Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Downsizing by Lin Stepp, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Downsizing Series: Mountain Home Books #2 Author: Lin Stepp Publisher: Mountain Hill Press Release Date: April 1, 2021 Genre: Clean/Sweet Contemporary Romance
Forced to suddenly downsize her life, and not by choice, pushes Mary Pat Latham to give up all that is familiar, to reexamine her life in every area, and to eventually open her heart to new beauty and purpose, instead of only looking back in regret.At midlife, Mary Pat Latham has an almost perfect life—a successful husband, a beautiful home, four fine grown children, and a wealth of meaningful activities and social clubs to fill her days—so it’s a total shock when her husband walks in one day and says he wants a divorce. As if hearing a stranger talking in her own kitchen, Mary Pat listens to Russell’s reasons for wanting to abandon their long marriage and to his plans, already in place, to sell their home and move on. What will she do? Where will she go? She hasn’t worked since the children were born, her life wrapped up in home and family. Stunned, Mary Pat heads to the small mountain home she and Russell bought from her parents years ago, too shocked and humiliated to face her friends or anyone she knows right now. Owen McCarter knew he’d need to stop by the old Jennings place, on some pretense or other, after Wheeler told him he’d seen a woman up there acting sick. After all, the house was next door to his at the end of Highland Drive. When he knocked on the front door later, it took him a minute to recognize Mary Pat, weeping and so different from the girl he’d known in childhood and fallen in love with. Owen reached out in friendship, of course, seeing Mary Pat so upset, but he felt surprised at the old memories that touched him, too. Hearing her problems and learning why she’d come to the mountains, Owen knew it unlikely she’d stay for long after the more lavish life she’d known. But he couldn’t help wishing she would. Another Lin Stepp novel set in the Smoky Mountains … with a special “Downsizing Diet” available free to readers as a book supplement.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image credit Katie Riley
(1) winner will receive a Tennesee gift pack including a print copy of Downsizing by Lin Stepp, The Afternoon Hiker and Discovering Tennessee State Parks by J.L. & Lin Stepp, and a Great Smoky Mountains National Park pocket guide!
Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight April 5, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on April 12, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
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My review of Downsizing
Mary Pat has had a lovely, decades-long marriage. Her husband is a surgeon. They’ve raised four wonderful children and live in a nice home in a well-to-do neighborhood. Her days are filled with clubs and volunteering. She’s frosting a cake for a meeting when her husband Russell comes home, sits across from her in the kitchen, and tells her he wants a divorce and that he’s already got an offer for their home. (And also, by the way, that she’s put on too much weight.) To say she’s shocked would be an understatement.
Heartsick, Mary Pat takes her dog and flees to her parents’ home in the Tennessee mountains, where she grew up. Her first few weeks aren’t that awesome. Grieving her upcoming divorce, she is also reminded (quite rudely) by several people that she is not the fit, slender twirler she was in college. In fact, she’s quite overweight.
She also has a run-in with…a bear.
City life did not prepare her for all this trauma! But Mary Pat does find kindness in a nearby neighbor, an also-divorced high school former boyfriend, Owen, who has returned to the mountains to work and live near his sister and father. Mary Pat is most definitely not interested in a relationship, especially after discovering that Russell plans to remarry right after their divorce is final.
But, life is full of changes. And there are indeed changes ahead for Mary Pat. Faith, hope, and perhaps even love are ahead of her as she sets out to rebuild her broken life and discard the weights that have held her down and back.
Downsizing captures the down-home beauty and comfort of life in the Tennessee mountains. It reminds readers that new dreams can be built after old ones are swept away. Also, that our faithful God is still there even when people fail us; and that while not all people are trustworthy, sometimes we find faithful friends where we’d least expect them. In fact, my favorite quote in the book mentions the encouragement we can find in community: “…but when you’re around people of strong faith, it builds your own faith up. I read a quote once that said you can only be lifted up to higher ground by people who walk there.”
Words for Mary Pat to live by…and for us as well!
Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.