Paperback: 278 pages
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
Publish Date: March 30, 2011
Author Tess Hardwick assembles a colorful cast of endearing small-town characters and takes you on a journey that will make you believe in the possibilities of life - even in the face of overwhelming adversity and unimaginable grief.
Lee Tucker is the kind of woman you find yourself rooting for long after the last page is read. When her husband commits suicide,he leaves her pregnant and one million dollars in debt to a loan shark. Out of options, she escapes to her deceased mother's dilapidated house located in a small Oregon town that, like her, is financially ruined, heartbroken and in desperate need of a fresh tart. Lee's resilience leads to a plan for a destination restaurant named Riversong, to new chances for passion and love, and to danger from her dead husband's debt as her business blooms.
A surprising mix of romance, humor, friendship, intrigue and gourmet food, Riversong entertains while reminding you of life's greatest gifts.
Lee Tucker grew up in a small town with an agoraphobic drunk for a mother. Anxious to leave her house, Lee takes off for college early and heads to Seattle, following her dream to become an artist. Fast forward; Lee is now in her thirties and her husband just committed suicide. Turns out he secretly borrowed money from a loan shark and saw no way out; now that loan shark is coming after Lee for his money, money that she doesn’t have. To top it all off, Lee just found out that she is pregnant, something that was not planned. She decides to run back to her house where she grew up, the one that was left to her when her mother died.
Going back to her hometown brings back unpleasant memories. But Lee is determined to make enough money to pay off the loan shark so she will not have to live her life in hiding. She decides to fix up and sell her mother’s, now her, house, and while she is waiting for that to be finished she gets a job. She starts working at a restaurant as a consultant, trying to figure out what to do to bring in more money for them. On Lee’s journey she finds love, makes true friends, and finds some long awaited answers.
This was a great book! I couldn’t believe it was Ms. Hardwick’s first novel. It starts off a little dark with Lee growing up feeling like she isn’t wanted, to having her husband leave her by shooting himself. But it lightens up along the way.
The characters are so real; it was so easy to lose myself in the story completely. Lee’s neighbor, Ellen, is like a second mother to her when Lee returns home. Ellen is in her seventies, but is still young at heart, and in body. Ellen makes sure Lee has good meals to eat when she comes home from work, is there to lend an ear when Lee needs to talk, and even helps Lee out by bearing arms a time or two.
Tommy, a musician who plays at the restaurant Lee works at, and a local EMT, has the ability to see Lee and connect with her on a level that no one has before. This scares Lee for a few reasons, and even makes her feel guilty because her husband has not been deceased for that long. I really liked Tommy’s character; he had his own mishaps in life and there was something really soulful about him.
From when a bear is climbing up the side of Lee’s house, to when she is finding love again, this book never has a dull moment. Let me be honest with you, when I first looked at the cover of this book I wasn’t a fan, but I am so happy that I read the synopsis and in turn, gave the book a chance. I guess what they say is true to never judge a book by its cover. This was truly a great read, one that I will be passing on to my family and friends.