Hometown Girl (2017) is a novel newly released by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Courtney Walsh. This must-read novel comes in all forms including eBook, and is 382 pages in length. With a full-time job and a very energetic and busy five-year old, this story took me three days to read. I give this novel 5 STARS. This story is a Contemporary Christian Romance.
About the Book
Beth Whitaker isn’t supposed to be a small-town girl. She’s always dreamed of leaving Willow Grove, Illinois, for the big city, but she feels trapped, struggling to make up for a mistake that’s haunted her for years. Just when Beth is finally ready to break free, her sister impulsively buys a beloved but run-down farm on the outskirts of town, and she begs Beth to help with the restoration. Reluctantly, Beth agrees to help—and puts her own dreams on hold once again.
Drew Barlow hasn’t been back to Fairwind Farm since he was a boy, and he’s spent all these years trying to outrun the pain of a past he thought he buried long ago. When he learns that the owner has passed away, his heart knows it’s finally time to do the right thing. Returning to Willow Grove, Drew revisits the old farm, where he attempts to piece together his memories and the puzzle of the crime he witnessed so long ago.
Both on a journey to find peace, Beth and Drew are surprised when they begin to experience a restoration of their own. But when long-buried secrets break through the soil and the truth unfurls, will it threaten their budding relationship—and the very future of the farm?
This is another fabulous and flawless novel by Courtney Walsh. I absolutely love this story, and I relate to the main character, Beth, SO much. This is a redemption story, a story about taking second chances and learning to lean on God. A lesson I am personally grateful for every day.
Beth Whitaker is a very serious young woman. Having fun is a foreign concept to her because there is always more work that needs to be perfectly completed. She is the type of woman who does not ever show weakness, admit mistakes, or ask for help. Gracious me, it was like looking into a mirror as I was reading this story. I know what it is like to get it into your head that making mistakes equates to total failure. I have no idea where it came from, perhaps because I am the oldest child in my family, but I used to have this crazy notion in my head that if I made a mistake I would be unlovable. I believed that those I loved would be so disappointed in me because of the mistake they would totally give up on me. This is crazy thinking, but for most of my teen to young adult years this message played on loop in my brain. I was so uptight and defensive, and had three ulcers before I was 25. Beth is like this at the start of the book. Over the course of the novel, she finally realizes that holding on to fear and doubt and insecurity, and hiding the truth about mistakes made in the past, lead to a very cold and lonely life. Beth learns that true peace comes when we turn all of our baggage over to God. When Beth realizes this — it’s a very beautiful moment in an old church — I cried my eyeballs dry. It was such a cathartic moment for me that I had to go back and reread the entire chapter again!
And then, there is Drew! Oh my is he the perfect hero. Drew was a victim of a horrible crime when he was a ten-year old boy. Adults did not deal with the situation very well, and because of this he completely turned into himself and became a shadow of a man. But, he is SO sweet and hard working and good. He’s so well written that the reader can feel the pain and sadness and frustration that radiates from him. I will not explain any of the plot because I really think this book needs to be experienced with ZERO hints from this review, but the relationship that develops between Drew and Beth is lovely. Both struggle with so much, but they both reach the place where they don’t want to anymore. After so long being one way, how do you change into something new? The answer is through hard work, communicating and opening up a bit, and trusting God’s path. And, in this novel, after Beth and Drew figure this out, happily ever after is actually possible.
Drew and Beth’s journey to redemption is a wonderful, realistic, sometimes really painful journey. Ms. Walsh did an impeccable job creating truly authentic characters whom I related to so much. I am truly sorry this story has come to its end. I want more!!! I cannot recommend this novel enough. Purchase this book today — you will not be disappointed. And, maybe buy a box of tissue while you’re at is because there are some heart wrenching, tearful moments.