The Inn at Hidden Run by Olivia Newport

Meri has run away from her stressful life and all of her family's pressure to become a doctor. She ends up at the Inn and Hidden Run Bed and Breakfast where she meets Jillian the genealogist and her father, Nolan, the mediation lawyer. As they become friends, Jillian and Nolan try to help Meri face her family struggles in The Inn at Hidden Run by Olivia Newport. Jillian helps the family reconsider their traditions as they look at today's challenges through a view at the past. We follow a dual timeline to get a feel for the people who influenced Meri's family many years ago and take a look at Meri's family struggles today.

I enjoyed The Inn at Hidden Run as a whole. The characters were interesting small town people. I didn't like them all to start with but the two that I struggled to like grew on me a bit more by the end of the book. Since this is the first book in a four book series, it will be interesting to see how the characters grow and develop throughout the series. The plot in this book wasn't a real page turner--instead it was just interesting to read both the modern day timeline and the historical timeline. I especially like the historical timeline because it made me aware of some history I didn't know. I did like that Meri faced her family and the story showed them working out their differences in the end. However, they also understand it would take time to continue to make changes and face challenges in a new way. It seemed realistic to me there. I also liked the gentle spiritual theme running through both the modern and the historical timelines. Along that line, I liked the blessing Nolan taught the family at meal times, "May you always find nourishment for your body at the table. May sustenance for your spirit rise and fill you with each dawn. And may life always feed you with the light of joy along the way." Beautiful! I also like the author's note with some of the actual history at the end of the book and the sneak peek at book 2, In the Cradle Lies.


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