Title: The Wedding Tree by Robin Wells
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 424 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
National bestselling author Robin Wells weaves a moving epic that stretches from modern-day Louisiana to World War II-era New Orleans and back again in this multigenerational tale of love, loss and redemption.
Hope Stevens thinks Wedding Tree, Louisiana, will be the perfect place to sort out her life and all the mistakes she’s made. Plus, it will give her the chance to help her free-spirited grandmother, Adelaide, sort through her things before moving into assisted living.
Spending the summer in the quaint town, Hope begins to discover that Adelaide has made some mistakes of her own. And as they go through her belongings, her grandmother recalls the wartime romance that left her torn between two men and haunted by a bone-chilling secret. Now she wants Hope’s help in uncovering the truth before it’s too late.
Filled with colorful characters, The Wedding Tree is an emotionally riveting story about passion, shattered dreams, unexpected renewal and forgiveness—not only for others, but for ourselves.
The Wedding Tree by Robin Wells is a captivating tale of love, loss, forgiveness and healing.
At loose ends following the collapse of her marriage and the loss of her business, Hope Stevens volunteers to help her grandmother Adelaide sort through her belongings before moving into assisted living. Needing to find answers about an incident from her past, Adelaide recounts a long ago romance with a dashing World War II pilot and the events that led to her marriage to her late husband, Charlie. In between her duties for her grandmother, Hope works on the mural she is painting for Adelaide’s next door neighbor, Matt Lyons, a widowed father of two young daughters. Despite their inauspicious first meeting, she and Matt begin dating, but with Hope planning to return to Chicago once her grandmother moves, will their romance end in heartbreak?
Although Hope loved spending summers with her grandmother in Wedding Tree, LA, she and her late mother, Becky, lived permanently in Chicago. Following her mother’s unexpected death three years earlier, Hope rushed into marriage only to have her heart broken when she finds out her husband is cheating on her. With her confidence shaken by her misjudgment of the man she loved, her self-esteem is also low due to her ex-husband’s dismissive and derisive comments about her artwork. Spending time with her grandmother is a balm to her wounded spirit and with Adelaide’s gentle encouragement, Hope is excited about her upcoming project painting a mural for Matt’s daughters.
World War II afforded Adelaide the unheard of opportunity to take a job working in the dark room of a newspaper after her high school sweetheart, Charlie, goes off to war. Excited to finally get out from under her parents’ watchful eye, Adelaide enjoyed volunteering for the local USO where she eventually meets and falls in love with pilot Joe Madison. Her whirlwind romance comes to an abrupt end when Joe ships out for the Pacific and when the unthinkable happens, she reluctantly marries Charlie and returns to Wedding Tree. Their marriage is tempestuous and veers wildly between seething resentment and periods of contentment. However, Adelaide is haunted by a long ago incident and with the uncertainty of what happened now weighing heavily on her mind, she is hoping that Hope will be able to help her find the answers she is searching for.
Matt is through the worst of his grief by the time he meets Hope but he is still taken off guard by his attraction to his lovely neighbor. Hope is the complete opposite of the women he usually dates and he is surprised by how easy she is to talk to. Their friendship gradually transitions to dating but with both of them aware she is only in town temporarily, they agree to keep things casual between them. Matt soon realizes he has become emotionally invested in their relationship but Hope continually deflects his efforts to discuss their future. Hope is afraid to risk her heart but will Matt convince her to change her mind?
Written from alternating points of view, The Wedding Tree by Robin Wells is a heartwarming and uplifting novel that is quite riveting. The characters are vibrantly developed and immensely appealing. With plenty of small town charm and an intriguing storyline, this powerful story of healing is sure to be a hit with readers who enjoy multi-generational family sagas.