Close To Home by Deborah Raney is the fourth book in the Chicory Inn series but can be read as a stand-alone. It is a contemporary Christian novel with a wonderful inclusive family feel to it. I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with the Whitman family once more.
There are many themes within the novel including that of moving on. Life never stands still but for widowed Bree she finds herself torn – her love for husband marine Tim keeps her held in limbo versus her desire for marriage and a family. Bree is still young but to move on feels like a betrayal to Tim.
Likewise time is moving on for grandmother CeCe. She is not as young as she was but still fiercely independent. Her family see changes in her and want to help but CeCe fights to maintain her independence.
The novel once again highlights the value of family. Tuesday night is still family night at the Chicory Inn. Family bonds formed in love and fellowship will persist in times of trouble. The Whitman’s practice the gift of hospitality. There is always room for one more at their table.
There is a huge bond of love running throughout the novel. Bree is loved by all the Whitman’s and treated more like a daughter than a daughter in law. She worries that should she ever marry again, her bond with the Whitman’s will be severed.
Deborah Raney shows the value not only of family but of friendship. During testing times, it is always good to have friends to whom one can turn for support and advice.
The characters are all Christians and place a high value on both praying and attending church. One is not designed to be a Christian in isolation but for relationship with others and God.
Deborah Raney has written a marvellous series set around the Chicory Inn. The family exudes warmth and friendship which is ‘felt’ by the reader. The reader ‘feels’ included into the family circle. We share the ups and downs of family life.
Each novel in the series has focused on a different family member. This time it is the turn of Bree. I absolutely loved Bree. I ‘felt’ her confusion and her guilt at the thought of moving on with her life. And I ‘shared’ her desire to continue to be a member of the Whitman’s family. Bree is a wonderfully rounded and realistic character with whom it is easy to relate.
I always love my trips to the Chicory Inn and feel sad when the novel ends. I cannot wait for my fifth and final trip to the Inn.
Give yourself a treat and visit Chicory Inn today. Experience the love and friendship as you journey with the Whitman’s through life.
I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review. No monetary compensation was received and all views expressed are my own.