Hurricane Season, by Lauren K. Denton (2018)

Contemporary Fiction
Adult
Hurricane Season, by Lauren K. DentonSisters Jenna and Betsy were close growing up, but have grown distant as adults. Betsy and Ty operate Franklin Dairy Farm in Mobile, Alabama, struggling with their relationship as they have been unable to conceive. Meanwhile, Jenna is a single mum in Nashville, raising two sweet girls on a barista’s salary. When a mentor offers Jenna the chance to reconnect with her photography passion, she decides to take it. But the girls will need looking after for a couple of weeks, and Jenna pressures her older sister to help out. Betsy gives in, without telling Ty, who is distracted by the pending hurricane season as well as the usual farmer troubles with tractors and calving. To be honest, nothing much happens in this novel – it’s a character study more than anything, but it’s still a captivating read. Most of the story is from Betsy’s point of view, though we also get POVs from Jenna and to a lesser extent, Ty. I really liked that Denton didn’t cast Jenna as a selfish person choosing personal/artistic fulfillment over responsibility – that would have been quite easy to do. She gives the 20-something sister a full voice, motivated by a desire to give her daughters a better life and model for them what she’d never received from her own parents – encouragement and confidence. I do enjoy southern fiction – this is a languid read that encourages slow enjoyment of the story, preferably in a shady spot with a lemonade or chilled amber beer at your side. Metaphors abound – hens whose eggs are for food rather than reproduction, impacting children’s lives through school visits to the farm, and even making potato salad – combining separate things to make something new and whole and one might argue, better than the individual parts. The titular threat of a hurricane hangs over the book, but the real story here is about relationships – everyone wants things better, so you can’t even say they are stormy. A relaxing summer read with slow pacing and more character than plot. My thanks to publisher Thomas Nelson for the advance reading copy provided digitally through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
More discussion and reviews of this novel: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39085216
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