In this moving, witty novel, author Maureen Leurck explores the intricacies and joys of renovation and rediscovery—as one woman’s improvement project promises to transform much more than a home . . .
People keep a house alive, not the other way around. Alex Proctor has seen the truth of this in every empty, rundown property she’s bought and renovated since her divorce almost three years ago. She’s also experienced the thrill of making each one into a home. Her newest project is a dilapidated,
century-old house just a few blocks from Geneva Lake, Wisconsin. Time and neglect, along with rats and raccoons, have ravaged it inside and out. Only Alex can see the beauty of what it once was and might become again. In just a few weeks—by the time the cicadas make their scheduled reappearance after seventeen years underground—the house should be ready to sell. In the meantime, there are construction disasters, and surprises, to contend with.
Amid overgrown grounds and rooms brimming with debris, Alex finds treasures—pocket doors, hardwood floors hidden beneath layers of linoleum and grime—and carved initials that reveal a long-ago love story involving Alex’s elderly neighbor, Elsie, and another cicada summer. At the same time, Alex finds herself searching for a way to reconcile her new life with lingering feelings for her ex-husband. For so long she felt sure that moving on was the only option, but maybe this house, and everything she’s learning in it, could give Alex room for a second chance . . .
My Review of Cicada Summer
Beautiful and emotionally rewarding, Cicada Summer by Maureen Leurck’s is a story of renewal and the power of perseverance in life and all matters of the heart.
Since Abby Proctor’s divorce renovating old houses has become her passion. Her latest project near Lake Geneva, a century old home, is proving to be more of a challenge than she bargained for. Regaled by stories of the old house and its former occupants by Elsie, an elderly neighbor, Abby is determined to restore it to its former glory for a new family to enjoy. With limited funds and setbacks too numerous to count Abby tackles this newest renovation with a grit and resolve she has never shown on previous projects. But Abby’s challenges involve more than her latest restoration. As the walls of the house and the woodwork come alive under her gentle touch, old feelings begin to surface for Matt, her ex-husband. As time goes by Abby finds that care and time not only restores the beauty of an aged home, but also heals the wounds of a broken heart.
Cicada Summer was a delightful read. Maureen Leurck’s creates characters that are real and easy to enjoy. Abby was warm, loving and tenacious in her personal and professional life. Her love for her family and friends was moving and uplifting especially when it came to her daughter, her cousin’s son and sweet Elsie an elderly neighbor. Her tough dealings with Jack a competitor showed she could hold her own in a fight and then there was Matt. The air between Abby and her ex-husband was palpable as there was so much emotion and unfinished business between the both of them. And if the characters are not enough, Maureen Leurck masterfully weaves into this emotional book the story of the returning cicadas to Lake Geneva. Just as the cicadas return from a seventeen year hiatus, Abby begins to feel like she has returned to life too. As the old house becomes new, Abby finds the strength and courage to restore her life and to live and love again.
Cicada Summer by Maureen Leurck is a charming and heartwarming story that needs to make your summer reading list. Packed with great characters and an emotional storyline Cicada Summer is sure to please long after the last page is turned.
I want to thank Kensington Books via NetGalley for an advanced reader copy of Cicada Summer by Maureen Leurck for a fair and honest review.
Get our Badge!