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New Release Review! THE BITTER AND SWEET OF CHERRY SEASON by Molly Fader

The Bitter and Sweet of Cherry Season cover

Three generations of women come together at the family orchard to face secrets from the past and learn to believe in the power of hope and forgiveness.

In cherry season, anything is possible…

Everything Hope knows about the Orchard House is from the stories of her late mother. So when she arrives at the northern Michigan family estate late one night with a terrible secret and her ten-year-old daughter in tow, she’s not sure if she’ll be welcomed or turned away with a shotgun by the aunt she has never met.

Hope’s aunt Peg has lived in the Orchard House all her life, though the property has seen better days. She agrees to take Hope in if, in exchange, Hope helps with the cherry harvest—not exactly Hope’s specialty, but she’s out of options. As Hope works the orchard alongside her aunt, daughter and a kind man she finds increasingly difficult to ignore, a new life begins to blossom. But the mistakes of the past are never far behind, and soon the women will find themselves fighting harder than ever for their family roots and for each other.

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Oh goodness, this book. I freaking loved it! The happy tears were just pouring down my face at the end–pouring, I tell you!

I guess this is technically another “women’s fiction” title (I still hate that label, but oh well) because the romance(s) take a way back seat–we’re talking like that last row just before the minivan’s back windows kind of seat–to the relationships between Peg, Hope, and Tink and Peg and Hope (and Tink, though to a lesser extent, since she’s 10) figuring out their sh*t and coming to terms with their individual and collective pasts. All while picking cherries. And having target practice.

I have never wanted it to be cherry season RIGHT NOW in my entire life, I tell you.

Once again, Molly Fader/Molly O’Keefe has demonstrated just how wonderfully she writes beautifully flawed characters that it’s amazingly easy to fall in love with. Peg and Hope start the story with so. Many. Secrets–even Tink has her share, though her narration reveals hers fairly easily, by comparison–and their reveal takes most of the book, in some instances. We do get clues galore along the way, and it isn’t impossible to guess what the truth really is, even though Hope is blindsided, since she doesn’t see the Peg POV parts like we do. The inevitable crisis–the IRL one and the emotional one–are both handled well, and OMG I couldn’t look away from the page while either was happening. An absolute must read!

My only complaint? It is wildly unfair to make us read about all of Swafiya’s amazing baked goods and not be able to share. We want recipes! 😀

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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