Monday, October 11, 2021

Reviewer's Bookshelf: "Provenance" by Carla Laureano


Book Summary (Amazon): Los Angeles interior designer and former foster kid Kendall Green is in high demand, both for her impeccable eye and for her uncanny ability to uncover the provenance of any piece. But for all her success, skyrocketing costs have put her California home and her business in jeopardy. Then an unexpected inheritance provides a timely solution: a grandmother she never knew has left her a group of historic properties in a tiny Colorado town on the edge of ruin.

To young, untried mayor Gabriel Brandt, Jasper Lake is more than another small town—it’s the place that saved his life. Now, seeing the town slowly wither and die, he’s desperate to restore it to its former glory. Unfortunately, his vision is at odds with a local developer who wants to see the town razed and rebuilt as a summer resort. He’s sure that he can enlist the granddaughter of one of its most prominent former citizens to his cause—until he meets Kendall and realizes that not only does she know nothing of her own history, she has no interest in reviving a place that once abandoned her.

In order to save his beloved town, Gabe must first help Kendall unravel the truth of her own provenance—and Kendall must learn that in order to embrace the future, sometimes you have to start with the past.

My thoughts...The architectural details in the cover of this book are what first caught my eye. I love that there are blueprints snuck into the skyline, which go so well with the storyline. I was also intrigued by the summary and I'm a fan of Carla Laureano, so I was excited about this new contemporary novel. Set in the quaint Colorado town of Jasper Lake, the first half of the book was a lot of ground work. Setting up the dilemma, introducing the characters (Kendall and Gabe), and some backstory made the initial pace a little slow for me. I didn't want to give up, because I knew that in the end, I would most likely finish very satisfied. And I did! By about the middle of the book, the pace began to speed up, the plot thickened, and I appreciated the growth in both Kendall and Gabe. In true form, Laureano offered a more realistic piece of fiction. It's one of the things I love most about her writing. Her characters have real questions, real struggles, and she doesn't shy away from posing these things in a faith context. One of the themes of this book is about understanding your worth, which was beautifully written. I believe that this will appeal to readers with or without a faith background. There is a clear faith message presented, so I would consider this novel to be Christian fiction. I finished this final page with these thoughts: life can be hard, unfair, and messy, but God can redeem it. He can transform us, with all of our scars, into something of worth and beauty. It's a message I needed to be reminded of. 

**I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley, and was happy to share my honest opinions.**