When I tear up over a book, it usually isn’t in the first twelve pages. Well, darn. We all know I’m mushy. But, Debbie Macomber’s The Inn at Rose Harbor managed to make me tear up a couple times. Macomber launches what appears to be a new series set in Cedar Cove, one that features people in need of healing, as many of her books do.
Jo Marie Rose bought a bed-and-breakfast in Cedar Cove, Washington, when she herself needed healing. Her husband, Paul, was an Airborne Ranger killed when his helicopter crashed in Afghanistan. Once she moved into the cozy inn, she felt as if Paul had guided her there. She felt a sense of peace that she hadn’t felt in the six months after his death. She named the inn after her husband, Rose Harbor Inn, and prepared to welcome her first guests.
Both of Jo Marie’s guests returned reluctantly to Cedar Cove. Josh Weaver responded to a call that his stepfather, Richard, was dying. Josh had only been back to town once since his graduation. After Josh’s mother died, Richard kicked Josh out of the house even before his high school graduation. Resentful and still angry, Josh only came to town to retrieve a few possessions that belonged to his mother. He and his stepfather had nothing good to say to each other.
For ten years, Abby Kincaid had avoided returning to her hometown. She couldn’t refuse to come back this time, though, because she was there for her brother’s wedding. As much as she loved him, Abby was afraid she wasn’t going to be good company to the rest of the wedding guests. For fifteen years, she had lived with the guilty knowledge that she caused the death of her best friend. She couldn’t forgive herself, so why would anyone in Cedar Cove forgive her or want to see her?
Macomber allows each of these three injured people to tell their stories, stories of loss and healing. It’s the theme that will continue in this series. It’s easy to see where each storyline is going, and it’s easy to see the roles people such as Mark Taylor, the mysterious handyman, will play in future books. Although familiar characters from previous Cedar Cove books show up, this series belongs to Jo Marie Rose and her inn. The Inn at Rose Harbor is a comforting book, one that will welcome readers just as Jo Marie and her inn welcome guests.
Debbie Macomber’s website is www.debbiemacomber.com
The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber. Ballantine Books. 2012. ISBN 9780345528926 (hardcover), 340p.