Hurricane Season

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 May 2018

Member Reviews

Sometime ago, I read a book by Lauren K. Denton titled The Hideaway.  Because I read so many books, I couldn't remember the name of the book I had already read, but I remembered that I told myself to jump at the chance to read any future books she might release.  When I saw Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton available for review, I quickly seized the opportunity!  As it turns out, my mom, Gloria (who also reviews some of the books provided to me), happened to have a free moment to review this book faster than I would be able to, so I gave her the pleasure.  Here's what Gloria had to say:

"With this second Lauren K. Denton novel, Hurricane Season in your hands, get some sweet tea ready as you make yourself comfortable on the porch swing because you will be reading one of the most heartwarming stories of love, family relationships, second chances, reconciliation, acceptance, and healing that you've read in a long time. The very believable characters are sisters Jenna and Betsy Franklin and Betsy’s husband, Ty.  Two sisters - so complete opposites - each with different hopes and dreams

Betsy is the oldest of the sisters. She's reliable and dependable, and she and her husband, Ty, are happy working hard together to keep their dairy farm going.  The Southern Alabama farm has been in Ty’s family for several years. Their one disappointment is that they have been unable to have children after 5 years of marriage.  Betsy carries a deep hurt inside and never talks about how much pain she is feeling.

Then there's Jenna - a free-spirited, single mother to daughters, Addie and Walsh.  She works at a coffee shop to support her family. Jenna wants to attend the Halcyon artist retreat to work on photography, so she asks Betsy to keep Addie and Walsh for two weeks.  Betsy doesn’t talk to her husband Ty before she promptly says yes to Jenna’s request.

When Jenna drops the girls off at Betsy and Ty’s farm, Betsy thought she had her sadness and pain under control but she finds that living with the girls causes it all to come back in her mind.  The two weeks that Jenna had requested then turn into months, causing Betsy to suffer with feelings of inadequacy. Betsy refuses to talk to Ty about her feelings and he's so worried about her. Ty is suffering too, and they find the situation affecting their marriage.

In the meantime a huge storm seems to be brewing and it i headed their way.  Hurricane Ingrid hits the Alabama coastline and threatens their lives.  The relationship between the sisters is nearly ripped apart.  Jenna must make a decision.  Ty and Betsy are trying to save their dairy farm while repairing their relationship.

This novel is exactly what I love—a southern setting, great characters, and a good plot that flows through.  Lauren K. Denton is becoming one of my favorite authors and I am looking forward to reading more of her books.  I can hardly wait!!"

As an aside, I have asked my mother to hold this book for me, because I definitely want to read it.
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This book was definitely adored. Lauren Denton wrote a well-crafted layered book that produced a soft story involving family. I enjoy those kind of books showing family dynamics and how people endure them. Domestic fiction has become a fav genre of mine and I appreciated the opportunity to have read this book.
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Just a bit too slow for me.  Well-written and beautiful character development.  However, I needed something where the storyline carried me to the end.  I felt I struggled to it.
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Contemporary Fiction
Sisters Jenna and Betsy were close growing up, but have grown distant as adults. Betsy and Ty operate Franklin Dairy Farm in Mobile, Alabama, struggling with their relationship as they have been unable to conceive. Meanwhile, Jenna is a single mum in Nashville, raising two sweet girls on a barista’s salary. When a mentor offers Jenna the chance to reconnect with her photography passion, she decides to take it. But the girls will need looking after for a couple of weeks, and Jenna pressures her older sister to help out. Betsy gives in, without telling Ty, who is distracted by the pending hurricane season as well as the usual farmer troubles with tractors and calving. To be honest, nothing much happens in this novel – it’s a character study more than anything, but it’s still a captivating read. Most of the story is from Betsy’s point of view, though we also get POVs from Jenna and to a lesser extent, Ty. I really liked that Denton didn’t cast Jenna as a selfish person choosing personal/artistic fulfillment over responsibility – that would have been quite easy to do. She gives the 20-something sister a full voice, motivated by a desire to give her daughters a better life and model for them what she’d never received from her own parents – encouragement and confidence. I do enjoy southern fiction – this is a languid read that encourages slow enjoyment of the story, preferably in a shady spot with a lemonade or chilled amber beer at your side. Metaphors abound – hens whose eggs are for food rather than reproduction, impacting children’s lives through school visits to the farm, and even making potato salad – combining separate things to make something new and whole and one might argue, better than the individual parts. The titular threat of a hurricane hangs over the book, but the real story here is about relationships – everyone wants things better, so you can’t even say they are stormy. A relaxing summer read with slow pacing and more character than plot. My thanks to publisher Thomas Nelson for the advance reading copy provided digitally through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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Her first book, The Hideaway, was a great southern fiction read. This book delivered a dose of southern country living, mixed in with some intense family dynamics. Another good read from this author. Also, I don't know who does her covers, but each one has made me swoon.
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Families have spells of fighting. And often times they to go through the hurricane before they can mend the fences that have been built up due to anger.
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While the writing was beautiful, I never formed an attachment to the characters and felt like it was so slow moving.
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I absolutely loved Denton's first book, and I really high hopes for her second novel. Although the description didn't sound too intriguing, her first book was one of my favorites, so I still held out hope. I have to say though, there wasn't anything too special about this, and I didn't see the appeal. I didn't really connect with any of the characters, and just found some to be annoying to me. Two of the main characters, Ty and Besty are only 3o, but they kept reading like they were in their 40s or 50s. I do like the southern plot and setting and the author is really descriptive in her writing which is nice, but overall the plot did nothing for me. It progressed rather slowly, and there wasn't any huge revelation or turn of events. To be really frank, it was a let down from her debut novel.
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Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton is the story of two estranged sisters and how life brings them back together.  The two sisters could not be more different or have more different lives from each other.  But they learn how strong the bond they share is during hurricane season one summer.  I agree with other reviewers that say that this is not a distinctly Christian book; however, it is a good, clean read.  I also agree that this book is slow in some places.  But I really believe that the descriptions and the slow parts all work together to give the effect the author desired.  This book is more literary in style than the author's book The Hideaway.  It is very different, but I still enjoyed it a lot.  I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher.  These opinions are entirely my own.
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Jenna, a single mom, asks her older sister Betsy to watch her children while she attends an artist retreat to reconnect with photography. Despite her infertility issues and resulting melancholy (unbeknownst to Jenna), Betsy agrees, as she’s always been a mother figure to her unpredictable sibling. Both sisters find themselves outside their comfort zones and in turn, find their way back to each other, all this while waiting for a hurricane to hit.

Denton portrays a complex sister relationship of unspoken jealousies, fears, and parental love, and how a challenging economy affects marriage and livelihood, as Betsy supplements her husband’s dairy farm with educational tours. There’s a subtle lesson in this novel to follow your heart and take responsibility for your talent, to be true to yourself. The only taint is the author’s apparent expectation of her readership all being Christian, so that the story sometimes feels preachy and insular. It doesn’t seem credible for an infertility specialist to advise a couple to pray for a natural pregnancy after a failed treatment. This is a small blemish on a wonderful story of sisterhood and authenticity. I was fortunate to receive this lovely novel through NetGalley.

I posted to my website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and B&N.
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What a wonderful story that takes takes readers on a journey of discovery. Betsy is my favorite character because of her giving heart. She is a character that many can relate to due to her desire to have a child. Her husband Ty is a hard working man who makes a living by running the Franklin Dairy Farm. The farm reminds me of my granddad's farm I visited every summer. It was a lot of work for him but he was the happiest  when he was outdoors.

Jenna who is Betsy's sister made me a bit annoyed. She is a single mom with two adorable girls barely making ends meet. When she gets a chance to maybe change her life, she jumps at the oportuity. She leaves her two girls with Betsy and Ty saying she would be back in two weeks. The story centers around the sisters and the emotional struggles they face. I loved how the author used Ty as a strong husband and continually supported his wife. It's hard to say what someone would do if given an opportunity to change their life, but at what expense will it do to the children?

The longer Jenna stays away, the closer the children become to their aunt and uncle. Ty could sense the emotional state Betsy was starting to fall in to. Could you leave your children for a period of time in hopes of a better future?   There is no guarantee in life, so maybe Jenna had to risk everything to find happiness. I loved the tension the author built as a hurricane threatens Betsy and Ty's place. I have been through several; the last one being Hurricane Harvey. It did major damage to our land and we lost many things. It also made us realize how precious life is. I liked how the tension started rearing its ugly head between Betsy and Ty. When Ty say "I'm never going to be enough for you, am I?" , I cried. The aching in Betsy's heart for a child is consuming her. Is she starting to push her husband away?

Jenna is complicated at times. I questioned her decision but in a way I understood. Sometimes we have to take a leap of faith and pray that things will work out. The more I got to know Jenna, the more I could identify with her. Is it so wrong to want a better life for yourself? Will Jenna make the correct choice for her and her girls? The book is skillfully written with a beautiful and touching ending. The author has written a story that reflects on faith and family. I loved the characters and how easily the story flowed. I look forward to the next book from this author who writes with beauty and grace.

I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild. The review is my own opinion.
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Jenna, a bit of a flake, but a good mother, drops her children off at her sister's farm so Jenna can go study photography.  Betsy and Ty have no children, not for the lack of trying, but are overwhelmed with the care a child takes - let alone two of them.  They both become quite attached to the children, Betsy more so.  In fact Betsy thinks the children should stay with them as they are so much more stable,   especially after Jenna extends her stay.  Awell-done book, leaving the ending a bit ambiguous, but it is perfect.
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Denton, has wrote another marvels book! I enjoyed this book from beginning to end! Digging deep into relationships and the struggles between husband and wife! This book will not disappoint!
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This story touched me a little more than most books.  As someone who suffered with infertility, Betsy's struggles were very real to me.  And then to have a sister who had two children without trying to was another nail in the coffin of my emotions. My sister had three children...getting pregnant with two of them while I was trying to get pregnant the first time. 

The author does a wonderful job of exploring the emotions both sisters experience, factoring in life growing up with parents who weren't really involved in their lives (very self centered), as well as their present day lives. 

This story was a storm of epic proportions...having you ache for Betsy and Ty, wondering where Jenna would end up, falling in love with the two precious children Jenna leaves with her sister for what turns into longer than a two-week retreat. There are so many analogies from the intensity of the storm related to raging emotions, growth of the garden Betsy plants related to how she and Ty grow in their relationship, etc. This book is a wonderful example of relationships and enduring the storms of life. 

Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I love Laura Denton's books and this one was another moving tale I have enjoyed.
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I felt that this book was going to be worth reading  from the very beginning, and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. I loved the story of the two sisters: Betsy and Jenna; I  thought  the author, Lauren K. Denton,  did a great job with characterization. She also added some background information showing  that the sisters’  parents were a bit neglectful  and how it affected them. The older sister, Betsy, always  looked out for Jenna, acting as more of a mother figure than her own mom did, and at times Jenna took advantage of that.   But to Betsy, family is family, and she has a difficult time saying no to her little sister. 

The fact that it is hurricane season also plays into the story in a interesting way. The storms of life go hand and hand with the weather outside. But there is also growth for all the characters, as they learn from their experiences. Lauren also did a great job of showing how anxious the  residents of an area prone to having hurricanes feel; how closely they follow the weather reports and how carefully they prepare. I liked other  little details in the book, like  how Betsy let her garden die, but in so many ways, her desire to start all over with it, paralleled other aspects of the story. (You have to read this to see how!) 

One  thing I absolutely love about books from this publisher is that they are free of the curse words that I have seen in at least 80% of the secular  books I have recently read. Who needs that? It’s a filthy habit, and I have no desire to pick it up by being constantly exposed to it. 

While this is published by Thomas Nelson, it really isn’t a Christian book. Other then mentioning one time that the family went to church, and a few characters who  suggest prayer during more difficult times, the characters don’t look to God and the Bible for guidance and help on a daily  basis.
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The  relationship between sister is a complicated one. For many siblings, their sister is their exact opposite: literal night and day differences. At least this is true for me and my sister: she’s fair skinned, light haired, freckled, and social. I, olive skinned and dark haired and dark eyed, hide away from large groups whenever possible. The relationship between the sisters in Lauren K. Denton’s Hurricane Season is a familiar one, but with layers of complications that breathes originality into this tense tale. 

Betsy is married, living with Ty on the dairy farm he inherited from his grandfather. What she’s wanted more than anything is to have children of her own but has been unable to conceive. Jenna wanted to be a photographer, but works full time at a coffee shop to support herself and her two young daughters. Their lives, from the way they view their childhoods to the way they live their present day, could not be more different. 

But when Jenna is accepted into a fully-funded artist workshop, she knows she can turn to her sister to watch her two daughters. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, but an opportunity that does not come without guilt for Jenna—and frustration for Betsy and Ty. 

Like a cyclone, the sisters circle each other, holding back truths to try and keep the peace during a time when everything is so up in the air. After all, Jenna isn’t sure when exactly she’s coming back to pick up her girls. And Betsy isn’t sure how long her marriage can survive having two young children in the house. 

Written in a quiet, thought-provoking manner, Hurricane Season is a perfect summer read. Not only were their moments of suspense, but there were also scenes that left me questioning my own motivations for what I do. Am I following my heart because of selfish reasons, or because I know that this is what’s best for me and my family?
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There was nothing particularly wrong with this book, but nothing extraordinary either. I kept waiting for a big problem, situation, or climax but it never came. Tropical storms, hurricanes, and favorite cows came and went without anything happening, though it felt like each time they were mentioned it was hinting of something more to come. One of the characters goes on an artist's retreat as a photographer- some of the writing surrounding that is cheesy but I got through it. I generally didn't care for the story or characters so I won't be searching out more from this author.
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4 stars for this sweet southern-filled read. Being from Alabama myself, I loved the setting from the get-go. All mentions of specific places made me feel right there with the characters. And I particularly enjoyed the nod to UAB (where I work) as it’s usually overlooked.

This is a story about a family. Betsy and Jenna grew up with career-driven, distant parents. Betsy was the smart, responsible sister to Jenna’s free-spirit, rule-breaking self. Betsy is married to Ty, a hardworking dairy farmer from South Alabama.

Jenna, a long-ago photography hopeful, is given an opportunity to attend a 2-week art retreat in Florida; the only issue is finding someone to keep her 2 girls for her while she’s gone. She calls Betsy the day before she’s set to leave and asks her if she’ll keep her girls for 2 weeks. Betsy agrees... before she talks to Ty.

Betsy and Ty have been trying for 5 years to have a child of their own while still running a dairy farm. When the girls are dropped off, they have to learn to be parents on-the-spot. While they are enjoying their time with their nieces, it is also a painful reminder of what they don’t have. Then when Jenna leaves a voicemail saying she’s extending her stay at her retreat, they have no choice but to keep on. Ty worries Betsy is getting too attached to the girls.

This book is so true of some family situations. And it deals with them very well. I wanted to start off not liking Jenna, but she really grew on me. She had to find her way, and when faced with her dream job she had to weigh what she really wanted out of life. I liked her decision. 

I really would have given this 5 stars if the ending hadn’t of made me so mad. There was closure, but I wanted a little more; like, maybe, 2 years into the future. But that’s my opinion.
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This is the second book I read from Lauren K. Denton. His first book, The Hideaway has made me fall in love with the narration created by the author. Then another thing that made me pick and take this book is because the cover is very beautiful and alive. Of course, the third part that makes me love this book is the concept of the relationship between two sisters. I want to fall into this story.
Betsy and Ty Franklin may have given up on having children. Moreover, they are too tired with various tests that have been passed fertility. They try to establish love in the home without the figure of a child. Then came two nephews, the two daughters from her sister, Jenna. Yes, it was two weeks that could change Betsy's life.
I love how every character in this story is built. As usual, Lauren K. Denton also drugged me with a binding and easy-to-read narrative. Then we also should not forget the concept of storms in this story. Storms can come to life and ruin everything, but by that time we also learned many ways to grow and heal.
Throughout the story the reader will find emotions built from clear characters. Three different angles of each character make the story more fresh and interesting. Then the reader will be carried away by stories of emotion, accepting, giving and sustaining. This is not an easy life for every character. They have different problems but that does not mean they do not rise.
Then the bond between the two sisters was built from unexpected stories. I really like the writer who try to attract the reader's emotions. Like it or not, this story keeps me going through the pages to the end. It is a contemporary story that is alive and hard to forget.
Each narrative also flows very well. I can feel this effect, just like when I read The Hideaway. I think this is the advantage of Lauren K. Denton that will push this book to explode throughout the bookstore. But for the end of the story, I was actually less impressed and sick. Indeed all the stories end like that, peace and there is a very deep meaning. But I think this ends too soon. And finally, after reading, I have many questions that may never be answered again. 
It's a living, contemporary story about the relationship of two sisters. The narrative is so beautiful that it forces me to finish it in one reading. And thanks to the author Lauren K. Denton also NetGalley # #Tnzfiction #NetGalley
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It took a long time for me to love this book - I must have been half way through before it really started to pull at my heart.  But when it did I really loved it, 
The characters became real and believable - and the 'unlikeable' sister became a much more sympathetic character. A really good read.
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