BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Bea Reviews The Sugarhouse Blues by Mariah Stewart

Bea's Book Nook, The Sugarhouse Blues, Mariah Stewart, Review
Series: The Hudson Sisters #2
Publisher: Gallery Books
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: May 15th, 2018
Buying Links: Amazon* | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository*  | iBooks* |
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

This is the second novel of the Hudson Sisters series.

Allie, Des, and Cara, each having her own reasons for wanting a share of their father's estate, meet in the grand Victorian home in which he grew up, only to be greeted by another secret he purposely hid from them: his sister Bonnie. The women reluctantly band together to take on Fritz's challenge, working with a local contractor to begin the renovations financed by an account Fritz had set up for the task. While the restoration appears to go smoothly at first, it soon becomes apparent that the work will be more extensive than originally thought, and Des, elected to handle the money, needs to find ways to stretch out the remaining savings while searching for new sources of funding.

As strangers linked only by their DNA try to become a family, the Hudson sisters also try to come to terms with the father they only thought they knew. In the process, each woman discovers her own capacity for understanding, forgiveness, love, and the true meaning of family.

My Thoughts:

Allie, Cara, and Des, the Hudson sisters, want to collect their share of their late father’s estate. To do that, they've moved to his hometown and live together with their aunt Barney, their father's sister. Additionally, in order to collect, they have to work together to renovate the family’s movie theater and they are on a tight budget. A severe rain storm damages the roof and part of some painted artwork on the ceiling. As they figure out how to deal with this setback, they also make progress both on mending and forging familial bonds, with each other and with their aunt.

Middle sister Des is in charge of the renovation's finances. She wants to stay on budget, get closer to her older sister Allie, and become close with their recently discovered half-sister Cara. She also want to return home to her house in Montana and the dog rescue she runs. But as she and her sisters deal with the theater, they start to put down roots in the small Eastern town of Hidden Falls. Des and Allie share secrets and begin to mend festering hurts. Stewart doesn't have everything suddenly become all rainbows and unicorns (though those are good, too) but portrays their growth realistically with ups and downs, setbacks and
accomplishments. I loved seeing Allie finally own up to her flaws and to begin to think of people besides herself and her daughter. Her book is next and I'm looking forward to it.

As in the first book, we get a romance. Des becomes involved with local farmer Seth. She resists at first because he isn't her type, or so she thinks. But as she gets to know him better, she begins to appreciate him more. But she's still planning on leaving when the theater renovation is done and is hesitant to get involved. Cara is involved with a local man and planning on staying but will Des give up her life in Montana? Will she get past her fears? Will all three sisters become close and be a family?

"The Sugarhouse Blues" is part family drama, part mystery (their father's many secrets, missing jewelry, and a possibly mysterious death), and part romance. The romance is low key and sweet as is the whole story. There are emotional revelations, a few secrets released, but this is a slow, sometimes meandering, story of discovery, of family, of emotional ties, and of acceptance. It won't make your heart race but it will make you smile and feel good.


  1. I enjoyed this one and definitely agree about the feel good part! I'm really excited for the 3rd book. It'll be interesting to see how it all wraps up.

    1. I'm also curious to see how it wraps up.


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