Nearly destitute, actress Charlotte Ward tries to revive her career, with disastrous results. Her estranged daughter, Rachel, feels compelled to move her to a quiet English village. Rachel isn't happy about leaving her teaching job, or caring for a parent who wasn't there fo... Read More
- Product type: Book
- Format: Softcover
- Release Date: May 17, 2016
- UPC: 9780764217937
- Volumes/Discs: 1
- Pages: 407
- Publish Date: Jun 7, 2016
- Language: English
- Audience Age Maximum: 0
- Audience Age Minimum: 0
- BISAC: "FIC042030"
- ISBN: 0764217933
Customer ReviewsWrite your own review
- A Step Into the Past by Bookish Bakes on 8/26/2016
When I first began to read this book, I will admit I was a bit leery. I haven’t read a lot of books with older main characters. While the book does switch to Rosalind’s point of view, the story focuses mainly around Charlotte. I fell in love with her character right away. Being that my own mother is about the same age, I could not help thinking of the older woman as a wonderful motherly figure. Throughout the story, her many flaws and mistakes are revealed making the story very relatable. Lawana Blackwell drives home the importance of decision-making and shows us how our actions now can affect our future. It is a lesson that anyone young or old can learn from. Along with Charlotte, there are many more flawed characters all with lessons to be learned. While the main character struggles to accept her past mistakes, her daughter, Rosalind, frets over making any. It really shows the difference between young and old. Their relationship was not only believable but also very enjoyable to watch as they grew closer. This made such a wonderful mother-daughter book.
It really boggles my mind, when I see how differently women were treated in that period. Most of the men in this book really appalled me with their actions. Their egotistical attitudes only emphasize Rosalind’s successes as a teacher and graduate. She really is an amazing woman when you consider all the things she had to face and overcome. Her kindheartedness, even after going through the things she has, make her a wonderful character and a perfect match to Jude. I particularly liked Jude the most of all the men, but then again, compared to most of the men in this book, Jude was like a saint. For a man who has endured quite a few harsh comments about his lineage, he is surprisingly patient and kind to those who consider him an outcast. His respect for women proves that not all men think themselves better than women. His relationship with Rosalind was honestly adorable and cute considering how awkward they both really were to ‘normal’ people. Blackwell does a fantastic job with their scenes making the relationship believable and one to be admired.
You can tell that the author is experienced. Her story pacing is good, not too fast or slow, and she does a great job at keeping the reader’s attention. The first couple of chapters were harder for me to get into, but once the story began to unfold, I could not put it down. My only complaint would be the ending. I guess I was expecting something a bit bigger or earth shattering. Regardless, I was satisfied with the ending, and I really liked the epilogue. The extra tidbit to the story was a wonderful treat, and I would definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy Christian and Historical fiction. I just love the Victorian era, and Lawana does a beautiful job at whisking you away and making you feel like you are really there with the characters. I will most certainly be reading more of her books in the future.
- Delightful Page-Turner by Sydney on 6/24/2016
I picked this book up because I was dying to know what Charlotte's desperate circumstances were, and what made her have to run away and hide, and why would the gossips be after her? It's funny, but if this was set in the current era, I wouldn't have bothered. But in Victorian England? Yes, it totally piqued my interest!
I felt for Charlotte. From having entrusted her heart to a man who it now turns out only wanted her for the riches the gossip columnists claimed she had, to the rejection of her only daughter, to the terror of being discovered where she has hidden away. Her strengths shine through, though - Charlotte is no fool, and refuses to wallow in self-pity.
Rosalind I was prepared to dislike, but I couldn't after getting to know her a little. The author shows us why Rosalind feels the way she does towards her mother, and as her feelings change there is a logical and believable reason for the change. Rosalind falling in love was a treat, especially for anyone who has felt their years of finding love behind them.
The book doesn't only follow the lives of mother and daughter, but of those they come in contact with, including a book seller, the household servants, and two little boys Rosalind meets by asking directions of them. A lively cacophony of village life in Victorian times.
As for me, I enjoyed reading this. The stories are a bit unpredictable, which is nice, and the characters are genuine and relatable. Another author whose work I will happily pick up in the future if this is any indication.
**I was sent this copy from Bethany House in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.**
- Lovely, Christian novel! by Kristina Anderson, The Avid Reader on 6/22/2016
A Haven on Orchard Lane is the latest novel by Lawana Blackwell. Charlotte Ward was an actress until she married Roger Fosberry, Viscount of Spilsby. Charlotte is desperate to escape his clutches. Roger is not a kind man and his housekeeper is more like a jailer. Charlotte receives an invitation to come back to the Lyceum Theater from Mr. Henry Irving (it took some work to get the letter to her). With a little help, Charlotte escapes one night and heads to London. Charlotte steps out onto the stage and collapses. Charlotte needs rest and a safe place to hide from the press. Rosalind is Charlotte’s daughter from her second marriage (Roger was her third husband). Rosalind was raised by Aunt Vesta and is now a teacher in Cheltenham. Rosalind reluctantly heads to London. Rosalind collects Charlotte and takes her to Port Stilwell to recover. They rent a house (well, they thought they were getting a whole house) and Rosalind gets Charlotte settled. Rosalind is hoping she will be able to return to her teaching post soon. These two have a complicated relationship, but maybe this is there chance for them to get to know each other and mend fences (everyone deserves forgiveness and a second chance). Rosalind soon finds a friend (and maybe more) in Jude Pearce, the local bookseller. Rosalind and Charlotte find friends in this quaint town and have a chance to help others (like Danny and Albert Fletcher). But then someone tries to destroy the life they have built. If you want to know more, you will have to read A Haven on Orchard Lane!
I fell in love with Lawana Blackwell’s novels many, many years ago. I was tickled to see a new book by Ms. Blackwell. A Haven on Orchard Lane is a lovely, historical novel with a Christian theme (forgiveness, helping others, trusting in God, second chances). The writing is very good, but the pace is a little slow (I also felt the novel was also a wee bit too long). I liked the characters (they are complex and well developed as well as realistic) and the writer did a great job with describing the locations (London, Fosberry Hall, Port Stilwell, and the bookshop) as well as the historical content. I give A Haven on Orchard Lane 4 out of 5 stars. I thought the book was a little flat, but overall a nice book to read on a relaxing afternoon. A Haven on Orchard Lane is a nice escape book. A book without violence, foul language, and intimate relations. I will definitely read future books by Lawana Blackwell (I have actually read all her published books).
I received a complimentary copy of A Haven on Orchard Lane in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel.
- Things Are Not Always As They Appear by Maureen on 6/20/2016
I picked up this book not really knowing what to expect, and was soon engulfed into the lives of Charlotte Ward and her daughter Rosalind. As I read on the blurb on the back of the book about Charlotte, a renowned actress, but failure as a mother, or was she?
I found Charlotte as a very caring woman, she seemed to be there for others whom were less fortunate, or to help them onto the right path, but some of her life decisions were pretty bad. For one thing she really had bad choices of men, including the current husband, who now was accusing her of outrageous sins. Now the time of this story is the 1880’s in England, and woman are really second-class citizens, without many rights.
Rosalind is an accomplished teacher, and does come to her mother’s aid even though she has many issues with her, and I could really understand where she was coming from. She takes her mother to a quaint coastal town, which made me want to live there. So many hurtful things to get revealed, and we can understand what the causes of some of the problems were.
Of course life cannot be all sunshine and roses, and our ladies have a few trials and are taken by people who mean harm, and are out for their own gain. I recommend this book, what a great summer read, and you won’t want to put it down!
I received this book from the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.
- A Revival of Life and Love, Lawana Blackwell Captures It All! by Mary Y on 6/15/2016
Yes, she was dramatic in her life and in her profession. And, yes, she was probably self-absorbed. But she never let her daughter drift far from her mind and heart. Although, Rosalind would not know for many years that her mother took care of her from a distance while on the stage, it was true. The men in her life were poor choices and added reason to love from afar. Charlotte retired to a 16th Century limestone mansion named Fosberry Hall. The first time she saw it, it took her breath away. Now it became almost impossible to breathe from the stuffiness of the life and relationship with her husband, Lord Fosberry. And then it happened. She was contacted to perform. But how would she be able to do it? She was bodily heavy, held like a captive in a fortress, and had little resources now of her own. This story will show how love prevails in an unexpected way and how our true Lord covers our losses in our time of need. Lawana Blackwell is one of my favorite authors of Historical sagas. This is a lovely new story and I whole-hardheartedly recommend it. Don't miss this intimate mother and daughter renewal.
This book was provided by Bethany-Baker Books. All opinions are my own. Mary Ann Young Robinson, Boise, Idaho
- A Haven on Orchard Lane by kp on 6/4/2016
I had not seen new novels written by Lawana Blackwell in years; so I was excited to stumble upon A Haven on Orchard Lane. Lawana's latest book is as easy to read as all her previous novels. This tale is a delightful journey to take with the book's primary characters: Charlotte Ward and her daughter, Rosalind!
Charlotte Ward is a former actress who is currently in a marriage that will not allow her any freedom. When Charlotte is finally able to make her escape, her reentry into London's theater world is met with failure!
Rosalind is on break from the school where she is currently teaching and finds herself with time on her hands. When Rosalind hears the ugly gossip being proclaimed about Charlotte in the papers, even though she has not seen her mother in years, she knows that she must reach out to try to find her. Rosalind and Charlotte surprisingly cross paths at the railway station where Charlotte's husband is trying to force her to return home. Rosalind steps in to take Charlotte by the hand and lead her in a new direction!
Charlotte and Rosalind end up in Port Stilwell, a small fishing village that neither woman had ever visited before. You will not believe how both lives are transformed in this quiet corner of the world by the end of this tale!
A Haven on Orchard Lane was a delightful read. You do not want to miss this one!
I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my unbiased review.
- Loved it! by Rebecca on 3/14/2016
I received a free copy of this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Lawana Blackwell is one of my favorite authors. She writes Christian romance novels like the Gresham Chronicles (I especially love the Widow of Larkspur Inn) and the Tales of London. So when I was looking through Netgalley, I was extremely excited to see that she had a book on there! I read A Haven on Orchard Lane in two days and was not disappointed.
This Victorian-era story centers around a former actress named Charlotte Ward. She loved her time on the stage, but her current life, not so much. I won’t give you the whole story as I don’t want to ruin it, but she ends up moving to a small coastal town and spending some time getting to know her estranged daughter. I enjoyed seeing their relationship change, but it seemed a bit too fast to seem realistic, but God can perform miracles.
Most of the story takes place in the little town. There’s a love interest, a wonderful story line involving two young boys who need some help, and Charlotte’s past coming back to cause her trouble.
The book is somewhat typical of Christian romance novels in that you can probably predict what is going to happen (lots of happy endings!), so if you want to be on the edge of your seat and wondering what is going to happen, then this is probably not the book for you. However, if you’re looking for an enjoyable story about healing relationships, love, forgiveness, confronting your past, and so much more that will leave you feeling good, then this is the book for you.