Rose, Naomi, Mary Lucille, and Gayle: after forming the Prayer Tree circle, they have started to drift apart, each consumed in her own life. Naomi misses her friends. She misses the connection they had as a group. But, Naomi has a plan. Each year, New Bethany has the Splendor Belle Gala. A time-honored tradition, it started off as the way young ladies were introduced into society. These days, it’s basically a fundraiser for the holiday season.
Legend has it that old Grace Grayson-Wiley was stood up on the night of her ball, over 50 years ago. Hard times, having hit one of the town’s most prominent families, “the family’s entire future rested squarely and irrefutably on the shoulders of the petite eighteen-year-old Grace. She had to go the Belle Gala to meet and mingle, with hope to win the marriageable intentions of the only kind of man that could save her family from their predicament.”
After a brief marriage, widowed Grace returned home, and sits on her porch each year in the gown she had worn that fateful night, waiting for the date that never came.
Naomi has an idea for a “project” that will bring her circle of friends back together, and one that will, hopefully, bring some life back to Grace- if she doesn’t shoot them first.
This book had me chuckling from the beginning. This book is filled with characters, but there was no getting lost and mixing up who was who. All of the story lines, I thought, were well presented and very nicely wrapped up at the end. Normally, I’m not a fan of stories within stories, because I think they are usually presented in a way where I feel like the characters are lacking. Not so with this title!
I would definitely recommend this as good reading. I’m inclined, too, to go back and find the first book in this series, because these are heartwarming characters that ring of authenticity.
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
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