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Guest House    by Barbara K. Richardson order for
Guest House
by Barbara K. Richardson
Order:  USA  Can
Bay Tree, 2010 (2010)

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* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Melba Burns is an energetic, hard working woman. At fifty four years of age, she works long days as a successful real estate agent. One summer day, Melba witnesses a fatal accident, and sees a young cyclist lose his life. Reeling in the aftermath, Melba sets out to change her life. She quits her job, stops driving her car, and buys an old farmhouse with a few apple trees. She wants out of the rat race and plans to live a simpler life.

When Melba meets JoLee Garry, a young woman down on her luck, she opens her home to her and takes her in as a boarder. But JoLee is anything but simple, and Melba's life soon begins to take on greater meaning. JoLee has left her husband Gene and young son Matt behind, and soon is searching for Mr. Right.

Matt arrives to spend time with his mother, but JoLee is busy with her new love interest. Melba finds herself spending time and doing things with Matt and is soon enjoying this new phase of her life. Never a mother herself, Melba soon falls for this mannerly, young boy who has risen above his chaotic upbringing.

Next, JoLee's ex Gene arrives, wanting to repair his marriage. JoLee has had enough of his drinking binges and time away on the road. She wants to move on and leave her old life behind. When tragedy strikes, it is Melba who is there for Matt. Shaken by the news, Matt heads out for the safest place he knows. Now Melba finds herself on a road trip across country, in search of Matt, who has given her life new direction.

Guest House is a story of love and change, and what happens when you open your heart to it. It is a beautiful, feel good story.

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