Category Archives: Marie Bostwick

Review: The Restoration of Celia Fairchild by Marie Bostwick

Title: The Restoration of Celia Fairchild by Marie Bostwick
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 409 pages
Book Rating:

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.

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Review: Hope on the Inside by Marie Bostwick

Title:Hope on the Inside by Marie Bostwick
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


In this compelling, heartwarming novel from New York Times bestselling author Marie Bostwick, one woman finds new purpose in a new phase of life . . .

“Whatever comes your way, find the happiness in it.” Hope Carpenter received that advice from her mother decades ago. Now, with their four children grown, Hope and her husband, Rick, are suddenly facing an uncertain future, after a forced retirement strains both their savings and their marriage. Seeking inspiration and a financial boost, Hope gets a job teaching crafts to inmates at a local women’s prison.

At first, Hope feels foolish and irrelevant, struggling to relate to women whose choices seem so different from her own. But with time, and the encouragement of the prison chaplain, she begins to discover common ground with the inmates, in their worries about their children and families, their fear of having failed those who need them. Just like her, they want to make something of themselves, but believe it might be impossible.

Embarking on an ambitious quilting project, Hope and her students begin to bond. Together, piece by piece, they learn to defy expectations—their own and others’—and to see that it’s never too late to stitch together a life that, even in its imperfections, is both surprising and beautiful.


Hope on the Inside by Marie Bostwick is a captivating novel of family, friendship and new beginnings.

Hope Carpenter’s life changes drastically following her husband Rick’s unexpected forced retirement. They manage to keep their heads above water but when cuts in school funding eliminate her teaching position, their financial situation is becoming increasingly precarious. Despite a few misgivings, Rick and Hope sell their home in Portland and move to Olympia to be closer to their daughter, McKenzie. After settling into their new life, Hope is hired by the local women’s prison as an arts and crafts instructor. Despite her trepidation and rather bumpy first month on the job, she is pleasantly surprised by how much her students and her new career mean to her. On the home front, she and Rick are experiencing an unsettled period in their marriage as he struggles to find a job.  Will Hope and Rick regain their once close relationship?

Hope is an incredibly upbeat woman who faces the upheaval in her life with a positive attitude. She does not allow her disappointment over the move or lack of support from Rick stop her from accepting the job at the prison.  Instead, she throws herself wholeheartedly into her new career.  Hope does have to work hard to overcome the prison superintendent’s stringent rules to achieve her goal of helping the women learn valuable life lessons through quilting. As she settles into her new career, Hope cannot help but become invested in one of the inmates as she prepares for life after her release from prison.

Once a valuable and sought after employee, Rick is taken aback by how deeply affected he is by the loss of his job. He is also dealing with a heartbreaking loss in addition to losing his career and their relocation. Disheartened by his dismal job search, Rick eases his frustration by immersing himself in baking and watching cooking shows.  He does finally begin to find his way out of his depression, but is it too late for Rick to get his marriage back on track?

Well written with a socially relevant storyline, Hope on the Inside is an uplifting novel of self-discovery. Hope is a gregarious woman who refuses to allow the problems in her life keep her down. Rick’s situation is an all too common occurrence in today’s business environment. With a cast of appealing characters and realistic story arcs, this newest release by Marie Bostwick is a thought-provoking story that is realistic, heartfelt and inspirational. Old and new fans do not want to miss this incredible novel of hope, courage and compassion.

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Review: Just in Time by Marie Bostwick

Title: Just in Time by Marie Bostwick
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


In her most powerful novel yet, New York Times bestselling author Marie Bostwick weaves the uplifting story of three grief support group dropouts—women united in loss and rescued through friendship.

Fifteen years ago, Grace Saunders vowed to take her beloved husband for better or worse. Now she’s coming to terms with difficult choices as she crafts a memory quilt from scraps of their life together—a life torn to shreds by an accident that has left him in a coma. Enduring months of limbo, Grace is at least not alone.

Nan has been widowed for twenty years, but now, with her children grown, her home feels painfully empty. Even the company of her golden retriever, Blixen, and a series of other rescue dogs, can’t fill the void. Then there’s Monica, a feisty woman with a biting wit who’s reeling following her husband’s death—and the revelation of his infidelity.

As for Grace, a chance evening with a man she barely knows brings a glimmer of joy she hasn’t felt since the tragedy—along with feelings of turmoil and guilt. But her struggle to cope will force all three women to face their fears, share their deepest secrets—and lean on one another as they move from grief and isolation to hope, and a second chance at happiness .


Just in Time by Marie Bostwick is a heartfelt novel of healing, friendship and ultimately, love.

Grace Saunders never imagined she would meet her best friends through their failed attempt to find solace in a grief support group. Nan Wilja has been widowed for twenty years and she fosters dogs while also helping others try to deal with their grief. Monica Romano is a recent widow whose grief is tempered by anger at the circumstances surrounding her husband’s death. She is also raising her teenage stepchildren while working long hours at the restaurant she owns. Grace’s grief is compounded by the fact that her beloved husband is still alive but in a permanent vegetative state following a hiking accident. Although the three women could not be more different, their close-knit friendship sustains and nurtures them as they navigate through their lives.

Grace and her husband Jamie met in high school and although his accident was two years earlier, she is still deeply in love with him. They had not really settled into their life in Portland before her life fell apart and outside of her friendship with Nan and Monica, she does little except work and visit Jamie at the long care health facility. Grace is not crazy about her job, but she desperately needs to hold on to it because of her fantastic health benefits. Although she logically knows that Jamie will not get any better, her love for him never wavers. Which is why Grace is not exactly receptive to Monica’s matchmaking attempts between her and furniture maker Luke Pascal.

Monica is a little brash, loud and sometimes a tiny bit overbearing, but she has a huge heart. She absolutely loves her restaurant but she is extremely stressed due to her rather difficult relationship with her stepchildren. With her stepson Alex getting into trouble at school and her stepdaughter Zoe trying to grow up way too fast, Monica has her hands full, but she always makes time for Grace and Nan. Despite her overly busy life, she is also ready to fall in love again, but will Monica open her heart to a man who does not exactly fit her criteria?

Nan is such a warm and giving person that she is impossible not to love. After her beloved husband’s death, she not only finished raising their children but she also added to her brood through adoption. She volunteers with a local pet rescue and she fosters dogs whose owners have recently passed away. With a full life she loves, Nan has never looked for love, but will love find her when she least expects it?

Just in Time is an absolutely endearing novel that is deeply affecting. All of the characters are beautifully developed with relatable issues to overcome and true to life weaknesses and strengths. Grace, Nan and Monica are realistically depicted and wonderfully imperfect characters. The various story arcs are engaging and it is such a joy to watch each of the women unexpectedly find happiness. Marie Bostwick’s newest release will tug on readers’ heartstrings as Grace, Nan and Monica undergo their respective journeys of healing which will lead each of them to open their hearts and minds to the possibility of falling in love again.

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Review: The Promise Girls by Marie Bostwick

Title: The Promise Girls by Marie Bostwick
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


In an emotionally rich and captivating new novel, New York Times bestselling author Marie Bostwick reunites three sisters whose deep bond is rooted in an unconventional past.

Every child prodigy grows up eventually. For the Promise sisters, escaping their mother’s narcissism and the notoriety that came with her bestselling book hasn’t been easy. Minerva Promise claimed that her three “test tube” daughters—gifted pianist Joanie, artistic Meg, and storyteller Avery—were engineered and molded to be geniuses. In adulthood, their modest lives fall far short of her grand ambitions. But now, twenty years after the book’s release, she hopes to redeem herself by taking part in a new documentary.

Meg, who hasn’t picked up a paintbrush in years, adamantly refuses to participate, until a car accident leaves her with crushing medical bills. While she recuperates in Seattle, the three sisters reluctantly meet with filmmaker Hal Seeger, another former prodigy. Like them, he’s familiar with the weight of failed potential. But as he digs deeper, he uncovers secrets they’ve hidden from each other—and a revelation that will challenge their beliefs, even as it spurs them to forge their own extraordinary lives at last.


The Promise Girls by Marie Bostwick is an uplifting book of healing and forgiveness.

The Promise girls are three daughters of a domineering mother, Minerva, who pushed the girls to reach-and exceed-their artist potential.  Oldest daughter Joanie was a piano playing child prodigy who deliberately sabotaged Minerva’s publicity tour during their appearance on a talk show.  Now twenty years later, the sisters are closer than ever but other than youngest sister, Avery, they remain estranged from their mom.

Joanie is  a never married single mom to sixteen year old Walt and works from home.  Middle sister Meg is happily married to Asher and mother of a teenage daughter, sixteen year old Trina.  Meg eventually gave up painting to help run Asher’s construction business but she is not exactly happy when she is involved in a serious car accident which leaves her with amnesia. Twenty-five year old Avery flits from one job to another and is happiest when she dons her mermaid persona for children’s parties.  After discovering how much money Meg owes for her hospital bills, the three girls reluctantly agree to star in Hal Seeger’s upcoming documentary.  Will the documentary help Joanie, Meg and Avery come to terms with their painful past?  Or will the shocking revelations destroy their family?

Throughout the course of the novel, the sisters are forced to confront their unresolved issues from their dysfunctional childhood. Joanie has not touched a piano in years and her lucrative sewing career fulfills her creative outlet.  Up until recently, Meg has been deliriously happy but in the weeks leading up to her accident, she has become emotionally and physically distant from Asher and her relationship with Trina is also a bit troubled.  Avery comes across as somewhat flighty but there is much more to her than meets the eye.  Of the three sisters, she undergoes the biggest transformation since she has struggling to fit her niche.

The sisters are very close but this does not mean they are not harboring secrets from one another.  Joanie and Meg are quite older than Avery so their mother’s influence on their individual “genius” talents was much more in depth.  They also more scarred by their childhoods but Joanie in particular is haunted by the events that her actions set in motion.  All three sisters agree that Minerva is toxic, but Avery is much more forgiving of her mother’s mistakes and missteps than Meg and Joanie.  Will they feel betrayed when Avery reveals the depth of her relationship with their mother?  Or will Meg and Joanie understand why she feels compelled to maintain contact with her?  And will the sisters be able to forgive each other when long held secrets are finally uncovered?  And what will happen when Minerva confesses the truth about the past?

The Promise Girls is an incredibly heartwarming novel about a family who unexpectedly gets the opportunity to make peace with their pasts.  The growth of the characters is phenomenal and occurs at a realistic pace.  The novel’s conclusion is a little rushed and the resolution of Minerva’s part of the storyline does not ring true.  Despite the somewhat unsatisfactory ending, readers of contemporary women’s fiction will enjoy this newest release from Marie Bostwick.

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Review: From Here to Home by Marie Bostwick

Title: From Here to Home by Marie Bostwick
Too Much, Texas Series Book Two
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Romance
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


New York Times bestselling author Marie Bostwick welcomes readers to the quirky, unforgettable town of Too Much, Texas, in a heartwarming, richly satisfying story of friendship and moving forward…

Mary Dell Templeton prefers the quiet charms of Too Much to the bright lights of Dallas any day. She’s relieved to be moving back to her hometown–and bringing her cable TV show, Quintessential Quilting, with her. There are just a couple of wrinkles in her plan. Her son, Howard, who is her talented co-host and color consultant, and happens to have Down syndrome, wants to stay in Dallas and become more independent. Meanwhile, Mary Dell’s new boss hopes to attract a different demographic–by bringing in a younger co-host.

What Holly Silva knows about quilting wouldn’t fill a thimble, but she’s smart and ambitious. Her career hinges on outshining the formidable Mary Dell in order to earn her own show. Yet as Holly adapts to small-town living and begins a new romance, and Mary Dell considers rekindling an old one, the two find unlikely kinship. For as Mary Dell knows, the women of Too Much have a knack for untangling the knottiest problems when they work together. And sometimes the pattern for happiness is as simple and surprising as it is beautiful


From Here to Home by Marie Bostwick is an absolutely heartwarming novel of love, family and moving forward.

With her beloved quilting show up for renewal, the last thing Mary Dell Templeton needs are complications on the family ranch in Too Much, TX.  The show’s ratings are slipping and Mary Dell knows that without the show, the quilt store in her small hometown will lose business so she comes up with a pretty ingenious plan to film the upcoming season in Too Much.  Unbeknownst to Mary Dell, a newcomer to the network wants to cancel the show and a co-host has been hired to replace Mary Dell’s son, Howard.  When Mary Dell breaks the news to Howard, she is stunned by Howard’s reaction to the news and although she is happy that her son wants to stretch his wings, she is worried about him living on his own.

Howard’s replacement, Holly Silva, relocates from California to Too Much and immediately begins a crash course in quilting.  Holly is surprised by Mary Dell’s warm reception and the two women form a fast friendship.  Determined not to allow the network’s programming executive pit them against one another, Holly and Mary Dell present a united front but the show’s inept new producer refuses to listen to their suggestions.  Despite their hard work and their innovative ideas, Holly is still under pressure to sabotage the show and when Mary Dell faces a personal crisis, the future of the series remains in jeopardy.

Romance is also in the air for both Mary Dell and Holly.  Mary Dell’s close friendship with hotel owner Hub Jay turns to love but since she has not completely made peace over her estrangement with her husband, she is very reluctant to act on her feelings.  Holly’s surprising romance with Mary Dell’s nephew Rob Lee is complicated by his unresolved issues stemming from survivor’s guilt, untreated depression and PTSD.  With time,  patience and good humor, Mary Dell and Holly work through their respective issues, but will either of them find their happily ever after with the man of the dreams?

From Here to Home is a captivating novel that is brimming with humor and down home country charm.  All of the characters are richly developed and watching them grow as they work through their individual problems is incredibly gratifying. Marie Bostwick brings the town of Two Much and its quirky but lovable residents vividly to life.  Although this newest release the second installment in the Two Much, Texas series, it can be read as a standalone (but I highly recommend the entire series).

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Review: The Second Sister by Marie Bostwick

second sisterTitle: The Second Sister by Marie Bostwick
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Length: 353 pages
Book Rating: A

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


From New York Times bestselling author Marie Bostwick comes an emotionally rich, inspiring new novel about family, second chances–and the connections that bring women together in hope and healing. . .

Years of long workdays and little sleep as a political campaigner are about to pay off now that Lucy Toomey’s boss is entering the White House. But when her estranged older sister, Alice, unexpectedly dies, Lucy is drawn back to Nilson’s Bay, her small, close-knit, Wisconsin hometown.

An accident in her teens left Alice mentally impaired, and she was content to stay in Nilson’s Bay. Lucy, meanwhile, got out and never looked back. But now, to meet the terms of Alice’s eccentric will, Lucy has taken up temporary residence in her sister’s cottage–and begins to see the town, and Alice’s life, anew. Alice’s diverse group of friends appears to have little in common besides an interest in quilting. Yet deep affection for Alice united them and soon Lucy, too, is brought into the fold as they share problems and stories. And as she finds warmth and support in this new circle, Lucy begins to understand this will be her sister’s enduring gift–a chance to move beyond her difficult past, and find what she has long been missing. . .


A truly unforgettable journey of grace and healing, The Second Sister by Marie Bostwick is a very emotional novel of family, forgiveness and friendship. It is also a heartfelt and engaging story about making peace with the past and letting go of mistakes in order to move on and embrace the future.

Lucy Toomey has spent her entire adult life avoiding her small hometown in Wisconsin. Despite her older sister Alice’s numerous pleas to visit, she has not returned home in the eight years since her parents’ deaths. When she learns that Alice been hospitalized and is in serious condition, she drops everything to rush to her sister’s side, but unfortunately Alice passes away while Lucy is still en route. Planning to leave as soon she settles her sister’s estate, Lucy is stunned to discover that the terms of Alice’s will stipulate she live in the family home for eight weeks in order to inherit or the house will go to a local animal rescue.  She reluctantly remains in town where she eventually discovers startling truths about herself, her sister and their somewhat complicated relationship. Lucy also unexpectedly finds friendship and, quite possibly, love but will this be enough to change her mind about leaving the small close-knit community for good?

Lucy lives life at a frantic pace and she allows herself very little time to think about anything other than her demanding career. Her childhood was spent in the shadow of her older, more accomplished and outgoing sister and she could never live up to her father’s expectations. In the aftermath of the tragic accident that left Alice mentally impaired, Lucy was overcome with guilt at the events of the day and she could not wait to leave her unhappy memories behind. Although she has achieved a measure of professional success, her personal life is devoid of friendship or love. Lucy and Alice talk daily, but Lucy only pays superficial attention to her sister’s rambling middle of the night phone calls and after Alice’s death, she comes to realize how little she knew about her sister or her life.

While at first Lucy resents taking time away from her career, she slowly begins to appreciate the slower pace of life. Of course, she still plans to leave as soon as possible, but in the meantime, she enjoys getting reconnecting with old school friend Peter Swenson, his extended family and other people from her past. When she decides to make a quilt in her sister’s memory, Alice’s close friends, Rinda, Daphne and Celia, reluctantly offer their assistance, and Lucy is pleasantly surprised to discover how much she likes spending time with the three women. Despite her new found contentment, her departure date is fast approaching and Lucy clings tightly to her decision to leave. But will a shocking revelation change her plans?

The Second Sister is a poignant and thought-provoking novel that is also quite uplifting. The storyline is complex but easy to relate to and the characters are appealing and sympathetic. The setting is charming and Marie Bostwick brings the small Wisconsin town vibrantly to life. It is a very heartwarming story of reconciliation and grace that is sure to resonate with readers of who enjoy novels that are not afraid to delve into the complexities of real life relationships.


Filed under Contemporary, Fiction, Kensington, Marie Bostwick, Rated A, Review, The Second Sister