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Shenandoah Summer    by John Jaffe order for
Shenandoah Summer
by John Jaffe
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2004 (2004)

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Alyssa and Darryl Brown satisfy her life-long desire to own a farm when they buy 'Finally Farm' at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. At the end of a long lane, the little yellow farmhouse is a fixer-upper with potential. A summer art colony, Limespring, is just up the road. Alyssa fits in with the artists quite well. Too well, some would say. Her husband, for one. Tug Palifax, an artist in residence for the summer, finds Alyssa as entrancing as her farm. Therein lies the problem.

Shenandoah Summer is a love story - a rather predictable one. The story flows, though, and moves with purpose. I liked the characters. Alyssa is a positive, energetic person. A trifle fey, but that adds to her appeal. The artists at the colony are an exuberant lot, full of unusual talents. I would love to see Finally Farm. It's packed with the artists' works: a painted serpent twisting around the bathroom, a three-dimensional floor, a centaur whirligig kicking in the breeze. Alyssa's love of horses meshes with Tug's desire to draw the gentle animal, and Shenandoah Summer is an easy read that will play on your emotions.

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