Book Review: Hurricane Season

10 Apr

Betsy and Ty Franklin, owners of Franklin Dairy Farm in southern Alabama, have long since buried their desire for children of their own. While Ty manages their herd of dairy cows, Betsy busies herself with the farm’s day-to-day operations and tries to forget her dream of motherhood. But when her free-spirited sister, Jenna, drops off her two young daughters for “just two weeks,” Betsy’s carefully constructed wall of self-protection begins to crumble.

As the two weeks stretch deeper into the Alabama summer, Betsy and Ty learn to navigate the new additions in their world—and revel in the laughter that now fills their home. Meanwhile, record temperatures promise to usher in the most active hurricane season in decades.

Attending an art retreat four hundred miles away, Jenna is fighting her own battles. She finally has time and energy to focus on her photography, a lifelong ambition. But she wonders how her rediscovered passion can fit in with the life she’s made back home as a single mom.

When Hurricane Ingrid aims a steady eye at the Alabama coast, Jenna must make a decision that will change her family’s future, even as Betsy and Ty try to protect their beloved farm and their hearts. Hurricane Season is the story of one family’s unconventional journey to healing — and the relationships that must be mended along the way.

Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Lauren K. Denton now lives with her husband and two young daughters in Homewood, just outside Birmingham. In addition to her fiction, she writes a monthly newspaper column about life, faith, and how funny (and hard) it is to be a parent. On any given day, she’d rather be at the beach with her family and a stack of books. The Hideaway was released in April of 2017 and has since become a USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Amazon Charts bestseller. Her second novel, Hurricane Season, released April 3, 2018, and has been listed on BookPage’s 2018 list of Most Anticipated Fiction.


My Impressions:

So what makes a book get a highly recommended rating from me? It must have something special that distinguishes it from the rest. Hurricane Season, the sophomore offering from Lauren K. Denton, is just such a novel. Great characterization, a wonderful sense of place, beautifully written prose, and a story line that is unique and fresh — those are the things that make this book stand out. Certainly it is one of the best books I have read this year.

Two sisters are the focus of Hurricane Season. They once shared so much, but have grown apart due to life and . . . neglect. Both are wrapped up in their own lives for sure, but it is the perceptions of what the other has, that has kept the two apart. When younger sister Jenna has the opportunity to find her creative center once again, Betsy, the protector of the two, agrees to keep Jenna’s children for the two week retreat session. But as days stretch into weeks and then months, the two sisters have to confront not only what their futures will look like, but what their pasts have created.

Hurricane Season is told in the third person point of view with the emphasis on sisters Jenna and Betsy and Betsy’s husband Ty. This format gives the reader a view of what makes each of these characters act and react. I loved how real each of the characters became to me. The dairy farm on which Ty and Betsy live and the primitive nature preserve that serves as the setting of the artist’s retreat are brought to life in simple, yet elegant descriptions. I felt I was really there experiencing the daily life of the dairy farm and the wonder of an untouched wilderness. Difficult issues that are part and parcel of the human experience — infertility and single motherhood — are uniquely explored. There are no stereotypes here. But it is the relationships between Jenna and Betsy and Betsy and Ty that form the nucleus of the story. And I loved how the author brought about growth and healing for them all. The book does not end in a neat and tidy fashion. There are still lots of questions as to the future of this family. But that is okay with me. I have certain expectations for Jenna, Betsy, and Ty, and I am happy that the author has let me create my own happily-ever-after for the three. 😉

As stated above, Hurricane Season has it all to provide a thought-provoking and immersive reading experience. This novel lends itself to discussion, so if your book club is looking for a great book, Hurricane Season should top your list.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE

(Thanks to TLC and Thomas Nelson for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)


7 Responses to “Book Review: Hurricane Season”

  1. Lauren Denton April 10, 2018 at 5:54 pm #

    Thank you so much for such a lovely, thoughtful review! I’m honored you enjoyed it so much.

    • rbclibrary April 10, 2018 at 6:57 pm #

      I have The Hideaway on my Kindle. Don’t tell anyone, but it will be By The Book’s surprise selection for July. 😉 Also look for a shout out for Hurricane Season next week on Top 10 Tuesday.

  2. Heather J. @ TLC April 13, 2018 at 8:20 pm #

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!

  3. Susanne April 14, 2018 at 9:59 am #

    I loved this story too!

    • rbclibrary April 14, 2018 at 11:16 am #



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