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Book Review: The Lumby Lines: A Novel by Gail Fraser

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This was by far one of the most delightful books I have read in a long time.

The Lumby Lines: A Novel is much more than a story set in a little town; rather, it's the story of a small town. The author provides for a wonderful journey straight into the heart of Lumby as well as an exploration of the nature of what makes small towns anything but boring. For those of you who know the show, Lumby Line: A Nobel reminds me a lot of the Canadian TV show Corner Gas; by the last page of this book, just like by the end of the first season of Corner Gas, you feel like you know everyone who lives in this quaint yet quirky little town. In fact, it sometimes almost feels like you actually live in there.

Lumby is called home by many attention-grabbing characters whose antics quickly carve them a place in the reader's heart. It's a small town in the Northwest nestled amongst rolling hills, and the kind of place where nothing happens.

That is, until the day East coasters Pam and Mark Walker arrive in town.

Overworked and exhausted, the Walkers' marriage is starting to fall apart just as their health starts suffering from their typical East Coast go-go-go attitude. And so, on their annual get-away, they come across beautiful Montis Abbey, an abandoned place, a large chunk of which has been burned to the ground, surrounded by plus, peach and apple orchards. The couple decides to snap it up, restore both the place and its orchards, and reopen it as an inn, whose operations will be supported by money made from selling the orchards' fruits. They leave before relatively anonymous big city life and high paying jobs to settle in what they hope is going to be restorative small town life.

Of course it's a lot easier than it sounds. After all, while living in a small town has a great many perks, one of the downsides is that it can take some time for residents to warm up to strangers. Mark and Pam are faced with a town wary of newcomers and suspicious of their real intentions. And suddenly, mysterious occurrences are keeping the work from being completed at Montis Abbey. Tension rises in the Walker couple, as their entire savings have gone into the operation.

The plotline is delightfully simple yet well written, and the characters are lovable; but that only is part of the charm. For another thing that The Lumby Lines: A Novel does it to prove a certain theory wrong: that a book meant to escape one's day-to-day life thoroughly has to be pure fluff to be enjoyable and relaxing. A very well-written light fiction filled with great moments of reflection, The Lumby Lines: A Novel is a great way to spend a relaxing, lazy summer afternoon swinging in a hammock. While simply composed, the writing flows like a dream, including witty and fast-paced dialog, resulting in a carefully woven tale that brings to life small town life and quirkiness.

A blend of mystery and romance, The Lumby Lines: A Novel is a book you will read throughout, turning the last page with a deep sigh of contentment and a smile on your face.

It's a good thing that this book is only the first in a series!

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