The story of Jenna takes us back to the beloved Lake Summers. Where the small town’s charm brings summer vacationers year after year. The Bluebell Girls is the second of the Lake Summers series but can be read as a stand alone and I have read the first of the series earlier this year as well. The Bluebell Girls allows us into Jenna’s world where she is overcoming a recent divorce by taking her daughter Sophie to her mother’s, Sweet’s house in Lake Summers. The same house she grew up in and where she fell in love with the neighbour’s oldest son, Troy when she was 17. But that was a long time ago and now she came back to Lake Summers to start afresh and to care for her ailing mother. Sweet’s memory isn’t the same but it doesn’t stop her from sharing a story with her granddaughter of her first love. While Sophie hunts for the mysterious letters through boxes in the basement that would reveal who Sweet’s first love was, Jenna starts her job at the local newspaper to help them get settled in their potential new home. Little did Jenna know that Troy had moved back to his childhood home next door and they were reunited again; forced to remember and face that fateful night where their young love was forever changed. Troy came back to his first home to start a new lift anew where he didn’t have to feel obligated or connected to anyone. But soon Troy reluctantly finds that the connection he felt for Jenna many years ago cannot be squashed.
I would state this is a nice women’s fictional novel. It had the elements of romance, connection, family and memories. Although I was hoping for a bit more of a love story, it was enjoyable to read about Sophie and Sweet's relationship as they grew closer. The element of mystery regarding Sweet’s first love and her letters also added a nice touch and made the story more interesting.
I enjoyed Josselsohn’s style of writing when she wrote about the character’s reflections on their surroundings and circumstances. I wanted a little bit more from the story outside of wanting more about the love story, but just not quite able to put my finger on what was missing, but I felt yearning for more. The tidbits of past memories that tied in the past with the present with Troy’s and Jenna’s story was intriguing, but again, I wanted more.
Overall, this story was an enjoyable story about family ties and lost loves; despite leaving you wanting more out of it.
Three generations. One summer that will change everything. Growing up in Lake Summers, Jenna and her mother Sweet were known as the bluebell girls. Jenna was carefree, always running barefoot through their wildflower garden, and no one expected her to live in their little lake house in the Adirondack Mountains forever. But when Sweet’s health declines Jenna must return from her life near New York, and with her own daughter Sophie in tow, their family home comes to life again. Away from the stress of her recent divorce, Jenna finds comfort in lazy afternoons along the water and long nights watching Sweet tell Sophie stories about her long-lost loves. And when she meets Sweet’s new next-door neighbour Troy, she recognizes him instantly as the boy with whom she shared her first kiss. Seeing Troy reminds Jenna of just how reckless she once was, but as their feelings resurface, so do the secrets they hide about a tragedy in their past. And with Sweet and Sophie closer than ever before, Jenna is forced to make a choice: will she flee again, or is she finally brave enough to be honest with Troy and settle down in Lake Summers forever? An unforgettable romance that will whisk you away to the sunny shores of Lake Summers. Perfect for fans of Carolyn Brown, Debbie Macomber, Mary Alice Monroe and anyone who’s ever dreamed of rekindling a long-lost love.
Barbara Josselsohn is an award-winning journalist and novelist who loves crafting stories about strong protagonists facing a fork in the road. Her novels center around second chances, family relationships and, of course, romance. She is the author of the Lake Summers series set in the fictional town of Lake Summers, nestled in the Adirondacks Mountains, which includes the books The Lilac House and The Bluebell Girls. Before joining with Bookouture, she published The Last Dreamer, a women’s-fiction novel from Lake Union Publishing, along with hundreds of articles and essays in major and regional publications about family, home and relationships. She lives just north of New York City and enjoys escaping to the beach or the mountains whenever she can. Other than writing, her biggest passion is her family: husband, her three kids, and her indefatigable shih-poo!