A Place to Remember (Jenn J. McLeod) – book review

I’ve been a Jenn J. McLeod fan since her first book came out back in 2013 and later this year I’ll have the pleasure of meeting her in person at the Serenity Press retreat I’m co-hosting (and I’ll be interviewing her on stage at Stories on Stage). A Place to Remember is her fifth book and it’s a return to the lost love theme she does so well, with star-crossed lovers torn apart by meddling parents, self-doubt, and life-changing circumstances.

This is the blurb:

A man loses five years of his life. Two women are desperate for him to remember.

Running away for the second time in her life, twenty-seven-year-old Ava believes the cook’s job at a country B&B is perfect until she meets the owner’s son, John Tate. At twenty, the fifth generation grazier is a beguiling blend of both man, boy and a terrible flirt. With their connection immediate and intense, they begin a clandestine affair right under the noses of John’s formidable parents.

Thirty years later, Ava returns to Candlebark Creek with her daughter, Nina, who is determined to meet her mother’s lost love for herself. While struggling to find her own place in the world, Nina discovers an urban myth about a love-struck man, a forgotten engagement ring, and a dinner reservation back in the eighties. Now she must decide if revealing the truth will hurt more than it heals.

Come home to the country, to Candlebark Creek, and to the Ivy-May Homestead—a fifth-generation Queensland cattle station hiding three decades of secrets and lies.

Throughout, there are subtle questions – can the spark of lost love ever be rekindled (and stay alight), or should the past stay in the past? The layered story reveals itself slowly, as if a curtain was being drawn back on a window, allowing the reader to peek in for a closer look and feel more deeply for the characters as they battle questions of age and circumstance as much as dilemmas of the heart. An enjoyable read that shows Jenn has not lost her spark!

Monique Mulligan
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