Friday, December 19, 2014

Stillwater Rising by Steena Holmes

Book #1 of the Stillwater Bay Series
Published November 11, 2014 by Lake Union Publishing

After losing her son in an elementary school shooting that devastates the tight-knit community of Stillwater Bay, Jennifer Crowne finds herself unable to settle back into her role of perfect stay-at-home mom and committee organizer. Meanwhile, her best friend, Mayor Charlotte Stone, struggles to keep the town together, and Charlotte s husband, the school principal, may not be the hero everyone thinks him to be.

As they try to heal from this irrevocable trauma, Jenn and Charlotte find themselves at a crossroads within the town and within their friendship. For Jenn, broken and grieving, there is no going back, and she demands that the school be closed so that she can bury the past. Yet Charlotte is equally desperate to hold the town together, fighting the school closure and helping the shooter s mother regain her place in the community. Jenn and Charlotte s relationship is put to the ultimate test as each weighs her own interests against the bonds of their friendship.

My Thoughts…

This is actually the second book in this series, the first being a .5 novella that tells the beginning of this story.   I am glad that I started with that novella, but could have just as easily picked up Stillwater Rising and enjoyed it just as much as I did.   

Steena Holmes is tackling an incredibly sensitive and real subject.    The sad truth is school shootings are becoming too common.   This story is so heart wrenching yet heart touching also.  It shows how families, whether they lose someone in the shootings or not, manage to find a new normalcy and go on with life.  In Stillwater Bay the citizens are awesome.  They support each other and pull together to support the sisters, brothers, and other children that were affected by the happenings of their town.   

I loved the small town feel of Stillwater Bay.   The small town shops, the small town diners, and the small town fairs.   Everyone knows everyone, there are no secrets (except for a REALLY big one), and yet there is very little judgment.   I love this feeling.  This is the type of town that I grew up in. 
I cannot rave enough about this series.   Start with the novella and continue on with Stillwater Rising.  The next book in this series cannot be available soon enough.  

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