Slowing the Pace to Discover What's Really Important

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I just finished The Hideaway by Lauren Denton.  Ms. Denton is a Southern author, born and raised in Mobile, Alabama.  Hence, she knows the region that is the setting of The Hideaway.  The protagonist, Sara Jenkins, grew up in Sweet Bay, Alabama, but left and made a career for herself in New Orleans.  When her grandmother dies, she returns to Sweet Bay to take care of the estate.  That’s when things get interesting.  Ms. Denton creates a colorful cast of characters, chief of which is Sara’s grandmother, Mags, who reminded me of Ouiser Boudreaux, in Steel Magnolias.  The story jumps back and forth between the present and the early 1960s in order to explain things that are only hinted at in the beginning of the story.  Although I’m not a fan of that technique, Ms. Denton pulls it off well.  The pieces of the puzzle begin to come together when Sara finds a box in the attic containing some of Mags’s cherished mementos.  There are love interests—past and present—and threats from an unscrupulous land developer and challenges that keep things interesting.  In the end Ms. Denton provides an uplifting story that just might cause the reader to reflect on what is really important in life.