- Title: Up at Butternut Lake
- Series: The Butternut Lake Trilogy, #1
- Author: Mary McNear
- Genre: Contemporary Romance; Small town fiction
- Published: April 2014 – William Morrow
- Source: Purchased
Synopsis: It’s been ten years since Allie Beckett crossed the threshold of her family cabin at Butternut Lake, Minnesota. Now, newly widowed after the death of her husband in Afghanistan, she’s returned with her five-year-old son. There, she reconnects with the friends she had in childhood – best girlfriend Jax, now married with three kids and one on the way, and Caroline, owner of the local coffee shop. What Allie doesn’t count on is a newcomer to Butternut Lake, Walker Ford. Up at Butternut Lake follows these four unforgettable characters across a single summer as they struggle with love, loss, and what it means to take risks, confront fears, and embrace life, in all of its excitement and unpredictability. Allie Beckett could never have imagined, when she ran away from her old life, that she was running into a whole new life, up at the lake…. (publisher)
My brief take: I bought Up at Butternut Lake after I accepted a review copy of the second book in the Butternut Lake trilogy. I wanted to get the background on the setting and original characters. I enjoyed reading about the small northern Minnesota town and found the main characters just as enjoyable. Each woman (Allie, Caroline and Jax) as well as Walker (Allie’s love interest) are in need of a fresh start, a second chance, but first they must make peace with the past. Mary McNear gave them emotional stories and wrote with a lot of heart. I look forward to reading the second book Butternut Summer which will be out in August.