Contemporary Fiction, Review

Hometown Girl by Courtney Walsh

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Hometown Girl by Courtney Walsh

Beth Whitaker isn’t supposed to be a small-town girl. She’s always dreamed of leaving Willow Grove, Illinois, for the big city, but she feels trapped, struggling to make up for a mistake that’s haunted her for years. Just when Beth is finally ready to break free, her sister impulsively buys a beloved but run-down farm on the outskirts of town, and she begs Beth to help with the restoration. Reluctantly, Beth agrees to help—and puts her own dreams on hold once again.

Drew Barlow hasn’t been back to Fairwind Farm since he was a boy, and he’s spent all these years trying to outrun the pain of a past he thought he buried long ago. When he learns that the owner has passed away, his heart knows it’s finally time to do the right thing. Returning to Willow Grove, Drew revisits the old farm, where he attempts to piece together his memories and the puzzle of the crime he witnessed so long ago.

Both on a journey to find peace, Beth and Drew are surprised when they begin to experience a restoration of their own. But when long-buried secrets break through the soil and the truth unfurls, will it threaten their budding relationship—and the very future of the farm?

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My Thoughts

Hometown Girl has wonderfully authentic characters and small-town country charm.

Beth and I get along like two peas in a pod and we definitely share more than a name! Although she’s more stubborn than I am (don’t bother trying to convince me otherwise, my mind is made up), we both have the planner gene, focused, quiet nature, and a propensity for carrying the burden of guilt (for a long time, don’t forget the stubbornness).

Drew happens to be a guilt carrier too (aren’t we a cheerful bunch?!) His nonstop high-octane work ethic would put lesser folks into an early retirement. Another characteristic both characters share is holding people at arm’s length and building emotional walls (Drew can build real walls, too! He’s a keeper!)

I want to visit the tight-knit community of Willow Grove and charming Fairwind Farm! After a visit, I might be tempted to move there! This setting is intricately woven into the storyline and oh so cozy and familiar. I highly recommend this story!

I borrowed this title through the Kindle Unlimited program.
The opinions expressed are my own.


Hometown Girl by Courtney Walsh quote


About the Author

Courtney WalshCourtney Walsh is a novelist, artist, theater director, and playwright. Change of Heart is her fifth novel and is set in the same town as Paper Hearts.

Her debut novel, A Sweethaven Summer, hit the New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller lists and was a Carol Award finalist in the debut author category. She has written two additional books in the Sweethaven series, as well as two craft books and several full-length musicals.

Courtney lives in Illinois where she and her husband own a performing and visual arts studio. They have three children.

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Also Available

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Some pros and cons of small towns are included in Hometown Girl
everyone pitches in to help when there’s a need
everyone knows everyone else’s business

Are you from a small town? What qualities have you experienced while living in a small town OR which qualities do you expect to find in small-town stories?

5 thoughts on “Hometown Girl by Courtney Walsh”

  1. We moved to a small town this year – even smaller than we lived in before with a population of less than 3,000. We LOVE everything about it! You know your neighbors and everyone is so supportive and caring. I’d never move back to a big city.


  2. Ah I’m so glad you loved this story! Drew is definitely a keeper. He builds walls AND does some wonderfully delightful (though maybe un-polite ????) things near walls! Hehe

    As for small towns, I’ve lived outside the same one my whole life! I know a ton of the people here. I love the sense of community And friendship, even if not too deep, but still of knowing people and seeing familiar people every day who care.


  3. Along with “Just Look Up,” this is another book I really want to read! I neglected both of Courtney’s 2017 reads, which is why they are carried over to my list of MUST READS in 2018. 🙂 Glad to read another positive review for this one.


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