Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Review: "Glory Road" by Lauren K. Denton

Though I most often gravitate toward romance, I do love a good family story now and again, especially one that deals with several generations of women. Glory Road is one such story.

The only thing certain is change—even in a place as steady as Perry, Alabama, on a street as old as Glory Road.

Nearly a decade after her husband’s affair drove her back home to South Alabama, Jessie McBride has the stable life she wants—operating her garden shop, Twig, next door to her house on Glory Road, and keeping up with her teenage daughter and spunky mother. But the unexpected arrival of two men makes Jessie question whether she’s really happy with the status quo. When handsome, wealthy businessman Sumner Tate asks her to arrange flowers for his daughter’s lavish wedding, Jessie finds herself drawn to his continued attention. Then Ben Bradley, her lingering what-could-have-been from high school, moves back to the red dirt road, and she feels her heart pulled in directions she never expected.

Meanwhile, Jessie’s fourteen-year-old daughter, Evan, is approaching the start of high school and navigating a new world of emotions—particularly as they relate to the cute new guy who’s moved in just down the road. At the same time, Jessie’s mother, Gus, is suffering increasingly frequent memory lapses and faces a frightening, uncertain future. Once again, Jessie feels her protected and predictable life shifting.

In one summer, everything will change. But for these three strong Southern women, the roots they’ve planted on Glory Road will give life to the adventures waiting just around the curve.

Glory Road is a beautiful, slowly-paced story about three strong women from one family: 38-year-old Jessie, who returned to her hometown following her divorce; Jessie's 14-year-old daughter Evan, just about to begin her freshman year of high school; and Jessie's swiftly-approaching-70 mother Gus, who's desperately trying to hide her declining health from Jessie and Evan. The chapters alternate among the three women, and I found myself especially drawn to Jessie's chapters.

There is, of course, romance involved, and I really enjoyed where love (or like, in Evan's case) took each woman. Ben, Jessie's "one that got away," was especially wonderful, and I adored Gus's love story.

This book is fairly long (349 pages), but I actually would've liked for it to be longer! Especially near the end of the novel, there are several time jumps of a week, two weeks, or even a month or more, and I felt like I was missing something! I just wanted to spend more time immersed in the lives of the McBride women.

Glory Road is my first Lauren K. Denton novel, but it won't be my last. (I own her two other books already; now I just need to find the time to read them!) It's a beautiful, comforting, sweetly Southern novel that I won't soon forget. 4-1/2 stars.

Note (possible trigger): Gus is dealing with the early stages of dementia. Stories that include a dementia plot are difficult for me, as my dear grandpa, though never officially diagnosed, most likely had Alzheimer's. Watching him slip away—and watching my grandma deal with his illness—was heartbreaking and incredibly difficult. (And here I am, tearing up as I type those words, even though it's been more than 16 years since his death.) I have to say, though, that reading about Gus's illness wasn't as difficult as I feared, and I think that's largely due to Denton's choice to end the novel before Gus became incredibly ill, for which I am very grateful.

Buy the book: Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble
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Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Lauren K. Denton now lives with her husband and two daughters in Homewood, just outside Birmingham. In addition to her fiction, she writes a monthly newspaper column about life, faith, and how funny (and hard) it is to be a parent. On any given day, she’d rather be at the beach with her family and a stack of books. Her debut novel, THE HIDEAWAY, was a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Amazon Charts bestseller. Her second novel, HURRICANE SEASON, released in spring of 2018, is a USA Today bestseller. GLORY ROAD will release in March, 2019.

.Connect with Lauren: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through TLC Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

1 comment:

  1. I think dementia is such a hard subject to cover in a book but it sounds like this author did a really good job navigating that. This book sounds absolutely stunning. Thank you for being on the tour!

    Sara @ TLC Book Tours


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