The Hideaway

The Hideaway

by Laura K. Denton

Overview:When her grandmother’s will wrenches Sara back home, she learns more about Margaret Van Buren in the wake of her death than she ever knew in life.

After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags’s ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay, Alabama. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed The Hideaway to her and charged her with renovating it—no small task considering her grandmother’s best friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still live there.

Rather than hurrying back to New Orleans, Sara stays in Sweet Bay and begins the biggest house-rehabbing project of her career. Amid drywall dust, old memories, and a charming contractor, she discovers that slipping back into life at The Hideaway is easier than she expected.

Then she discovers a box Mags left in the attic with clues to a life Sara never imagined for her grandmother. With help from Mags’s friends, Sara begins to piece together the mysterious life of bravery, passion, and choices that changed her grandmother’s destiny in both marvelous and devastating ways.

When an opportunistic land developer threatens to seize The Hideaway, Sara is forced to make a choice—stay in Sweet Bay and fight for the house and the people she’s grown to love or leave again and return to her successful but solitary life in New Orleans.

Deanna Boe (05/06/19): This is a wonderful story of love and loss. It is a superb novel, especially when you consider it is the first for this author. It was written in 2017, and she has already published two more which I have waiting for me to read. I can’t imagine I will be disappointed. This is not a Danielle Steele type of book; it has a storyline that we all can relate to and feel. I have a feeling the vast majority of “we women” have experienced some love at an early age that did not work out for whatever reason. Do we go on to learn to love someone else, or is there always a yearning for what might have been? In this story it is a yearning for what should have been.

Sara Jenkins is the granddaughter of the woman who lost this love, although she did not know anything about it until she returned to her grandmother’s Bed and Breakfast after her grandmother had passed away. Sara was anxious to return to New Orleans where she owned and ran a successful antique store. When she learned she had inherited her grandmother’s Bed and Breakfast it was her decision to simply fix it up enough to sell. Sara learns bits and pieces about her grandmother’s life and finally it all falls together at the same time that she, too, finds love in this Bed and Breakfast, better known as “The Hideaway.”

The grandmother’s name was Margaret who was married to a man who enjoyed outside relationships. They lived in New Orleans. When he finally slipped off to what seemed like a permanent move, Margaret had already packed her bags to do the same. Margaret, simply by chance, ended up staying at “The Hideaway.” It was located across the bay from Mobile, Alabama. The Hideaway use to be a very popular place for people to come during the winter months to get away from the cold. Unfortunately, it was slowly slipping in its elegance and now attracted a somewhat different clientele, artists etc. One of the people staying there was a man who crafted beautiful woodwork. To make a long story short, they fell in love; he was the one who gave her the name Maggie or Megs.

What happened to this love? Why didn’t they stay together? Why did Margaret/Megs not return to New Orleans and instead stayed in Sweet Bay, Alabama and buy “The Hideaway?” I won’t tell you any more, you will simply have to read this delightful story of love and loss which ends with a happy ending. Don’t we all like that?
Rating: ****+

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