Almost Home

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

Although WWII was fought mostly in Europe, it took a heavy toll on the American people. In order to cope with the harsh economic times, Dolly Chandler and her husband turn their family home into a  boarding house.  They take in an estranged young couple from the Midwest, unemployed professors from Chicago, a widower from Mississippi and a shattered young veteran struggling to heal from the war. They are hoping that they can still weather their own private storms and get back to "normal". But unknown to them, the house has a past of its own...

By the time I finished this book,  I also wanted a room in Dolly' Chandler's home... I loved the different storylines and the camaraderie that forms between the boarders. Honestly, I did not want this book to end because I got engaged in the storyline and would not mind a sequel.
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Almost  Home by Valerie Fraser Luesse is one of my favorite reads this Summer. The story takes place in the 1940s, also during the World War era.

Si and Dolly Chandler open their home as a way to earn extra money for their taxes.  Jessie and Anne William are the first guest.  Jessie as many others during this time, looking for work.  

Daisy, a young widowed lady ,fast becomes a favorite. She is trying to cope with the loss of her husband and selling their family farm.  Becoming like sisters, Anne and Daisy spent much of their time together. A war veterans named Reed, also moves into the boarding house, as do a few others.

As the book moves along, a story unfolds of a pirate and his beautiful, young bride,  Journals found will soon become a evening past time for these people.  Trying to discover if there was a hidden treasure and what became of the young couple after their wedding night. 

This is my first book by the author.  It kept me from interested as I fell in love with each character. I think the author did a great job at making each character come alive.  It is a great story of survival, and strong friendships. 

I received a copy of the book from the publisher and NetGalley for a review. All opinions are of my own.
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Almost Home by Valerie Fraser Luesse is a 3 part novel involving the house of Si and Dolly Chandler in Blackberry Springs, Alabama. It’s the 1940s and the World War are actively happening. Si and Dolly are hurting for money and need to find a way to pay off their taxes.

In order to pay the taxes, Si and Dolly open their home to a variety of guests that are needing a change of pace and to get back on their feet as the economy rejuvenates itself. The first set of guests we meet are Anna and Jesse Williams from Illinois.

Anna and Jesse are a very young married couple in need of time away from their farm. Jesse needs to find work during the hard economic times. Additionally, Anna and Jesse need something to help put the spark back into their marriage.

In order to entertain Anna, Dolly introduces Anna to a young widowed woman named Daisy. Daisy is an interesting girl and she loves to draw. Anna also meets the blind neighbor, Lilian, and they soon become fast friends. Lilian tells Anna about the legend of the famous Pirate Andre and his beloved preacher’s daughter, Catherine’s well known hidden treasure. Dolly and Si have looked around for the treasure for years since they live in the pirate’s former home.

Soon, a solider, Reed Ingram, comes to stay at the inn. He struggles with PTSD from the war and he has been injured. However, Daisy comes to his rescue and helps him. However, will both Reed and Daisy conquer the battles that are raging inside them?

When Anna finds an old journal hidden in a former slaves cellar, the tale becomes true to life. Anna, Daisy, Dolly, and the other women of the inn form a little group. The journals hold mystery information. Soon the men become involved. However, many different happenings distract the group from their precious journals, and some mysterious issues arise at the Chandler’s home.

Will these couple’s find happiness and resolve their hurts? Is the story of Andre and Catherine true and is their really a treasure or will trouble take away all the hope they have? You are just going to have to grab a copy of the book for yourself.

This is book was a great read. I did not realize that it was a three part novel and it surprised me as I continued reading. I felt that the characters and the problems they had were very true to life. I could relate to many of them. I really enjoy this book. This was my first Valerie Fraser Luesse read and I was not disappointed. I hope to be able to enjoy more of her books.

Lastly, I want to thank Revell Publishing and the author for giving me the opportunity to review this complimentary ebook . I was under no obligation to give a positive or negative review.
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What a timely book! It was good to read it as we mark the 75th anniversary of WWII. Ms. Luesse's story gave a wide perspective of that time period. She allowed us to look at it through the eyes of an injured veteran, a grieving widow, and others that are impacted by the events surrounding our involvment in the war.

The story gripped my heart! This is the first book by Ms. Luesse that I have read and I look forward to reading many more from her.
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Anna and Jesse are heading to Blackberry Springs, Alabama, so Jesse can work in a munitions plant after almost losing their farm in Illinois. World War II is in full swing, and sacrifices are being made all over the globe. Anna and Jesse’s marriage is slowly falling apart, and Anna doesn’t know how to get Jesse back from the cold shell he has been showing ever since they got to Dolly and Si’s boardinghouse.

Meanwhile, Dolly and Si are trying everything to hang on to the beautiful home they inherited from Dolly’s grandmother. Dolly takes in boarders, while Si runs a roller skating rink and is busily building a lake for swimming. Dolly’s talent for making people feel at home is well-known, and her love and understanding is just what Anna needs.

I enjoyed this story of love, loss, and sacrifice. The characters were warm and honest, and the legend of pirate gold woven through was a delicious thread that held my attention.  I love historical fiction, and this book did not disappoint.
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ALMOST HOME is the first book I’ve read by Valerie Fraser Luesse. She grabbed me right away, from the very first page and she never let me go. Now I’m kicking myself for not making time to read her first book, Missing Isaac! Blackberry Springs, Alabama is home to one of the many munitions plants during WWII. Workers from all over the country are coming down to work there. Dolly Chandler has an old family home that she has turned into a boarding house to accommodate many of the workers. Oh, the people you will meet at her dining room table. Her husband Si along with Dolly really captured my heart as they are very caring people who only try to help others.

Dolly’s boarding house has so much history and it’s almost as if the house is alive. There is also a huge mystery that comes with the house and some of the boarders try to solve what actually happened there. ALMOST HOME is a very captivating story and will have you flipping the pages quickly to see if they solve the mystery. I was instantly caught up in the story of Catherine and Andrew Sinclair. When I finished reading this wonderful story I was happy and sad at the same time. The story was great but I wasn’t ready to leave all of the strong, caring characters.

ALMOST HOME is filled with twists and turns and had me swiping the pages way too late one night to finish! I had to know where Valerie Fraser Luesse was taking us and what would happen to all the people at the boarding house. There is so much heart in Valerie’s writing that I was left with a huge smile on my face and my heart very happy. All of the characters are very interesting and believable, so much so that I felt as if I’ve known them for a long time. Fans of historical fiction will love this book!
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I would love to review this book.  However, I am having problems with my downloaded copy from NetGalley and can’t read it.  I have no doubt this is a great book.  I’ll get a copy and will review it after I’ve read it.
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I kept seeing this book pop up as I was browsing titles and there was something about the cover that I kept coming back to. I finally decided to check it out and I am glad that I did. Almost Home is the story of Dolly and Si and their boarders . In a small town in Alabama, a couple takes in boarders to help pay their tax bill on their beautiful home, which has been passed on down Dolly’s family line. They are also building a lake and a skating rink, which will help bring in income. The story really focuses on the people who come to stay though. There is a couple whose farm failed and they needed an escape. Another couple of professors who lost their jobs due to the war and the Great Depression. There are also 2 vets, one of which is still healing from his time in the service. Then there is a young widow who lives down the road and befriends them all. Each person will find that living with Dolly and Si will bring them to healing and togetherness, while also building amazing bonds of friendship. Throw in some old pirate tails and story of buried treasure and you have a real adventure. This story made me laugh and gasp and cry and wish for more. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a refreshing story about love and life and all that means. I received a free copy of this story from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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Si and Dolly have fallen on tough times and rent our rooms in their giant home. It seems they minister to their boarders, in addition to housing and feeding them. They model marriage for them and they treat all as family. Ann and Jesse have left a failing farm to get their feet back under them and get their marriage on track. Daisy, a WWII widow and Reed, sent home from the war with physical wounds and PTSD, find healing in their new friendship. The back story is of Catherine and the pirate Andrew and their love story and mysterious disappearance. Other boarders carry part of the story, along with the expelled couple who were asked to leave the home.
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My introduction to Valerie Luesse was a surprising delight.  Almost Home gave such a breath-taking view of life at home during World War II.  The United States is just coming out of a decade long depression and people are looking for jobs wherever they can find them. 

Dolly and Si have a boarding house in Blackberry Springs, Alabama.  They are trying to save money to pay the taxes on the house so that they won't lose it.  Si has lots of schemes to come up with the money.  His latest being building a lake and a skating rink in an old barn.  Some of the residents help Si out during their free times.

Dolly uses her home as a place of healing for those who need it.  Anna and Jesse are a young couple who have moved from Illinois to Alabama so that Jesse can work and save money to go back to their farm.  Reed is a wounded soldier who needs to heal from his mental and physical wounds.  Although Daisy doesn't live in Dolly's boarding house, she needs Dolly's healing touch too.  She is a widow of the war, and needs to give herself permission to start over.

Underneath the over-arcing story is the story of Andre and Catherine--a pirate and a preacher's daughter.  All kinds of legends and myths revolve around Andre, including a buried treasure.

This is definitely a five star book, with two thumbs up, and a diary/map to the treasure.

My thanks to Revell Publishing and for providing the galley I read.
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I really enjoy this authors writing! I don't read much fiction that is set in the time frames she writes in. Its just not something I am all that interested in, but I make an exception for her! Her characters are always deeply layered and written just like real people with real problems and emotions. I can easily put myself in their shoes, even though they lived years ago and in a situation that I have never been in. And I think that is a sign of a wonderful writer!
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Christian Historical set in Alabama during the war. A couple lives near an Army plant in a big old house where they took in boarders to help pay their taxes. Money and jobs were in short supply but there was work at the Army plant. These people, mainly three couples, came together in this big old house, living as best they could. This story is full of wonderful Southern warmth, charm and humor. You'll just love these people who are all struggling in their own way, trying to get by, putting a good face on it and learning from each other in the long run. The bond that they form is very strong. This is a new author for me - I'm a fan now.

"We both like tendin’ to our own knittin’ and don’t get on each other’s nerves.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher and NetGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Almost Home is a delightful Southern Historical story set in the 1940s.  I loved the characters and the boarding house setting sets up a wonderful set of circumstances.  This book is so charming and I loved reading it.
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Almost Home is a lovely historical novel set in a boarding house in 1940's small town Alabama.   Recommended for fans of historical fiction and inspirational fiction.
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This was a story that kept me guessing until the end. And left me wanting more. What a wonderful description of how a group of strangers became friends and all survived the depression and the second world war. The story takes place in Blackberry Springs, Alabama. You will genuinely care for  Ms. Luesse's characters. We have a wonderful mix of people, who have all suffered lose and find themselves at Dolly's boarding house. It would be hard to pick a favorite. We have an unemployed couple of professors from Chicago, an estranged young couple from the Midwest, a widower from Mississippi,  and a shattered young veteran struggling to heal from the war. There are a couple of outstanding neighbors as well, a young widow named Daisy and a special older blind neighbor named Lillian. There is so much to this book. You will learn what it means to help your neighbor. How to be a true friend. And how sharing helps the load grow lighter. This could have been a dark and sad novel, but I loved the way this author was able to draw hope out of the darkness.  I enjoyed this story so much and I would definitely recommend it.  I received a copy of this book from Revell through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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Book Court - Where I'm the Judge and Jury

CHARGE (What is the author trying to say?): To explore the effects of World War II and the Great Depression.

FACTS: A family home becomes a boarding house as a couple tries to save their home. Their assorted guests are all fleeing something. A young couple runs from their failed farm, professors flee their closing university, a widow escapes the pain of losing her young husband, and a veteran flees the horrors of war. Can they find what they were searching? Can the home be saved? Can a local treasure legend be solved? This is a sweet story of healing and redemption.

VERDICT (Was the author successful?): Guilty, as charged. A very pleasant read.

#AlmostHome #NetGalley
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"Almost Home" is a story that is beautifully shared and will have the reader longing for a circle of people to live life with such as the characters in the book.  Blackberry Springs is a place that is changing so much due to World War II and Dolly finds her home changing and her life both after she opens her open to be a boardinghouse.  As Dolly connects with newcomers to town and neighbors, she realizes she needs them all just as much as they all need her home and each other.  Tragedy and changes can create a wedge between people, but it can also build a tie just as strong and result in hope.  Reading this book painted such vivid pictures for me, as the author's style of writing is so descriptive and flowy, it felt as if I was a part of the story.  I loved getting to know the characters, they all became so real to me and I loved learning their stories and seeing the bonds that they all built with each other.  As the intrigue and backstory of the house draws them even more together, I loved seeing this play out and this aspect of the story as it added an additional element to it.  I am looking forward to reading what Valerie will write next!
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Almost Home is a pretty good read. I enjoyed this book. I give four stars. I recommend it for other readers who love a well written and clean fiction.
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I liked this book very much. It pulls you in from the start and makes you want more. 

Great setting, time period and characters. A southern novel at it’s best for sure. I enjoyed this book and learned a few things along the way. 

I highly recommend this book. It’s a 4.5 stars from me.

Thank you NetGalley and Revell for a copy in exchange for an honest review. Loved it!!
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You know that this will be a Southern novel when the author starts out by talking about “Yankee carpetbaggers” as boarders, but this genuine language brings out the charm of the owners and the setting - southern Alabama! 
Miss Dolly and her husband, Si, rent out rooms to the Clanahans, a dreadful couple, Anna and Jesse Williams, a young couple who need a fresh start, Dr. and Mrs. Hastings, university professors who need jobs, and Joe Dolphus, a widower in search of work.
The Clanahans are ordered to leave the house the first evening that Anna and Jesse are there for insulting their hosts and Dolly’s cooking!
The house they live in, which Dolly calls “Little Mama’s house”, is a Southern landmark, which is lovingly cared for by its’ owners, is a farmer “river pirate’s house.” Dolly and Si changed an old barn into a roller skating rink, and they are planning on making a lake for the whole community to enjoy and to help pay for the taxes on their home.
You will have to read the story for yourself to find out how living with Dolly and Si changes and enriches everyone’s lives, and how a decades-old mystery is solved!
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