Cover Image: A Place to Land

A Place to Land

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A Place to Land by Lauren K. Denton kept me so engaged – I had to know what happened after every page! This is the first book I have read by this author and I will definitely continue to read more of her books. I had so much fun with this story and was connected to the characters. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars on Goodreads.

This story is all about two sisters in their 60s, Violet Figg and Trudy, and everything from their secret past from 40 years ago coming to light. Violet and Trudy have been through so much together. Violet has always been Trudy’s protector, just as she promised their mother as a little girl. Things go to the extreme one night 40 years ago when a traumatic experience takes away Trudy’s voice, leaving her mute for the past 40 years. They each run an art shop in Sugar Bend, Alabama together when all of a sudden, things from their past start to resurface leaving many questions for everyone. Then we have 18 year old Maya, a foster kid who feels pulled to go to Sugar Bend for a new start, who meets Violet and Trudy and becomes part of their family really fast. Maya has been searching for her own place for so long – has she found it with these 2 sisters?

I had a great time with this story. The writing is addictive to read, I was turning pages so fast, especially at the end after 75% -- I had to know what happens next! I loved the characters, mystery aspect, southern setting, writing style and dual timeline back to the past where we got to see the early life of Violet and Trudy in the late 70s and early 80s.

We also had some romance with some of the characters that I enjoyed but was ultimately more invested in the mystery to figure out what happened to one of the characters.

I love the ending and our characters finally finding their “places to land” in life. Very heartwarming ending.
The only downside I had was this story was a little predictable and some items I didn’t necessarily agree with, but I overall enjoyed the story and am excited to read more of her books.

Trigger warning for anyone who is sensitive to domestic violence.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy to honestly read and review. I will be posting a reading vlog on my YouTube where I discuss this book.

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I loved this audiobook -- and book! The words on the page are sensitive and intriguing, a sense only enhanced by the narration and tone. It's easy to picture Violet Figg on her quest for peace, privacy and a long-lost love. There is no voice for her sister Trudy, who has been silent since the disappearance of her abusive husband. Throw in a young girl, Maya, who longs for roots, and you can see where each of the three draws strength from the other. The reappearance of a long-buried boat puts the past and present on a collision course with future happiness. The back-and-forth between time and facts adds to the reader's desire for a happy ending. If only there was really a Sugar Bend, Ala., to visit and a Two Sisters to shop at!

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A Place to Land by Lauren K. Denton

Violet is doggedly determined to take care of her younger, beautiful sister as her mother requested before she left them. But both Violet and Trudy are fooled by the charming Jay Malone. After Trudy and Jay are married, even though Trudy protests that she is fine, Violet can see the bruises of abuse on her sister. Violet is determined to rescue Trudy. But at what cost? Then one fateful night their lives are irrevocably changed.

This is a tender tale of loyalty, love, loss and second chances. The story carefully unfolds under the author’s watchful eye, revealing the two sisters’ past. The writing has a lyrical quality, and the characters took up residence in my heart and imagination. I found myself thinking about them after the story ended.

Fans of Lauren Denton will not be disappointed. Readers who enjoy women’s fiction will find much to savor: a small town, a mystery, a love restored. I very much enjoyed this book and think you will, too. I am grateful to the publisher for a complimentary arc in exchange for this, my honest review.

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What lengths would you go to in order to protect the ones you love? Violet Figg and her sister Trudy have a bond like no other. Since Trudy lost her voice after a traumatic event forty years ago, Violet has done everything to provide solace and security for her, but it required sacrifices to be made, including giving up her one true love. When a boat resurfaces in the river one night, the past comes crashing back and suddenly everyone is forced to face the truth or risk losing one another.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It had a bit of a slow start, but once Maya came into Violet and Trudy’s lives, the story began to pick up and the relationships between the characters truly started to bloom. I’m also glad this was written in both past and present POVs because it gradually painted a picture of what really happened all those years ago but didn’t give away too much too soon. Overall, I definitely recommend it!

*Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Muse for providing a copy of this book to review.*

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Southern storyteller Lauren K. Denton returns following The One You're With with A PLACE TO LAND —a forty-year-old mystery of two sisters, a hidden past, a secret, and a young girl looking for a home.

Set in Sugar Bend, Alabama, we meet sisters, Violet and Trudy Figg.

A tragedy occurred forty years ago, and Trudy has not been able to speak since this time. She spends time making sculptures from objects she has found and communicates by writing notes.

Violet is very protective of her sister, and she runs their art shop while monitoring bird activity. She also gave up her true love to save her sister.

We also meet eighteen-year-old Maya, , who is looking for a place to land after her grandmother died. She comes to Sugar Bend and shows up at the art shop called Two Sisters. An interesting character, moving from one foster home to another and looking for a place to call her own.

From two time periods, the present day and events back in the 1970s and 1980s.

Told in alternating POV, the past and present collide after a boat floats up on Little River during a storm, making the future uncertain for Maya, Violet, and Trudy. They must face the past to move on.

Will they try and keep the past buried, or will all be revealed?

An emotionally moving story of family, sisters, love, hope, and evil in a small town infused with mystery, intrigue, and redemption. Well-developed characters and vivid settings make this a must-read for fans of women's fiction, family drama, a touch of romance, and mystery.

A special thank you to #HarperMuse and #NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Blog Review posted @
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
Pub Date: Oct 4, 2022
My Rating: 4 Stars
Oct 2022 Must-Read-Books

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Lauren K. Denton is a Southern author whose wonderful stories of love, belonging, and finding home are set in fictional towns with characters richly drawn from her own life and imagination. In the South “your people” are the link to the past and a key to the present! Lauren’s “people” are written with deep, meaningful lives that evoke a wide range of emotions.
A Place to Land is the story of how love and a promise to a mother impacts the lives of sisters Violet and Trudy Figg. Violet, whose life is on hold to protect her sister, fills her days surveying birds for the Coastal Alabama Audubon Society. Trudy, who only communicates by writing notes, silently creates artwork for their shop, Two Sisters Art in Sugar Bend, Alabama. Now the past Violet and Trudy have tried to bury bumps right into the present when after forty years a sunken boat resurfaces on the muddy, weed filled banks of the winding Little River.
Lauren K. Denton’s plot is filled with secrets and winds around as many bends as the Little River. Denton's novel is chocked full of stories of bird watching, lost love, hurtful tales of the "friendliest guy in town', and a teenage victim of the foster care system. With a mysterious boat, teens Maya and Tyler searching for courage to leave their present life to forge a future, and the Figg sisters hoping love transcends past decisions, readers will get a warm, safe sense of Southern belonging and what it truly means to finally find A Place to Land.

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I really loved this book. It is a mystery that takes place in the South. The slower, relaxed pace of the book seemed to reinforce the slower life that the two (now older) sisters now live. The story is told in a dual time line that fed out gradually to explain what happened the night that changed the sisters lives forever. In the present, they are still holding the secret of that night and living a life that is brightened a little when a young woman straight out of the foster system comes to town and is taken under the wings of Trudy and Violet. Trudy who has not spoken since that fateful night collects items along the beach to use in her artwork, patiently writing notes to others. Violet patrols her area to document all the birds that she sees and also keeps watch over her sister. Their lives are changing now, and their secrets might be working their way to the surface.

The author has gently woven the different stories of the character together to produce one cohesive and beautiful finished product. If you want a lot of action with your mystery, this won't be for you. However, if you like your mystery to unfold in front of you bit by bit, give this one a try.

Thanks to Harper Muse and NetGalley for the gifted copy. All thoughts are my own.

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Having read this author before I expected more than this offering delivered for me. I have to admit, I was bored with it up until about the 70% mark. It's the story of two sisters, Violet and Trudy, now in their 60s, but it flashes back to when they were younger and the men they were involved with. Violet is a bird-watcher and has always loved birds and knows a lot about them, which is detailed here and did not keep me interested. At this stage in her life Trudy is a crafter, but mute for many years due to a catastrophic event some 30 years prior involving both sisters.

This touches on spousal abuse, murder and relationships. We've seen it all before, albeit with a few variances. None of the characters are any I could really relate to, or any that I will remember a few weeks from now.

I do appreciate the opportunity to read this ARC provided through NetGalley and the publishers for my unbiased opinion. Release date 10/4/22

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Lauren Denton’s books a a joy to read. Two sisters, one who hasn’t spoken in 40 years and the other her protector, run a shop in a small Alabama beach community. I figured out the major plot twist early on, but wondered how Denton would resolve everything.
My heart ached for a love that couldn’t happen. I felt the pain keenly of the one who was rejected, although he didn’t know why.
It’s a good read and a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.
When we get a second chance, grab it with full gusto.

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A Place to Land by Lauren K. Denton is highly recommended atmospheric Southern mystery.

Violet Figg and her sister Trudy live in the small town of Sugar Bend, Alabama where the two own an arts and craft store called Two Sisters. Violet has always been her sister's protector since their mother left their abusive father when she was seventeen and Trudy was fourteen. Her role was cemented, though, forty years ago when a traumatic incident left Trudy no longer speaking. She has used notes to communicate ever since and spends her time making sculptures from found objects. Violet spends her time monitoring bird activity and working at their store. When an old boat shows up on a riverbank, it brings an old mystery back into the present.

At the same time, Maya, a young eighteen-year-old, has left the foster care system and is looking for a place to belong. She has moved into town where she found a part time job. Maya has also discovered Two Sisters and is engrossed with Trudy's sculptures and Trudy allows her to help her with them.

This is a well-written, slow-paced mystery that takes its time to introduce the characters and setting while inserting a creeping sense of mystery and uncertainty into the narrative. The plot clearly examines family, love, acceptance, and redemption, along with finding a way or place to belong and use your gifts. It also has characters facing their actions and the consequences of those deeds while including the difficult topics of domestic violence and murder.

The novel is told through two time periods, the present day and events back in the 1970's and 1980's. There is a reoccurring ominous sign that something distressing is coming. This went a bit over-the-top for me, but it does set the stage for events forthcoming and secrets that will soon be revealed. 3.5 rounded up.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Harper Muse via NetGalley.
The review will be published on Barnes & Noble, Google Books, and Amazon.

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Maya after her grandmother died moved from place to place until she comes to Sugar Bend and meets the two sisters, Violet and Trudy. The story is set in the south.

I really like the writing--the descriptions of the community makes the reader give a vivid image in mind of what the place is really like. I like the characters as well. However, in my opinion, it was slightly a little slow burn to me but the ending was good. Overall this worth 3.5 stars.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

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A Place to Land was a very pleasant story about two sisters who live in the same town, most of the time in the same home and own a shop called Two Sisters in a small town called Sugar Bend, Alabama. Violet is the oldest and Trudy her younger sister. Violet promised her mother that she would always take care of her younger sister. This is the very enjoyable storyline. All goes well until it doesn’t, but there is no huge drama involved. There is so much more to this story, but I really want you to read it because it is a relaxing, enjoyable story. I really enjoyed this book even though I felt as though the ending was just too sweet to be real. I would love to live in a town like Sugar Bend and be friends with these sisters and most of the other folks in town.
Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Muse for this ARC to review with my own opinion.

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“When a boat rises to the surface of Little River in the middle of the night, the present and the no-longer-buried past clash, and the future is at stake for Maya, Violet, and Trudy. As history creeps continually closer to the present and old secrets come to light, the sisters must decide if it’s time to face the truth of what happened forty years ago, or risk losing each other and newly formed bonds with those they’ve come to love.”

This book, coming so quickly after that last clunker, was a lungful of fresh air.

It was EASY.

It wasn’t gory, or twisty, or turn-y.

While it dealt with some tough issues (partner abuse, the foster system, and the police old boys’ club) it was GENTLE.

I loved the building of fleshy characters, the winged and watery landscape, and the barest brush with the paranormal.

Do I think the ending was 100% realistic to how this would have played out in life? Nope, but as Ms. Ryder and Mr. Hawk taught us, Reality Bites.


Thanks to NetGalley and Harper Muse for this tender ARC.

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A beautiful novel and another winner from Lauren K. Denton. The story centers mostly on Violet, yet the storyline is intertwined with glimpses into the secondary character lives. I enjoyed them all, loving how they affected each other and formed a supportive chosen family. The support, loyalty, and love in this novel pours from the pages and is exactly the novel I needed during a challenging week.

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Title: A Place to Land
Author: Lauren K. Denton
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

A hidden past isn’t past at all.

Violet Figg and her sister Trudy have lived a quiet life in Sugar Bend ever since a night forty years ago stole Trudy’s voice and cemented Violet’s role as Trudy’s fierce and loyal protector. Now, Trudy spends her days making sculptures from found objects and speaking via notes written on scraps of paper, while Violet runs their art shop, monitors the bird activity up and down the water, and tries not to think of her one great love she gave up in order to keep her sister safe.

Eighteen-year-old Maya knows where everyone else belongs, but she’s been searching for her own place ever since her grandmother died seven years ago. Moving in and out of strangers’ houses has left her exhausted, so when she sees a flyer on a gas station window for a place called Sugar Bend, she follows the strange pull she feels and finds herself on the doorstep of an art shop called Two Sisters.

When a boat rises to the surface of Little River in the middle of the night, the present and the no-longer-buried past clash, and the future is at stake for Maya, Violet, and Trudy. As history creeps continually closer to the present and old secrets come to light, the sisters must decide if it’s time to face the truth of what happened forty years ago, or risk losing each other and newly formed bonds with those they’ve come to love.

I loved this book! Parts of it are very sad—what Violet and Trudy went through 40 years ago and what Violet had to give up—but the entire story was so immersive and lovely. Lauren K. Denton makes small-town life sound appealing, verging on wonderful. The characters, as always for this author, are fascinating and believable, and the reader just feels at home in the story.

Lauren K. Denton is a bestselling author. A Place to Land is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Harper Muse in exchange for an honest review.)

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This is a strong story about relationships and support for family members, no matter how hard it is or the sacrifices required. I found the story to be riveting, but the character development is what kept me reading. Violet Figg has undertaken caring for her sister Trudy for decades and together the two of them have an art shop in Sugar Bend. Trudy faced a terrible trauma four decades before the book starts and as a result, she does not speak. Rather, she writes notes to Violet, her beloved caregiver who has become her voice to the world. Trudy also speaks through her art, creations that are as unique as she is and made of what most of us would consider discarded trash. Both of them have been hiding secrets for decades and the mystery of the secrets and their revelation was brilliantly written. Another character named Maya was one of my favorites. She is a teen who has moved from foster home to foster home and is now looking for a safe place to live and be accepted. Seeing a sign for Sugar Bend, she is fascinated and ends up there and with Violet and Trudy who accept her and nurture her need for acceptance and love. This story is almost magical in the way the past and present are intertwined along with the hope for a good future. With deep characters and a theme of redemption, this story of family and overcoming the past was one that I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley, I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guidelines Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

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Thanks to Harper Muse for the free book and ALC.
I love Denton and have been reading her southern fiction books for years. She captures the scenery and atmosphere perfectly. Each story is uniquely its own. She also does a great job at creating conundrums within her characters that slowly unfold over the course of the story. I liked the birding aspect of this one and found these parts of the book to be really strong. The characters were interesting, especially Trudy. But I thought the interactions between the characters were a bit too slow burn for me. I like how Denton slowly pulls her characters together, I just wanted the progression to be a bit quicker to have more time to soak in the ending with them. It was still engaging and beautiful and I read it in a day switching between the audio and print copy.

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The arrival of Maya, a former foster child, pokes open the closed door of the secret that has bound sisters Violet and Trudy for 40 years. They've made a life together, even though Violet doesn't speak. She's an artist and Violet runs a store that sells her work, which is made of bits and pieces of found material. Maya injects new life. This moves back and forth to the 1980s and 1990s (not always seamlessly, btw). You, like me. might guess the secret but Denton is a good storyteller and kept me going. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A good read.

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Lauren K Denton has delivered a strong story that readers will find enjoyable. Set in the south, this is a story of two sisters who have survived many hardships and trials and come out on the other side.

The Figg sisters grew up and live in the small town of Sugar Bend. An eventful night forty years ago still has a ripple effect on their lives today. With a set of mismatched characters that work well together, Denton has written a story that the reader/listener will want to unravel.

A solid 3 stars from me. The main reason that I didn't give this book four or five stars is that it is so similar in many ways to a popular book right now. A young girl/girls left by their mother, an abusive father/husband, set in the south, birds play a big role in the story, a murder, and a lost love. Ring any bells?

I received an ARC and advanced audiobook from NetGalley, Harper Muse, and Harper Muse Audiobooks in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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A PLACE TO LAND by Lauren K. Denton is a captivating and heartfelt story of sisters, love and the family we choose. I have read and loved all of this author’s previous books and I couldn’t wait to dive into her latest. Sisters Violet and Trudy Figg own Two Sisters Art and Handmade Goods in the little town of Sugar Bend, Alabama along the Little River. Trudy is a popular mixed media artist who creates art from items she collects on the beach. After a traumatic event forty years ago, Trudy stopped speaking and Violet gave up all of her dreams, staying in Sugar Bend to protect her sister at all costs. Violet now runs their shop and volunteers with the Audubon Society monitoring bird activity along the waterway. Eighteen-year-old Maya has never felt she belonged anywhere after the death of her grandmother seven years ago. After being in and out of the foster system for years, Maya somehow winds up in Sugar Bend and drawn to the Two Sisters shop. Maya and Trudy quickly develop a strong connection. But when an old boat comes to the surface of Little River, long-ago secrets that have haunted the sisters their whole lives threaten to be unburied. Can the newly formed bonds of friendship and love the characters have forged withstand the revelations of events from the past? I really enjoyed this endearing story of hope and redemption. The main characters are wonderfully-portrayed and the secondary characters add so much to the story. As with all of this author’s stories, I felt like the characters became friends and the setting was a place I would love to visit. I highly recommend this book. Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read and review an early copy.

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