Cover Image: This Place of Wonder

This Place of Wonder

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Member Reviews

The story
Four women. Meadow, ex-wife of restauranteur Augustus. Maya his daughter from his addict first wife. Rory, Meadow’s daughter with no known father. Norah, Augustus’ much younger live-in girlfriend. When Augustus dies from a suspected heart attack, years long pain and sadness is unleashed in all four. Their secrets are revealed one by one to themselves and each other. 

My thoughts 
I have adored each of Barbara O’Neal’s books that I read before and this gorgeous story as well. The story is told from Meadow’s, Maya’s and Norah’s perspectives and the layers unfold gently revealing the human mistakes that are made, the pain that has been buried. By the end, the layers are stripped away and the raw truth allows the four grieving woman to continue with each other’s support.
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📚 Between Book Review 📚 

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This Place of Wonder

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Chelsey 4.5 ⭐️ 

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Thanks to NetGalley and Barbara O’Neal for this advance copy!

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Augustus Beauvais , acclaimed chef of Peaches and Pork, is dead and the women in his life are reeling. Ex-wife Meadow grieves the loss of her one true love while trying to keep secrets from her past buried. His daughter Maya is freshly out of rehab, inherited the house and restaurant, and is grappling with her complex feelings and anger for the father she lost. Finally, his current girlfriend Norah is kicked out of his house, and returns to her original reason for meeting Augustus.. writing a pro-feminism expose on Meadow. Will the family be able to find their way without Augustus, or will the ties that bind them come undone?

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💭 Thoughts 💭 

Another well done @ family drama. All of the women were deeply flawed yet so caring, you could feel the realistic family tension. I liked how their stories intertwined and the way that the end wrapped up.

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⌛️ Favorite Moment ⌛️ 

The flashbacks to Meadow and Augustus’ romance were steamy! It helped put their relationship in perspective and showed just how much they cared about one another.

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It’s not officially summer for me until I’ve read the newest Barbara O’Neal release. I look forward to a new book from her like I look forward to a visit from a very loved and dear friend. Her books feel like home to me and this one is no exception. 

I loved this book from the opening page to the very satisfying ending, and every page in between. I was right there on the farm, in the beautiful family home, and in the restaurant with all of its delicious tastes and smells. I was also so invested in each character, their heartaches and trials, their joys and goodness. Every moment came alive on the page and jumped out and grabbed my heart and there it all still is, written right there on the pages of my heart and soul. I just adore the way this author can capture all of that for me. I could go on for ever, but in the end I will just say that I highly recommend this book. Read it! You will be so glad you did
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This Place of Wonder follows four women (Norah, Meadow, Maya and Rory) in the aftermath of Cher Augustus Beauvais's death. Meadow, the ex-wife, built an empire and family with Augustus and never seemed to stop loving him. Maya, his estranged daughter, is fresh out of rehab and holds a lot of anger towards her father. Rory, Meadow's daughter, is calm and collected but struggling to accept her step-dad is dead. Norah, the latest girlfriend of Augustus, gave up her career for him and is now at a loss. 

This book was my first by Barbara O'Neal. I liked the exploration of how four different women responded to an influential man in their life dying, somewhat unexpectedly. The story pivots through each woman's perspective and I really appreciated reading from the different perspectives. Maya and Meadow were my favourite perspectives to read from, Norah got on my nerves and I wish we had been able to have more insight from Rory. She was often portrayed as the only one to be happy and content with her life despite everything that had happened so some balance could have offset the heavier topics. 

The topics covered within are very heavy and some trigger warnings are most definitely required for assault, abortion, alcoholism/addiction, infidelity and child abuse.   Maya's storyline as she handles life post rehab, and reflects on life during the grip of alcoholism, is rare and authentically told. Meadow's past which Norah seeks to uncover is heartbreaking to read (I felt uncomfortable over Norah's digging into this past just because Meadow was famous but understand this is what people do, made me feel sad Meadow had to relive this tragic period). 

The recent events of Roe v Wade being overturned made the views/paragraph on abortion contained within uncomfortable to read. The character's thoughts come across as judgemental which is not something I appreciate around this topic. One female is judging one of the other females for not getting an abortion. This vibe to me was just as distasteful to read as a judgement of somebody getting an abortion. I think my thoughts on this are extra sensitive though due to the recent current events we have happening here in the US. This is only covered in a paragraph or two and does not take away from my overall enjoyment of reading the book.
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I received a digital ARC from Lake. Union Publishing via NetGalley.

This is the first book that i have read by Barbara O’Neal, and I appreciated the author’s writing style. The characters in this story are realistic and relatable.  The family dynamic was interesting to read as well.
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This is a family drama story of the lives of three women who knew Augustus Beauvais. Meadow was the ex-wife of Auggust, Norah was the mistress of Augustus and Maya was the daughter of Augustus from his first marriage. Augustus Beauvais dies suddenly and his death affects the three women in different ways. 

The story is told from the perspectives of Norah, Meadow and Maya who recounts their experience with Augustus. The author has a unique style of writing and did a good job of drawing the reader into the story. It was also very interesting to read each of these characters as each of the characters are holding a secret that may ruin their lives. The story is set in California and the description of the places makes the reader feel like they are in California as well.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this story and if you like a story with family drama, then this one is for you--worth five stars.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.
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This book tackles difficult issues in a real and honest way. What really shines in this book are the amazingly developed characters! Each character was fully developed and had my rooting for them. This is a bit of a slow burn but I was so invested I didn't want it to end. Highly recommend! Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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So fun to read another book by one of my favorite authors. 
This story revolves around  the unexpected death of chef, Augustus Beauvais,  and the four woman who loved him. 
His Ex Wife Meadow, their two daughter, his Maya and hers, Rory, and his recent girlfriend Norah ,all who were mourning his loss in very different ways and for very different reasons.
Each of these women were integral in Augustus life and all had come from some type of trauma in their lives.
I am not big on telling all of the story, but if you want a wonderful read with great characters and plot, this one is for you. I have never been disappointed by any of her books.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for a copy of this book.
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Thanks NetGalley for the arc!

I’ve heard so many great things about Barbara O’Neals When We Believed in Mermaids. I own it but haven’t read yet! I knew from those rave reviews This Place of Wonder would not be a book to pass up!

This was family drama at its finest. It was filled with deep seeded love but little romance. It also had a heavy air of mystery without being a thriller. It kept me captivated throughout. 

Augustus & Meadow got together while each already having a young toddler daughter. Their love was magic. It was a tale for the ages. They built an empire (from nothing) in the food world. They raised Rory & Maya together all while opening a restaurant and farm. But Augustus strayed from the marriage & the two end up divorced. Although it didn’t seem to matter much because they remain very close (ignoring Meadows broken heart.) 

When we meet the characters, Maya is going through a crisis and her peak of alcoholism. Augustus drops dead in his restaurant. Meadow is left to clean up all the pieces including his newest young girlfriend. 

There’s so much more to each of the characters that O’Neal slowly builds upon through this story.  There’s many elements touched upon that really make the reader think (addiction, infidelity, abandonment, etc). Everything we go through really make us who we are. But without letting people in on those tidbits of our life- our motivations can remain mysterious or misunderstood. I loved the way O’Neal told a story. She painted such a clear picture & made me quite hungry a few times! I’ll definitely be reading her next novels!
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I really enjoyed this book.  The story was well thought out and the characters were very well described, believable and likable.  The mystery was embedded in the story well, and wasn’t impossible to figure out.  I understood how each of these women loved Augustus, even though he was a very flawed character.  I was rooting for all of them as the story progressed.  As with the last book I reviewed from this author, I did feel as though too many characters were introduced very quickly and I did become a bit confused and confused t took me a while to determine who was who.  I had to go back to earlier chapters a few times to better understand what name went with what character.
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I can’t think of any author as skilled at writing complex, twisted relationships and difficult circumstances as Barbara O’Neal, and this book epitomizes all of those things. In this brilliant, emotional, layered novel, we hear from three women who loved the same man—his ex-wife, his newly-sober daughter, and his latest lover. When Augustus dies unexpectedly, it leaves them reeling with grief, regret, uncertainty, and doubt. All three women stir up a swirl of emotions, as they grapple with his loss, reconcile their guilt, and look for a path to move forward. Their lives are entwined in so many complicated and messy ways, and all of their relationships are a reflection of that. I was fully immersed in their lives, wanting to uncover their pasts and their secrets, turning pages to stay up with their present, and hoping for them all to find peace and healing in their future.
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Augustus is a well know restaurant owner and wine maker, he is also a womaniser.
When he dies he leaves behind an ex wife two daughters and a mistress.
This is a slow moving tale from the point of view of these women.
A book about secrets and lies.
Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Barbara O'Neal's book This Place of Wonder is the story of a blended family suffering a tragedy. O'Neal takes a deep dive into the inter-personal dynamic of each character in her poignant writing. 

Synopsis:
Renowned chef Augustus Beauvais passes away suddenly leaving behind his ex-wife Meadow, his two daughters Maya and Rory, and his girlfriend Norah. As the four women struggle with their grief they discover that Augustus left behind secrets they must face. To move forward they must learn to rely on inner strength, forgiveness and love. 

In This Place of Wonder, Barbara O'Neal uses the natural tension of familial relationships to guide the story. Readers are held captive by juicy conflict and dysfunction throughout the plot. Intriguing situations and interesting dialogue abound in the engaging novel. (3.75 ⭐⭐⭐)

This Place of Wonder by best-selling author Barbara O'Neal is available on July 19th.

Thank you, NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing, for allowing me to review this beautiful book. I appreciate your kindness.
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I was overjoyed with a chance to review “This Place of Wonder,” the latest effort of fan-favorite, Barbara O’Neal, author of “When We Believed in Mermaids” and “Write My Name Across the Sky.”  

When chef Augustus Beauvais suddenly dies of a heart attack, he leaves behind his ex-wife, Meadow,  his daughter, Maya, stepdaughter, Rory and mistress, Norah. Because the novel is told through the POVs of three of these women, we learn about each woman’s relationship to Augustus and how they decide to move forward as well as about each of their personal struggles and what makes them tick. Augustus continues to be a mighty force on these four women, maybe too much of a presence as some of the women’s choices tend to be based on his influence. 

The author is a master at creating well developed female characters and their (sometimes dynfunctional) relationships. Many of her novels touch on sisterhood, which we see here with the relationship between Maya and Rory, the latter of who does not get her own POV. What I appreciated about this novel was while there was a mystery element, what made this story shine was its character-driven arcs. I especially enjoyed reading about Maya’s struggle with addiction and how her dad passed before she had a chance to reconcile how their relationship impacted her. While I did find parts of this novel underwhelming, overall, “This Place of Wonder” is a well-thought, captivating novel that makes you care what happens to these women. 

Thanks go to Barbara O’Neal , the publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to give “This Place of Wonder” an early read.
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I tried with book but it was average. Wasnt really anything there to grab my interest. Wasnt really memorable in any way. But the cover is gorgeous and the characters were okay. The writing was great just didnt wnjoy it as much as i wanted too
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From three women's POVs, we get to see what Augustus was like to each of them and the man himself from a variety of different angles. O'Neal does a great job of showing how someone can seem so different depending on who's looking at it. 

Despite Augustus' infidelities and messy split, Meadow, who knows him the best, still considers him her soul mate. But his daughter Maya has never forgiven him. Rory adores Augustus as a loving and generous grandfather to her kids, and Norah looks up to him as a generous savior from a lonely childhood in adoption. 

When Augustus' death is being investigated by police, O'Neal tries to add a mysterious element to the story, but I never really felt like I was left wanting answers.
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Barbara O'Neal has done it again--a beautifully written novel that had me engrossed from page one, kept me guessing and engaged throughout, and made me feel all the feels. I love how each of the point-of-view characters is so fully fleshed out and lovingly rendered, flaws and all, and how each is so different and distinct from the others. The setting is gorgeous with a deft attention to salient details that I've come to love from O'Neal, and the plot was woven with intrigue and surprises. But it was O'Neal's attention to character that gripped me by the heart and wouldn't let go. I really felt like I knew these characters as real-live human beings, and I experienced their joys and sorrows deeply, as if I were living their stories along with them. After a deliciously satisfying ending, I kept wishing there were more loose ends to tie up, simply because I wanted to stay with these characters longer. This is my new favorite book. 100% recommend, especially if you enjoyed When We Believed in Mermaids.
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Great story. I loved hearing all of the different points of view and crossing from past into present. What an interesting family.
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I love a good story where there are different points of view and this book by the great Barbara O'neal was such a book. The book followed multiple women all trying to deal with the death of the famous Augustus. He leaves behind his girlfriend, ex wife, and two daughters, all who have their own issues they are trying to deal with on top of their grief. The book does an amazing job with the development of these characters and showing how complicated relationships can be.
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I throughly enjoyed The Place of Wonder. A celebrated chef dies leaving behind an ex wife, two daughters and a girlfriend who must learn how to live without him as they sort through the memories of their relationship together. A character driven, fast, page turning read perfect for the summer.
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