s always been a mother figure to her unpredictable sibling. Both sisters find themselves outside their comfort zones and in turn, find their way back to each other, all this while waiting for a hurricane to hit. Denton portrays a complex sister relationship of unspoken jealousies, fears, and parental love, and how a challenging economy affects marriage and livelihood, as Betsy supplements her husband’s dairy farm with educational tours. There’s a subtle lesson in this novel to follow your heart and take responsibility for your talent, to be true to yourself. The only taint is the author’s apparent expectation of her readership all being Christian, so that the story sometimes feels preachy and insular. It doesn’t seem credible for an infertility specialist to advise a couple to pray for a natural pregnancy after a failed treatment. This is a small blemish on a wonderful story of sisterhood and authenticity. I was fortunate to receive this lovely novel through NetGalley.
Cynthia181 9 months ago
I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild, I was not required to give a favorable review. This was a great story about how the interaction of 2 sisters and the need for finding what makes them happy. The older sister Betsy is married and has had a hard time getting pregnant, her husband Ty and she run his family dairy/farm. She uses her degree to help educate the children in the area & also help with 4-H. Her younger sister Jenna is a mom of 2 little girls in and lives in Nashville. When Jenna has the chance to go to a photography/artist retreat for 2 weeks she calls her sister to take care of her girls at the farm. But it goes to how they were always looked at as children, Betsy was the golden child and Jenna was the one who did everything wrong. This time in their lives make such a difference to these two women and how they see themselves.
Deana0326 9 months ago
What a wonderful story that takes takes readers on a journey of discovery. Betsy is my favorite character because of her giving heart. She is a character that many can relate to due to her desire to have a child. Her husband Ty is a hard working man who makes a living by running the Franklin Dairy Farm. The farm reminds me of my granddad's farm I visited every summer. It was a lot of work for him but he was the happiest when he was outdoors. Jenna who is Betsy's sister made me a bit annoyed. She is a single mom with two adorable girls barely making ends meet. When she gets a chance to maybe change her life, she jumps at the oportuity. She leaves her two girls with Betsy and Ty saying she would be back in two weeks. The story centers around the sisters and the emotional struggles they face. I loved how the author used Ty as a strong husband and continually supported his wife. It's hard to say what someone would do if given an opportunity to change their life, but at what expense will it do to the children? The longer Jenna stays away, the closer the children become to their aunt and uncle. Ty could sense the emotional state Betsy was starting to fall in to. Could you leave your children for a period of time in hopes of a better future? There is no guarantee in life, so maybe Jenna had to risk everything to find happiness. I loved the tension the author built as a hurricane threatens Betsy and Ty's place. I have been through several; the last one being Hurricane Harvey. It did major damage to our land and we lost many things. It also made us realize how precious life is. I liked how the tension started rearing its ugly head between Betsy and Ty. When Ty say "I'm never going to be enough for you, am I?" , I cried. The aching in Betsy's heart for a child is consuming her. Is she starting to push her husband away? Jenna is complicated at times. I questioned her decision but in a way I understood. Sometimes we have to take a leap of faith and pray that things will work out. The more I got to know Jenna, the more I could identify with her. Is it so wrong to want a better life for yourself? Will Jenna make the correct choice for her and her girls? The book is skillfully written with a beautiful and touching ending. The author has written a story that reflects on faith and family. I loved the characters and how easily the story flowed. I look forward to the next book from this author who writes with beauty and grace. I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild. The review is my own opinion.
Deana0326 9 months ago
What a wonderful story that takes takes readers on a journey of discovery. Betsy is my favorite character because of her giving heart. She is a character that many can relate to due to her desire to have a child. Her husband Ty is a hard working man who makes a living by running the Franklin Dairy Farm. The farm reminds me of my granddad's farm I visited every summer. It was a lot of work for him but he was the happiest when he was outdoors. Jenna who is Betsy's sister made me a bit annoyed. She is a single mom with two adorable girls barely making ends meet. When she gets a chance to maybe change her life, she jumps at the oportuity. She leaves her two girls with Betsy and Ty saying she would be back in two weeks. The story centers around the sisters and the emotional struggles they face. I loved how the author used Ty as a strong husband and continually supported his wife. It's hard to say what someone would do if given an opportunity to change their life, but at what expense will it do to the children? The longer Jenna stays away, the closer the children become to their aunt and uncle. Ty could sense the emotional state Betsy was starting to fall in to. Could you leave your children for a period of time in hopes of a better future? There is no guarantee in life, so maybe Jenna had to risk everything to find happiness. I loved the tension the author built as a hurricane threatens Betsy and Ty's place. I have been through several; the last one being Hurricane Harvey. It did major damage to our land and we lost many things. It also made us realize how precious life is. I liked how the tension started rearing its ugly head between Betsy and Ty. When Ty say "I'm never going to be enough for you, am I?" , I cried. The aching in Betsy's heart for a child is consuming her. Is she starting to push her husband away? Jenna is complicated at times. I questioned her decision but in a way I understood. Sometimes we have to take a leap of faith and pray that things will work out. The more I got to know Jenna, the more I could identify with her. Is it so wrong to want a better life for yourself? Will Jenna make the correct choice for her and her girls? The book is skillfully written with a beautiful and touching ending. The author has written a story that reflects on faith and family. I loved the characters and how easily the story flowed. I look forward to the next book from this author who writes with beauty and grace. I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild. The review is my own opinion.
LlamaJen 10 months ago
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The cover is what caught my eye first but it was the story and characters that I fell in love with. Betsy receives a phone call from her sister Jenna asking if she will watch her nieces. Jenna has a chance to go on a once in a lifetime art retreat and would really like to go, but needs someone to watch her girls. It's only supposed to be for two weeks, but then becomes months. Jenna believes Betsy and her husband Ty have the perfect life, with their relationship and dairy farm. Jenna on the other hand is a single mom of two girls, works at a coffee shop and gave up her true passion, photography. The chapters are told from Jenna, Betsy and Ty's point of view. It was a beautiful and charming story and I enjoyed getting to know the characters. Honestly, I could have kept reading about them and would have loved to find out what happened in the next chapter of their lives. The book is about love and family. I loved the writing style and look forward to reading more books by the author. I definitely recommend the book.
BookReviewerTG 10 months ago
If you are a woman and have a sister(s) you will appreciate how Lauren K. Denton develops the sister relationship in this story. Ms. Denton doesn't write a fru fru story full of ruffles and lace but a down to earth story that is a real tear jerker. Betsy and Ty have always dreamed of having a family but it never happened. So, when this childless couple suddenly have two sweet little girls dropped off for just two weeks at their farm, things change. Betsy loves her and neices and so does her husband Ty. The little girls add so much life, love and laughter to their very quiet home. When Hurricane Ingrid arrives and threatens everything they've worked for it's interesting to see what becomes important. Such a great read....life, love and relationships. *This book was provided for review by the Fiction Guild*
booklover6460 10 months ago
This story touched me a little more than most books. As someone who suffered with infertility, Betsy's struggles were very real to me. And then to have a sister who had two children without trying to was another nail in the coffin of my emotions. My sister had three children...getting pregnant with two of them while I was trying to get pregnant the first time. The author does a wonderful job of exploring the emotions both sisters experience, factoring in life growing up with parents who weren't really involved in their lives (very self centered), as well as their present day lives. This story was a storm of epic proportions...having you ache for Betsy and Ty, wondering where Jenna would end up, falling in love with the two precious children Jenna leaves with her sister for what turns into longer than a two-week retreat. There are so many analogies from the intensity of the storm related to raging emotions, growth of the garden Betsy plants related to how she and Ty grow in their relationship, etc. This book is a wonderful example of relationships and enduring the storms of life. Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I love Laura Denton's books and this one was another moving tale I have enjoyed.
RubieLee 10 months ago
“Weeks before landfall, the storm had begun as a puff of air, a gentle breeze that floated across Africa, picking up dust and dirt and red Saharan Heat. It coasted to the ocean were it spread out over the water like milk from an overturned bucket.” Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton begins the same way, a gentle breeze. I loved so many things about this book: the setting, the building of the storm, the relationships, and an ending that feels like a beginning. Denton’s story of two sisters with different struggles and circumstances in the heat of summer and hurricane season makes for perfect beach reading. Having experienced difficulty in having children without medical intervention, I could totally relate to Denton’s character Betsy Franklin. That being said, if you have recently been made aware of your own fertility issues, this book might need to wait a bit. Other than that, this book is an excellent read! I requested a copy of Hurricane Season from BookLookBloggers. This was a book I literally chose because of the amazing cover! I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own and I have not been compensated in any way.
RubieLee 10 months ago
“Weeks before landfall, the storm had begun as a puff of air, a gentle breeze that floated across Africa, picking up dust and dirt and red Saharan Heat. It coasted to the ocean were it spread out over the water like milk from an overturned bucket.” Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton begins the same way, a gentle breeze. I loved so many things about this book: the setting, the building of the storm, the relationships, and an ending that feels like a beginning. Denton’s story of two sisters with different struggles and circumstances in the heat of summer and hurricane season makes for perfect beach reading. Having experienced difficulty in having children without medical intervention, I could totally relate to Denton’s character Betsy Franklin. That being said, if you have recently been made aware of your own fertility issues, this book might need to wait a bit. Other than that, this book is an excellent read! I requested a copy of Hurricane Season from BookLookBloggers. This was a book I literally chose because of the amazing cover! I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own and I have not been compensated in any way.
RubieLee 10 months ago
“Weeks before landfall, the storm had begun as a puff of air, a gentle breeze that floated across Africa, picking up dust and dirt and red Saharan Heat. It coasted to the ocean were it spread out over the water like milk from an overturned bucket.” Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton begins the same way, a gentle breeze. I loved so many things about this book: the setting, the building of the storm, the relationships, and an ending that feels like a beginning. Denton’s story of two sisters with different struggles and circumstances in the heat of summer and hurricane season makes for perfect beach reading. Having experienced difficulty in having children without medical intervention, I could totally relate to Denton’s character Betsy Franklin. That being said, if you have recently been made aware of your own fertility issues, this book might need to wait a bit. Other than that, this book is an excellent read! I requested a copy of Hurricane Season from BookLookBloggers. This was a book I literally chose because of the amazing cover! I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own and I have not been compensated in any way.
conni7 10 months ago
I felt that this book was going to be worth reading from the very beginning, and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. I loved the story of the two sisters: Betsy and Jenna; I thought the author, Lauren K. Denton, did a great job with characterization. She also added some background information showing that the sisters’ parents were a bit neglectful and how it affected them. The older sister, Betsy, always looked out for Jenna, acting as more of a mother figure than her own mom did, and at times Jenna took advantage of that. But to Betsy, family is family, and she has a difficult time saying no to her little sister. The fact that it is hurricane season also plays into the story in a interesting way. The storms of life go hand and hand with the weather outside. But there is also growth for all the characters, as they learn from their experiences. Lauren also did a great job of showing how anxious the residents of an area prone to having hurricanes feel; how closely they follow the weather reports and how carefully they prepare. I liked other little details in the book, like how Betsy let her garden die, but in so many ways, her desire to start all over with it, paralleled other aspects of the story. (You have to read this to see how!) One thing I absolutely love about books from this publisher is that they are free of the curse words that I have seen in at least 80% of the secular books I have recently read. Who needs that? It’s a filthy habit, and I have no desire to pick it up by being constantly exposed to it. While this is published by Thomas Nelson, it really isn’t a Christian book. Other then mentioning one time that the family went to church, and a few characters who suggest prayer during more difficult times, the characters don’t look to God and the Bible for guidance and help on a daily basis.
hadassahmae 11 months ago
Published by: Thomas Nelson Written by: Lauren K. Denton I love reading all different types of fiction and I am especially attracted to fiction with a story that is different from other books that I have read. I was happy to read and review this book and find it to be interesting and unique. Hurricane Season tells the story of a couple longing for children but unable to get pregnant. It tells of a couple working on a farm. It tells of a family member of the couple who is struggling to find a balance while dealing with her work, her passions, and her children. Who This Book is For: I think lovers of all kinds of contemporary fiction will enjoy this book. I think that it could be an encouraging read for those struggling to have children. What I liked: The majority of the characters in the book are likable. The story has a setting that is different from a lot of books and a story that is different, too. There is a certain kind of hopeful message to the book. This is an emotional read at times. This book kept me interested. What I didn’t like: There were some minor issues but nothing too extreme and I don't want to spoil the book by sharing the little things that bothered me about this book. My conclusion: Overall, I thought this was a good book. I give Hurricane Season 5 out of 5 stars. I received this book free to review from BookLook. The opinions expressed in this review are my true thoughts and feeling regarding this book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
Lilac_Wolf 12 months ago
**Big thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to review this title** This author has been on my radar for awhile, and I didn't even realize that until I reached the end of this book. Honestly, the cover is what kept drawing me in, over and over until I finally gave in and asked NetGalley for a copy. This book really drew me in. It's about 2 sisters who really weren't sure how to be with each other. When Jenna has an opportunity to grow as an artist thrust upon her, she drops her girls with her sister, Betsy. Betsy lives on a farm with her husband Ty. It really throws Betsy off her game, as she is still trying to recover from infertility issues. Thinking she'll never have a chance to be a mom, she really has a hard time connecting with her nieces and caring for them. And poor Jenna, it is the first time since she had the girls that she was truly selfish. You just really hope those two can figure it out and reconnect. It was a very good story, and I had a hard time putting it down. I recommend it to anyone who likes a good family story.
lsmoore_43 More than 1 year ago
Thank you NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for the honor of reading such a good book. This is one of the very best books ever. Set in AL on a dairy farm. Ty and Betsy have been in love since they both went to Auburn University in AL. Her parents had different plans for her but love won. He is a dairy farmer who takes over his grandfathers farm even though his dad wanted him to follow in his footsteps. They have a very nice farm and home but no children. There is no medical reason for them not having a child. They both want children, it’s just not in the stars for them. Ty finally makes Betsy understand that although having a child would be great, he loves her and always will. Jenna is Betsy’s younger sister. She has two adorable girls, Walsh who is 3 and Addie who is 5. Jenna works hard as a barista and spends all of her free time with her girls. She has coffee each day that she works, except weekends, with Sam. Sam is just a guy who’s coffee pot stopped working and decided to stop in for coffee. He was attracted to Jenna so started coming for coffee each morning. They spend all of 10 minutes together each day. Her girls are her reason for everything good in her life. She loves them unconditionally and is a very good mother. She gets a chance to go to a retreat in FL called Halcyon to be mentored by another photographer. He’s done lots of work for big time magazines and helps her more than she thought possible. Jenna calls Betsy to see if she will keep the girls for 2 weeks, which turns into 2 months. Ty is upset at first that Betsy didn’t consult him first but he also loves the girls and will do anything for Betsy. He’s only trying to protect her from being hurt. This is a book about self discovery, hope, love, understanding, patience, photography, farming, children, neighbors and family. One that will keep you turning the pages until the very end. It’s about a hurricane that comes through and how family and neighbors stick together. Help each other. I hated so bad for it to end. It was one that sure will make you stop and think about life. Appreciate the life you have. It’s a love story but not one that is just about a couple, it’s about lots of people who work together for the sake of friendship. It will touch your heart in ways you won’t see coming. I wish there would be a sequel in a way. I’d love to read more about Jenna and also Betsy and Ty. I believe Jenna and Sam end up together. I also believed Betsy and Ty have that child they both deserve and want to bad. This book will make you believe in life. The good parts of life. I loved it and highly recommend it. I had to give it a 5 star rating and will read more books by this author.