Review: At Home on Ladybug Farm by Donna Ball.

Posted November 6, 2009 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Rowena’s review of At Home on Ladybug Farm by Donna Ball.

Grade: 4 out of 5

A year after taking the chance of a lifetime, Cici, Lindsay, and Bridget are still trying to make a home for themselves on the newly-renovated Ladybug Farm. Life in the Shenandoah Valley is picturesque, but filled with unexpected trials- such as the introduction of two young people into the ordered life the women have tried to build for themselves.

As the walls of the old house reveal their secrets and the lives of those who have gone before begin to unfold, the cobbled-together household starts to disintegrate into chaos. And when one of their members is threatened by a real crisis, they must all come together to fight for the roots they’ve laid down, the hopes they share, and the family they’ve become.

It’s always nice to take a break from reading romance and sink your teeth into a great women’s fiction story. Especially if the women’s fiction book centers around three friends who gave up their suburban lifestyle to take on the job of purchasing an old rundown and restoring it. It was great to reunite with Cici, Lindsay and Bridget and to see the progress and the bumps that came along with buying Ladybug farm. In the first book, we were introduced to the different women and we got to know them and what brought them to the present, retired and moving to the country but in this book, we got to find out the history of the house through flashbacks and what not.

In this book there are new arrivals at the farm, one cranky teenager, Noah, who I totally went soft for as the book wore on, and then there was Cici’s daughter, Lori. When the book first started and we see Lori showcasing her bullheaded side, I didn’t think I was going to like her. I thought she was going to turn out to be this bratty college student who thinks she knows everything but she wasn’t. I enjoyed getting to know her character and was delighted to see more of her.

I swear, nothing went right on this farm. They couldn’t catch a break to save their life but watching them all work through their struggles made for a story that was too easy to fall into. Ball does a great job of keeping you invested in these characters. She did a great job of making me fall in love with these women all over again. A big draw for me with these kinds of books are the struggles that each of the characters have to overcome over the course of the book. Nothing happens fast, nothing is ever easy but you keep right on trucking along with them and at the end, you’re in a happy place because you know that despite the rocky road they were on, they’re going to be okay. They’re going to get to their happy place and everything will be fine.

In this book, I still think I connected the most with Bridget. She was still my favorite friend but I enjoyed both Lindsay and Cici. I enjoyed Lindsay and the way that she was with Noah. I enjoyed watching Cici struggle to keep her sanity in check with her daughter under foot. I even enjoyed Ida Mae and her cranky self. Overall, this was a great story of friendship and of perseverance. I think I liked the first book more but this book wasn’t a bad read at all. I’d recommend it.

This book is available from Berkley Trade. You can buy it here or here.

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