The Cottonwoods by Lyn Farrell | Blog Tour | Book Review | Giveaway 

The Cottonwoods

by Lyn Farrell

I am delighted to join the blog tour for The Cottonwoods by Lyn Farrell today! My thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to join and the review copy!

About The Cottonwoods


The Cottonwoods
Women’s Fiction/Romance
Camel/Coffeetown/Epicenter Press
 Pages 238

When Amber Bradshaw was twelve, her dying mother made her promise that someday she would find the family treasure brought to the U.S. by her great grandparents during WWI. She’s been left the farmhouse they built but the farm on which it stands is to be sold. If Amber is ever to find the treasure, it has to be soon. She locates her great Grandmother Ina’s journal which speaks of shimmering golden coins, but also tells of her bitterness with her husband who stole her dowry and ripped her from her homeland. It’s an all-too-familiar concept to Amber who struggles with her own resentment about having to become a “mother” to her little sister, Claire, after her mother died. With two men interested in her, a heavy decision to make about Claire’s baby, and an agro-company trying to buy the farm, Amber has big decisions to make. Will she choose the right man? Will she keep Claire’s baby? Will she find the treasure? It’s a landscape strewn with snares and Amber is determined not to put a foot wrong.

I Thought…

During WWI, Amber Bradshaw's mum's Great Gran Ina and Great Grandad Frank brought treasure to the U.S. Their daughter Amber's Great Great Aunt Irene is now in a nursing home and she has congestive heart failure. Before Amber's mum, Grace Morand Bradshaw died she made Amber promise she would go to the family home, a 100-year-old farmhouse and find the treasure. So Amber starts her excursion to Apple River Falls and makes a journey of self-discovery, too.

Set in Wisconsin, I adored this beautiful, well-written tale. The story is told via different timescales in the past and present. Twenty-seven year-old Amber was a great protagonist for those chapters in the present. The chapters in the past were in the form of journal entries between 1915 to 1918 by Ina Nicholescu as she was before her marriage in December 1915 before becoming Ina Morand at eighteen, which Amber found in the Morand farmhouse. There are also extracts from a notebook currently being written by Irene Morand, aged 99, from Apple River Falls nursing home.

I preferred the chapters from Amber which detailed Amber's feelings very articulately. Amber has come to Apple River Falls on a temporary basis only as she has a love of art and works at an art gallery, the Hillside Gallery in Chicago as does her BFF Cassidy Dillon. She brings her dog, Camelot with her, bought for her by her dad Andrew, who has battled with alcoholism. Amber has her own set of problems to contend with, including resentment at being left to bring up her sister Claire virtually by herself when Amber was 12, and Claire just 5, because of her father's drinking demons.

Whilst at the Morand farmhouse, Amber meets Hunter Freedman, who lives locally and helps out on the farm primarily feeding the calves, and working in the wheat fields and he used to attend art school in Santa Fe until he dropped out. She also meets Marc Rochet the manager of the branch of her Great Aunt Irene's bank and Ryan Amherst an expert at house renovation who is her contact for the repairs and refurbishment of the farmhouse. 

The Cottonwoods is fast-paced, full of drama and there's a heck of a lot crammed in between the pages, so there's no room for tedium. I loved all of the characters, their challenges, and their hopes and dreams, and I was fully invested in them all. This novel has a little bit of everything including soupçons of romance and tragedy. An engrossing and very worthwhile novel.

Thanks to Great Escapes Book Tours, Lyn Farrell and Camel Press for a complimentary copy of The Cottonwoods at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

 

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About Lyn Farrell

Lyn Farquhar – author name Lyn Farrell – has an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University where she worked for the medical school until her retirement. Subsequently, she published a 7 book series of mysteries with her daughter (pen name Lia Farrell) entitled the “Mae December mysteries”. She then initiated a second mystery series starting with “The Blind Switch.” The second in that series, “The Blind Split” will be released in 2022. Lyn is a master gardener, a “dog mom” to her Cavalier Spaniel, Dezi, and the granddaughter of noted artist Eugene Iverd. She is the mother of two bio daughters, six step-kids, and twelve grandchildren. When she isn’t gardening, writing, spending time with family or playing with Dezi, she searches for the original art by her grandfather.

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