Saturday, October 14, 2023

On Moonberry Lake by Holly Varni REVIEWED

 About the Book:

Cora Matthews's life is a mess. A broken engagement and the unexpected death of her mother have left her wondering if things will ever return to normal. Whatever "normal" is.

It certainly isn't what she finds at Moonberry Lake. After she receives her family's dilapidated lakefront lodge as an inheritance--with a surprising condition attached--Cora finds her life overrun by a parade of eccentric neighbors who all have something to say and something to teach her.

As Cora works to put her life back together, she must decide if she is willing to let go of the past, open her heart to love, and embrace the craziest version of family and home she could ever have imagined.

My Thoughts:

"It was amazing how, in stepping out of her comfort zone and getting to know people who live a bit "outside the box," she was discovering a new self.  A better self." (p 229)

This book was such a delight in so many ways, because it took ME outside my box, and helped me reach out to others in a new way!  It was such an unexpected experience!  Cora Matthews' go to answer when life because overwhelming was to leave the situation.  Life intervened in a very unusual way, and brought Cora into a community and circumstance that was almost more overwhelming than the situation she was running from!  Confused?  Don't be!

Instead, pick up this delightful, thoughtfully written book - a book filled with the most eclectic bunch of characters - and enjoy the story as it unfolds!   The character development is believable, the circumstances difficult at times, and the growth you'll experience right along with the characters in the story will surprise and satisfy you!  I had a hard time putting this book down, because I came to care about Cora and her community.  

This is not unlike some of my own life experiences, and I left these pages encouraged to embrace my own unique friendships and circumstances and lean into them for all of the hope, strength and joy they bring to my life!  Moonberry Lake exists in each of our lives in some manner, and I challenge you to enjoy this story and use it as a doorway to enter fully into your own life in with a deeper sense of gratitude and purpose! 

About the Author:

Holly Varni is a native Minnesotan of strong Norwegian descent, who was raised in the Lutheran Church that Garrison Keillor made a career depicting. Between the lutefisk, grumpy grandparents, and crazy neighbors who mowed their lawn wearing pajamas, the seed to becoming a storyteller was planted. Though she, her husband, and their three sons live along the Central Coast of California, her beloved Midwest roots continue to haunt everything she writes. She hosts the Moments from Moonberry Lake podcast where she shares more stories of her beloved characters. Learn more at