Monday, September 25, 2017

Savoring the Seasons (Chilton Crosse #4)

33844558Julia Bentley spent her fortieth birthday doing what she always does, baking treats for the customers in her Cotswold bakery and taking care of her elderly father. She doesn’t realize how stagnant her life has become until a younger man, Tristan Hannigan, moves to the village and shows interest in her. As Julia becomes closer to Tristan, he begins to season her mundane days and to challenge how she views the world.

The relationship is threatened when Julia’s doubts and insecurities overwhelm her, and the secret she’s afraid to reveal creates a wedge between them. Will Julia choose the easy route, slipping back into her daily routine and living without love? Or will she find the courage to follow her heart and accept the love she deserves?

*May Contain Spoilers*

Traci Borum has brought readers another love story from Chilton Crosse with her fourth book in the series, Savoring the Seasons. With this installment, Julia, the town baker, is given a second chance at life and a new chance at real love, if she decides to take it. 

Julia Rose has helped her father run the bakery in Chilton Crosse for nearly her entire life. She did move to London once, attend school, and try marriage on for a bit, but it didn't seem to fit her. The bakery, however, does fit her and her routine of caring for her father. Julia's a woman in her forties who has accepted her life as it is. Nothing bad, but nothing overly delightful. Some may call it a rut. But when Tristan comes to town, a man eleven years her junior at twenty-nine, Julia starts to wonder if a little change could do her some good. 

As a character, Julia is sweet, incredibly caring, thoughtful, yet insecure and scared of claiming her identity. At times, it seems she can get caught up in what other people think about her so that she ends up being afraid to be herself. I think a lot of readers, myself included, can relate to that sometimes. These personality traits will initially connect Julia with readers, but her daunting secret that threatens her new relationship will bring readers closer to her emotionally. As a middle-aged woman, Julia has had some reproductive problems in the past and she's unable to have children. This frightens her in regard to her younger love interest, creating a serious insecurity that she'll have to share and move past if she wants to claim her happily ever after. With the combination of her personality, her fears, and, above all, her hopes, I think readers will definitely connect with Julia and care about her story as Borum shares the classic story of letting go of fear and making room for love -- and life -- to grow. 

The main plot of this book follows Julia and Tristan's love story. While being romantic, and emotionally complex, the book also shares the story of a community who comes together to celebrate one of their own. As a side plot, the bakery that Julia and her father own is coming up on its fortieth anniversary and a certain townsperson wants to throw an elaborate celebration. This celebration works to remove Julia from her comfort zone and get her more involved in the community, which (as it turns out) is exactly what she needed. 

The books of the Chilton Crosse series are always easy to read, heartwarming novels about love and family and community. Savoring the Seasons is no different. It's a perfect book to take your time with and enjoy the little truths about life and love that Borum explores. 

Rating: 3.5/5 Cups

Read the reviews of previous books in the Chilton Crosse series: 

22383955     23339574     25745080

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this very thoughtful review! I really enjoyed reading it. :-)