The only thing certain is change—even in a place as steady as Perry, Alabama, on a street as old as Glory Road.
Nearly a decade after her husband’s affair drove her back home to South Alabama, Jessie McBride has the stable life she wants—operating her garden shop, Twig, next door to her house on Glory Road, and keeping up with her teenage daughter and spunky mother. But the unexpected arrival of two men makes Jessie question whether she’s really happy with the status quo. When handsome, wealthy businessman Sumner Tate asks her to arrange flowers for his daughter’s lavish wedding, Jessie finds herself drawn to his continued attention. Then Ben Bradley, her lingering what-could-have-been from high school, moves back to the red dirt road, and she feels her heart pulled in directions she never expected.
Meanwhile, Jessie’s fourteen-year-old daughter, Evan, is approaching the start of high school and navigating a new world of emotions—particularly as they relate to the cute new guy who’s moved in just down the road. At the same time, Jessie’s mother, Gus, is suffering increasingly frequent memory lapses and faces a frightening, uncertain future. Once again, Jessie feels her protected and predictable life shifting.
In one summer, everything will change. But for these three strong Southern women, the roots they’ve planted on Glory Road will give life to the adventures waiting just around the curve.
Genre: Christian Contemporary
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Goodreads Rating: 4.47
Praise For Glory Road:
“Rich colorful characters capturing my heart, combined with a story that kept me up till the wee hours, Glory Road is a perfect read. Lauren Denton has done it again!” —Lisa Patton, bestselling author of Rush and Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’easter
“Once again Lauren Denton brings her lyrical writing and compelling characters to a story that will enthrall readers from page one.” —Marybeth Mayhew Whalen, author of Only Ever Her and co-founder of She Reads, for Glory Road
Why I Chose This Book:
This is my first time reading a book from Lauren Denton. I have promoted her books before on my Instagram account but never had the chance to read them. So I was excited to get the chance to review her new release.
First Initial Thoughts:
Jessie is settling into Perry quite well with her garden business with her daughter Evan and her mother, Gus. I found it really interesting that she had a garden business. I never heard of someone just having their own single garden business in their own property before. I found that to be quite unique and stood out for me in this book. I liked that Jessie was independent and free spirited but she also guarded her heart. Not only did her heart break once but twice - so I could see that she was guarded and wary of letting anyone into her life/heart.
Ben, we don’t meet till later on in the story but we get his backstory early on. Jessie and Ben were in High School together and overtime they both developed feelings for each other but didn’t admit to each other till it was too late. I think Ben feel for her hard more than Jessie did however. He comes back into town after 20 years being away. He comes back with his son Nick in a house down the road from Jessie.
Gus is Jessie’s mom. I absolutely adored Gus. She is that Grandmother that you would turn to advice for because she always has the best advice- even if it’s that advice you don’t want to hear.
Perry definitely sounds like the kind of town I would eventually like to settle down in later in life. Maybe just not in Alabama- I do not like the southern heat one bit. The small town atmosphere where everyone knows everyone and life goes at a slower pace. It just seems like the ideal place. I absolutely loved the house and nursery business Lauren created for this story. Quiet, charming, and small - just the way I would like my house to be.
First off, this story kind of reminds me of one particular popular movie- The Notebook.
Both Ben and Jessie met in High School and fell in love over time and then meet again in their mid 30’s. One particular moment in the story, she mentioned when she got engaged to her Ex-Husband, Chris, Ben flashed across her mind. Remember that moment too in The Notebook?
Later on in the story we meet Sumner, he approaches Jessie to create wedding flowers for his daughter’s wedding. She doesn’t do flowers nor weddings. So she is hesitant at first, but she also needed the money. So she agrees. Sumner is a very rich man and his house has appeared in many magazines. Despite the house and his money, Sumner was actually a really nice man. I also liked his daughter, Olivia. She wasn’t this Bridezilla. So I appreciated that none of the characters were really annoying or appeared to be “rich snobs”.
This story reminds us of second chances at love. I appreciated that Sumner was a good man. He was sweet, charming, and a perfect gentleman. But he wasn’t right for her. And I am glad that Jessie that too. She had a relationship with Ben that couldn’t be matched. Personally I think they really understood one another and it was natural for them to be together. Especially after 20 years, they were able to re-spark their relationship after that long. If that doesn’t say something…
I also really liked that we got perspective of the story from each character. I think this gave the story depth and feeling. I don’t think this kind of book would have suited well from just one point of view. However, we never got perspective from Ben’s mind. I would have liked to see at least a few chapters with his perspective.
Another thing I found interesting, and really liked that Lauren included in the story was that Gus was suffering from Alzheimer’s. I think we don’t see that too much in novels today and I liked how raw and honest Lauren was about the onset of Alzheimer’s.
Would I Recommend?
I definitely think anyone would just about love this story. It’s sweet, romantic, and just a feel good story. Perfect for the upcoming spring/summer season!
About Lauren Denton
Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Lauren now lives with her husband and two daughters in Homewood, just outside Birmingham. In addition to her fiction, she writes a monthly newspaper column about life, faith, and how funny (and hard) it is to be a parent. On any given day, she’d rather be at the beach with her family and a stack of books. Her debut novel, THE HIDEAWAY, was a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Amazon Charts bestseller. Her second novel, HURRICANE SEASON, released in spring of 2018, is a USA Today bestseller. GLORY ROAD will release in March, 2019.
Connect with Lauren
Did you grow up in a small town? Or would you like to move to a small town one day?
Note: I was sent an ARC copy of this book to review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.