The Late Bloomers’ Club
By Louise Miller
Nora, the owner of the Miss Guthrie diner, is perfectly happy serving up apple cider donuts, coffee, and eggs-any-way-you-like-em to her regulars, and she takes great pleasure in knowing exactly what’s “the usual.” But her life is soon shaken when she discovers she and her younger, free-spirited sister Kit stand to inherit the home and land of the town’s beloved cake lady, Peggy Johnson.
Kit, an aspiring–and broke–filmmaker needs to generate funding for her latest project, and is particularly keen when they find out Peggy was in the process of selling the land to a big-box developer before her death. The people of Guthrie are divided–some want the opportunities the development will bring, while others are staunchly against any change–and they aren’t afraid to leave their opinions with their tips.
Time is running out, and the sisters need to make a decision soon. But Nora isn’t quite ready to let go of the land, complete with a charming farmhouse, an ancient apple orchard and clues to a secret life that no one knew Peggy had.
Troubled by the conflicting needs of the town, and confused by her growing feelings towards Elliot, the big-box developer, Nora throws herself into solving the one problem that everyone in town can agree on–finding Peggy’s missing dog, Freckles.
When a disaster strikes the diner, the community of Guthrie bands together to help her, and Nora discovers that doing the right thing doesn’t always mean giving up your dreams. (Goodreads)
I enjoyed The Late Bloomers’ Club. It is perfect for curling up with a cozy beverage on a cool day and losing yourself in the heartwarming, charming story about two sisters, a small town community, and a lost dog.
“Chick lit” is not my go-to genre of fiction, but, seeking something different from the mysteries I tend to read, I was attracted to the cover blurb of The Late Bloomers’ Club. It does have a bit of a mystery thrown in – why did local cake lady Peggy Johnson leave her home and estate to Nora and Kit? – but the majority of the book focuses on the sisters’ relationship. There is a little romance thrown in for good measure and a bit of conflict.
I am a lot like the responsible sister Nora who took over the family diner when her father died. She and her free spirited sister Kit could not be more different from each other, and this contrast plays a big role in the story. They are on opposite sides of an issue involving their inheritance – Kit wants to sell the land to a big box store and take the money and run while Nora really takes her community and her nostalgia for the farm into account. Honestly, Kit annoyed me, but she did also grow on me. Kit’s boyfriend Max is a highlight of the book. He is unconventional and surprisingly wise, and who wouldn’t like a man who can bake a darn tasty cake? Elliot, the big box company’s representative and Nora’s love interest is likable and a really decent guy when not influenced by his employer. Peggy, though she dies within the first few pages of the tale, is also an interesting, private character. The revelations Nora discovers about Peggy are poignant. And, of course, Peggy’s dog Freckles is a notable character, helping to bring the community together.
Is the story rather predictable? Yes, it is. Is the ending a little too easily resolved? Yes. Is the entire book told through rose colored glasses? Why, yes. Nonetheless, it is a uplifting, satisfying read.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*