Up At Butternut Lake - Mary McNear (Review and Giveaway!)

4 Stars!

It's summer, and after ten years away, Allie Beckett has returned to her family's cabin beside tranquil Butternut Lake, where as a teenager she spent so many carefree days. She's promised her five-year-old son, Wyatt, they will be happy there. She's promised herself this is the place to begin again after her husband's death in Afghanistan. The cabin holds so many wonderful memories, but from the moment she crosses its threshold Allie is seized with doubts. Has she done the right thing uprooting her little boy from the only home he's ever known?

Allie and her son are embraced by the townsfolk, and her reunions with old acquaintances—her friend Jax, now a young mother of three with one more on the way, and Caroline, the owner of the local coffee shop—are joyous ones. And then there are newcomers like Walker Ford, who mostly keeps to himself—until he takes a shine to Wyatt . . . and to Allie.

Everyone knows that moving forward is never easy, and as the long, lazy days of summer take hold, Allie must learn to unlock the hidden longings of her heart, and to accept that in order to face the future she must also confront—and understand—what has come before.

Mary McNear lives in San Francisco with her husband, two teenage children, and a high-strung, minuscule white dog named Macaroon. She writes her novels in a local doughnut shop, where she sips Diet Pepsi, observes the hubbub of neighborhood life, and tries to resist the constant temptation of freshly made doughnuts. She bases her novels on a lifetime of summers spent in a small town on a lake in the northern Midwest.

Very Good read! I felt a connection to this book right away. This story takes place on a lake in Minnesota, but it could have taken place right near me in the Adirondacks. The author did an excellent job setting the scene. I felt like I was right back at my cabin overlooking the lake, going for a ride in our canoe. This story really took me there. It really gives you that small town cozy feeling.

The character development is great. I got a good feel for all the characters. For a minute I thought whoa, why is the author telling these side plots about the other characters? Then I remembered - this is book one of a series. she she is introducing them for future books - smart!  I really liked all the people. The main couple Allie and her son Wyatt and new love interest - Walker were like right out of a movie. I really loved Caroline who ran the coffee shop (of course I would like her) and Allie's friend Jax. They both have stories to tell and troubles to overcome.

I wouldn't really call this romance, I would call it Woman's fiction with a love story. If you are looking for a unique, interesting, easy to get into kind of book - this is it!
 I love stories like this - takes place on a lake, cottage, great characters, and a coffee shop! This is going to be a great series. I can't wait to read the next book.

A few great lines -
"He said I made a perfect cappuccino"
"Well, of course you did." Caroline said loyally. Cappuccino, though was out of her depth. She served only two kinds of coffee at Pearl's: regular and decaf.

"I've had plenty of time to adjust to single motherhood. Its the empty nest I'm struggling with now. And do you know what the worst part is?"
He raised his eyebrows.
"How quiet our apartment is. I had no idea how much noise she made, all these years." - How true this is!

Thank you Librarything Early Reviewers for sending me this book to read and review!

Get your copy from Amazon - HERE

I am giving away my ARC copy of this book!
* To enter to win - fill out the form below.
* Please only enter once -  (I go through and delete double entries).
* Leave a comment for an extra entry.
* Winner will be chosen on 4/30/2014.
* Winner will have 48 hrs. to respond. 


  1. I would love to win a copy of this book.

  2. I'm from MN and love stories that take place on any of our 10,000+ lakes!

    1. Oh my gosh, then you would really like this book!

  3. thanks for the chance to read this novel ;)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  4. It sounds like a very touching and interesting book. I would love to read it. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  5. Every book I win, I review. jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

  6. I am intrigued by this one. Keeping my fingers crossed!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  7. This novel sounds captivating and wonderful. thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com