Pam and Mark Walker are celebrating their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary by inviting their families to stay at their bed-and-breakfast for a week. As in all families, there are some underlying issues that make the prospect of spending a week together a bit...interesting. Luckily, the county fair is in town that week, so everyone has plenty to do, if Mark can just make it through all the various competitions intact!
What a sweet book! Just what I needed. This is the fifth in a series. I haven't read the others, but I picked up on the story with no problems.
There were a few serious underlying ideas, like redemption, a teen's need to fit in at any cost, those family issues, and how the sale of a large tract of land to the wrong person can change a community's character forever. Linking all of these together was the question of how responsible we are to each other.
Mostly this was just a nice story with repaired family relationships, a community that looks out for everyone, and Mark's crazy antics to lighten everything up. Seriously, who enters a chainsaw art competition when they've never done anything like that before? Overseeing it all is the town's mascot, Hank, a plastic pink flamingo who longs to be an eagle. I loved the newspaper excerpts! They added a perfect little taste of small-town life.
I have to say that the resolution to the angsty teen didn't feel drastic enough. I didn't quite buy it. But the whole book is more of an escape than anything, so it did fit with the tone of everything else.
I also could have used a cast of characters. I lost track of who everyone was. This is where it might have helped if I'd read the books in the right order, but my biggest problem was with the various family members. I got the feeling that they were mostly introduced for the first time in this book.
I read an arc, but there was a whole section full of extras, such as recipes, discussion questions, and "What's in your..." interviews with characters. I enjoyed looking through all those.
If you've had a rough day and you need to escape to a simpler place, pick this up. I'll be doing that with the earlier books in the series.
Thanks to FSB Associates for sending me a copy for review.
Lumby on the Air is officially published today!
Read the first chapter.
Gail Fraser on her Lumby website and her blog. Hank the avian Lumby mascot has his own page. Join the Lumby Circle of Friends.
Buy on IndieBound or Better World Books.
The Lumby Lines
The Promise of Lumby
Lumby on the Air