The Widow of Larkspur Inn, Lawana Blackwell, 2007. (1998)
I really, really enjoyed this one. It was just a satisfying read through and through. A young woman, a widow, the mother of three children is 'forced' to leave London when her husband's gambling debts cause the bank to foreclose on her home. The good news? The family isn't completely destitute. The banker tells her there is a piece of property--a former Inn--that hasn't been lived in for over eight years. It wasn't deemed *valuable* enough to sell in their opinion, but they tell her that it should do as a home for her and her children. So a woman with three children--ranging from eleven or twelve to five or six--goes to the country--to a small village to make a new start. They're not completely alone in the world. There is one maid that is accompanying them, an Irish woman, who owes her gratitude and friendship to the woman for saving her from a horrible life. The butler also loans his former mistress a sum of money and encourages her to turn this former Inn into a lodging residence, a boarding house if you will. With help--both human and divine--she is beginning to make her way in this world and finally begin to start living life on her own terms. Can a woman and her family start over? Find peace? Find love? Find joy? Read and see. This is a wonderful, wonderful novel!