Author Amanda Cox takes readers on inspiring and heartwarming journey in her second novel, The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery. Last year Amanda Cox's debut novel, The Edge of Belonging, completely blew me away, and I was equally impressed by her sophomore novel. Amanda Cox has become a must-read author for me.
This time slip novel follows the present-day storyline of Sarah Ashby as she returns home with the wish to help her mother and grandmother run Old Depot Grocery. The second storyline takes readers back to 1965 when Sarah's grandmother Glory Ann was nineteen and spans throughout Glory Ann's adult life. Secrets follow the three generations of women and explores the mother-daughter relationships through the years.
This is the perfect women's fiction novel with a light romantic thread and an emotional thought-provoking storyline that will tug at the readers' heartstrings. The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery is highly recommended for fans of dual timeline novels, women’s fiction, and readers who enjoy contemporary romance. This novel is sure to be on my top ten list of books for 2021.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.
Such a heartfelt story that had me in tears at times.
Three generations of stubborn southern women that are holding secrets they don’t want to let go of for fear of hurting the ones they love. But true healing comes from bringing the secrets from darkness into the light. We long to find someone who sees us as we really are and accept us and love us. Why is it so hard to accept help from our loved ones? “Happiness doesn’t come from ‘big whatevers’. It comes from the everyday choice to embrace the beauty in the little things.”
I fell in love with the setting of this book, the focal point being The Old Depot Grocery. The squeaky, uneven floors brought back long ago memories of a similar store in my father’s hometown and a general store across the street from me when I lived in rural, northern Wisconsin. I could picture the old relic that Nan and Sarah wanted to preserve.
The faith element underpinned the story, shown in the lives of selfless Clarence and steady Clay as well as the background of the other characters. The rest of the family depicted is so believable they could have been my friends and neighbors.
Many lessons to ponder in this wonderful novel. Lessons on love , forgiveness, redemption and hope amidst tragedy. “Time doesn’t magically heal wounds all by itself. Sometimes hurt leaves a gaping place, and the only thing for it is to stitch it back together and learn to live with the scars.”
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own. 5 stars, solid faith underpinning.
I didn’t read Amanda Cox’s debut novel, but after reading The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery, I am definitely going to pick it up! This story is deeply layered with wonderful characters, plenty of secrets (some understandable some not), unexpected surprises, and valuable lessons.
I became so invested with these characters and their lives. While this story is about 3 generations of women, Clarence was definitely my favorite character. He was such a bright shining light. What he did for Glory Ann, his daughters, and the community is a great lesson for how we should all live our lives.
There were so many secrets in this story. Most of them were kept for what seemed like good sound reasons, but this story shows that keeping secrets can shape your life in unexpected and not so good ways.
The following quote really resonated with me because it is so true.
“I didn’t know it then, but those were the days.” “It’d be nice if there was some magical way to know when ‘those days’ were happening while you were living them instead of recognizing it in hindsight.”
My husband always tells me live like these are “those days” because one day, they will be.
I highly recommend this deeply layered story with wonderful lessons and characters!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. The faith thread is light.
Present Day. Sarah Ashby returns to her childhood home, determined to finally follow her dream of running the family business alongside her mother and grandmother. So when her mother, Rosemary, announces to her that Old Depot Grocery is closing, Sarah and her grandmother, Glory Ann, make a plan to save the store. But Rosemary has worked her entire life to make sure her daughter never follows in her footsteps. She has her reasons--but she'll certainly never reveal the real one.
1965. Glory Ann confesses to her family that she's pregnant with her deceased fiancé's baby. Pressured into a marriage of convenience with a shopkeeper to preserve her family's reputation, Glory Ann vows never to love again. But some promises are not as easily kept as she imagined.
This dual-time story from Amanda Cox deftly explores the complexity of the mother-daughter relationship, the way the secrets we keep shape our lives and the lives of others, and the healing power of telling the truth.
About the Author:
Amanda Cox is a blogger and a curriculum developer for a national nonprofit youth leadership organization, but her first love is communicating through story. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Bible and theology and a master’s degree in professional counseling. Her studies and her interactions with hurting families over a decade have allowed her to create multidimensional characters that connect emotionally with readers.
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