A widow recovering from a devastating accident finds hope and renewal in an unlikely place in this series opener.
Kara Lange Hart is no stranger to tragedy and loss. When Kara was 14 years old, her mother, Susan, abruptly left the family and was discovered dead two years later in Ohio. Later, Kara marries her college sweetheart, Niles, and moves to northern Virginia. After six years of marriage, she is thrilled to learn she is pregnant; but before she can tell Niles, the couple is involved in a car accident. Niles is killed instantly, and Kara suffers a miscarriage along with serious injuries. Bereft, Kara moves in with her father, Henry, to recuperate. When her father tells her that he is planning to purchase a Victorian mansion in an area of Louisa County called Cub Creek, she decides to move with him and stay until she can find a new job and place of her own. While the mansion needs renovating, Kara is struck by the property's beauty, particularly the field of wildflowers behind the house. She soon befriends her new neighbors Nicole Albers, a real estate agent and close friend of her father's, and Nicole's brother, Seth, and settles into the quieter pace of life in Cub Creek. The move also prompts the usually reserved Henry to open up to Kara about his difficult childhood and the tragic circumstances of her mother's death. Kara sees the possibility of a life in Cub Creek when a tragedy forces her to decide whether to leave her new friends or remain in the community she has grown to love.
This first installment of Greene's (The Memory of Butterflies, 2017, etc.) Wildflower House series is an affecting and emotionally resonant tale of love, loss, and the possibility of second chances that's bolstered by a winsome heroine, well-drawn supporting characters, and a nuanced story full of surprising twists and turns. Kara is a strong and dynamic protagonist whose physical and emotional recovery from the car accident that killed her husband lie at the center of the tale. She is surrounded by a vivid and likable supporting cast, including Henry, a dependable, hardworking man whose taciturn nature hides a secret sorrow; and Seth, a former journalist and self-described "guy-of-all-trades," whose friendship with Kara slowly blossoms into something deeper and more significant. The setting plays a major role in the story, and the author deftly brings the community of Cub Creek and the Victorian mansion known as the Wildflower House to life, from the friendly real estate agent who knows whom to call to have something repaired to the descriptions of the breathtaking beauty of the wildflowers ("As a mass, they raised their bright faces to the sun, gathered its rays, and reflected the light from bloom to bloom, ultimately bouncing it back to greet my eyes"). The briskly paced narrative also includes several well-developed subplots, including Henry's revelations about his past and Kara's exploration of her marriage to Niles. The tale may appeal to fans of Debbie Macomber or Nicholas Sparks.
A poignant and heartfelt contemporary romance.