May 16, 2015

Up at Butternut Lake Mary McNear

Up at Butternut Lake
Mary McNear
Published:William Morrow
Date: 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 357
Genre: Contemporary romance
Source: Own book
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Up at Butternut Lake by Mary McNear is a story of three women over a summer.  Set in northern Minnesota, this is a well written beautifully told story.  At first I thought it might fall into the women's fiction realm, but while it had elements of that genre, it was more a contemporary romance.

The book is mainly about Allie and her son Wyatt, they have come to Butternut Creek to the cabin the family has there.  They have lost a husband and father to war just over two years ago.  Now it is time to make a fresh start, if that is possible.  

In the town Allie meets up with a good friend from the times when she was sixteen and came to visit for holidays.  Jax is pregnant and already has three girls.  Her husband is Jeremy - all the family have a name starting with J - a little like the Kardashians!  There marriage seems to be rock solid, however there is something lurking in the wings that has Jax agitated. And it may even test her relationship with Jeremy.

Caroline runs a local coffee shop and is experiencing something of the empty nest syndrome as her daughter has gone off to college.  Her marriage broke up years ago and she is at a little bit of a crossroads at present.  In the meantime she becomes a little bit like a grandmother figure for Wyatt.

Across the lake from Allie there is a new cabin that has gone up, in it lives Walker Ford, he mainly likes to keep to himself, however he finds himself intrigued with Allie and Wyatt and bonds begin to form.  Allie is a little bit unsure of any new relationship and this summer she does quite a bit of reflecting  and taking two steps forward and one step back while she feels her way into living more fully.

I enjoyed the book, the characters were interesting, the writing and descriptions were spot on.  I found at times the story moved a little slowly for me.  I also wondered about Jax and Jeremy as time moved on, if there is further development later in the trilogy I could live with that, otherwise I thought it was all sorted out too quickly.

3.5 stars


  1. I've been curious about this book, mostly because of the cover and title. It looks like it would be a good summer read. Nice review, Kathryn.

  2. Thanks for a great review Kathryn. Northern Minnisota sounds like a nice location for a Romance and fresh start.

  3. Lovely review Kathryn, this one is on my TBR list but at the moment I need something that moves along at a reasonable pace to keep my interest.


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