Chick lit

The Treehouse on Dog River Road by Catherine Drake

For some strange reason, having this title on my virtual shelf and not referring to the blurb, I assumed that this was a sort of literary fiction title. At the beginning of the story, when the lead protagonist decides to look to new horizons and find herself, I thought it might still be one. It was only a few chapters in that I realised it was a completely different type of book.
If I had gone in expecting a fluffy story with some profound moments, I would have appreciated it a bit more (I think). Hannah Spencer has been a wanderer, she has tried a lot of different things, and the last serious job she had was not nourishing her soul. When she takes a redundancy package and volunteers to take care of her young niece and nephew when their parents have to be away during the summer, she plans to use the time to figure herself out.
The bulk of the narrative is focused on the conception and implementation of the idea of the treehouse. It was refreshing to see a female character take up such a task and be met with a very believable set of reactions (based on her own prior experience in building rural homes). Then there is the new neighbour who moves in almost at the same time that she does into her sister’s home. His large family, his role in the bigger picture, and the gradual development of their relationship were entertaining. The last section suddenly became a lot more severe and serious than the first few chapters indicated as being the book’s tone. It had a believable happy ending, and despite the change in tone, I think the descriptions in the last part did manage to convey the severity of the situation, and I liked it overall. I am not sure I would recommend it to everyone who reads this genre, but the writing is simple, and if you find the blurb interesting, it might not be a bad idea to try the book out.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is based on my own reading experience.


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