"The Red Door Inn" by Liz Johnson is a novel set on Prince Edward Island. In this story, a woman named Marie is in the process of leaving her life in Boston behind. She sets her sights on starting over on Prince Edward Island because of her infatuation with LM Montgomery and the famous Anne of Green Gables saga. I don't share Marie's admiration for Montgomery, but I am very familiar with the pull a faraway can have on a person because of the way an author portrayed it in books.
Along the way, we meet an old man named Jack who will endear himself to you from the moment you meet him. Johnson mixes in a wide range of characters who are absolutely perfect for the roles that she designates for them to have in this story about starting over, carrying on, and renovating a B&B in one of the most touristy places in the world. I read the first 200 pages of this book in one evening and finished the rest of it the next day. It's not necessarily a quick read, in fact, it's the kind you could take slowly if you wanted to. Once I got going I just couldn't seem to stop. I wanted to see what Johnson had in store.
With the introduction of Jack's nephew Seth, I started to wonder if Johnson was going to disappoint me. I'm not a fan of mushy-gushy chick-lit. This book walks the line. 200 pages in and things could have really gone either way. That first evening, I was getting to know Marie, kind of swooning over Jack, getting a feel for the island life, growing super curious about how the B&B would turn out, and hoping that the Seth plot would not ruin things. Marie and Seth's story does take up a fair amount of space, but I wasn't disappointed. The B&B remained central and Johnson did a great job of keeping things balanced.
If you're looking for an enjoyable novel, this is probably one you'll enjoy. It's not a mystery and there isn't any real dilemma. It's a nice easy story about a handful of people on Prince Edward Island. Johnson gives her readers plenty to think about as her characters wrestle with hope, forgiveness, the idea of "home", and figure out how to relate to God. Whether you grew up sharing Marie's love for Montgomery, find B&Bs enchanting, tend to read heavy books, or not, Johnson's "The Red Door Inn" will have something for you.
Grab your copy HERE.
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