Title: The Restoration of Celia Fairchild by Marie Bostwick
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 409 pages
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss
Evvie Drake Starts Over meets The Friday Night Knitting Club in this wise and witty novel about a fired advice columnist who discovers lost and found family members in Charleston, by the New York Times bestselling author of The Second Sister.
Celia Fairchild, known as advice columnist ‘Dear Calpurnia’, has insight into everybody’s problems – except her own. Still bruised by the end of a marriage she thought was her last chance to create a family, Celia receives an unexpected answer to a “Dear Birthmother” letter. Celia throws herself into proving she’s a perfect adoptive mother material – with a stable home and income – only to lose her job. Her one option: sell the Charleston house left to her by her recently departed, estranged Aunt Calpurnia.
Arriving in Charleston, Celia learns that Calpurnia had become a hoarder, the house is a wreck, and selling it will require a drastic, rapid makeover. The task of renovation seems overwhelming and risky. But with the help of new neighbors, old friends, and an unlikely sisterhood of strong, creative women who need her as much as she needs them, Celia knits together the truth about her estranged family — and about herself.
The Restoration of Celia Fairchild is an unforgettable novel of secrets revealed, laughter released, creativity rediscovered, and waves of wisdom by a writer Robyn Carr calls “my go-to author for feel-good novels.”
The Restoration of Celia Fairchild by Marie Bostwick is an endearing novel of new beginnings, friendship and love.
Celia Fairchild lives in New York and writes an advice column for an on-line newspaper. Although now divorced, she is thrilled to learn a birth mother is considering her to adopt her unborn baby. Celia is in need of a larger apartment, so she hopes she can talk her boss into a raise. Unfortunately, instead of a raise, she loses her job when her boss sells the paper.
Just as she is deciding her next move, Celia discovers she has just inherited the home that has been in their family for decades. Traveling back to Charleston, S.C., she plans to sell the house and use the proceeds to purchase a home in the N.Y. area. But Celia discovers the house is in dire need of renovations and in-depth cleaning. While working on her childhood home, will Celia make peace with her painful past?
Growing up, Celia and her parents lived in her grandparents’ home with her grandmother and her Aunt Calpurnia. But after an accident that leaves her motherless and her aunt with a head injury, she and her dad move into their own apartment. Her once idyllic childhood then turns dysfunctional and lonely. Once she graduates from high school, Celia leaves Charleston and her estranged aunt behind as she leaves for college in New York. After graduation, Celia tries her hand at quite a few occupations but she finally finds success as an advice columnist.
Celia has no idea what her next job will be, but she pushes those worries aside to concentrate on renovations. On the recommendation of lawyer, Trey Holcomb, she hires his ex-con brother Lorne as her contractor. While he takes care of the repairs, Celia and her next-door neighbor’s daughter work on clearing out the massive amount of stuff left behind by Aunt Calpurnia. Celia also reconnects with old friends and makes new ones while working on the house. During quiet evenings on her own, Celia writes heartfelt letters to the baby she is hoping to adopt. And as she sifts through Aunt Calpurnia’s junk, she uncovers details that provide her with a new perspective about her beloved aunt.
The Restoration of Celia Fairchild is a beautiful journey of self-discovery, resilience and family. Celia is a wonderfully developed character who grows and evolves as she deals with unexpected changes in her life. The secondary cast of characters is fun and quirky but they do not hesitate to use tough love when needed. The storyline is engrossing and moves at a brisk pace. Marie Bostwick brings this winsome novel to an uplifting conclusion that readers are sure to love.