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The Tavern on Maple Street    by Sharon Owens order for
Tavern on Maple Street
by Sharon Owens
Order:  USA  Can
Putnam, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, CD

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

In the mood for a feel-good story? The Tavern on Maple Street by Sharon Owens is the book for you. Placed in Belfast, North Ireland, this little gem will keep you captivated as you get to know the owners of this wee pub in a very quiet neighborhood.

Faced with a buy-out, Jack and Lily Beaumont, hating to give up their little piece of heaven, are in a dilemma as to their next move. Do they refuse the offer and thus make the other businesses on the street turn against them? (A builder wants to raze the block and replace its contents with condos and business offices.)

If Jack and Lily sell, where will they go? How will they fill their days? Until the deadline is reached (months ahead) for their answer, they decide to expand their business for the short time they have left. They hire four young women to help them; four very different women who nevertheless end up homogeneous, working well together.

Jack and Lily's plans are clever and fun to read about. The old men who constantly occupy one of the booths are a true delight. The author has also written two other standalone books The Tea House on Mulberry Street and The Ballroom on Magnolia Street. Just having been introduced to Owens' writing, I have not yet read them but the titles alone intrigue me. Treat yourself to a good read. These characters will stay with you for a while. And rightly so.

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