Back cover: "Nestled in the Northwest is a quaint little town that its quirky residents are proud to call home. With charming shops lining its one main thoroughfare, Lumby has the oldest apple tree in the county and the smallest bank in the state. It's hours from the nearest big city, you'll always find Lumby close to your heart....
Nearly destroyed by fire, Montis Abbey remains a ruin on the outskirts of Lumby. Once home to a resourceful order of monks, it stands abandoned, surrounded by its overgrown orchards. Then Mark and Pam Walker, a vacationing couple from the East Coast, stumble upon it--and upon the answer to their prayers. Leaving behind their hectic lives to restore the monastery and turn it into an inn is a dream come true.
But some residents of Lumby take a while to warm up to outsiders. One of them is irascible William Beezer, owner of the Lumby Lines--the newspaper "worth the paper it's printed on." At every turn, he tries to hinder the Walkers' efforts. The couple soon learns that for every citizen like William, there are many more willing to lend a hand, and that Lumby isn't just a place -- it's a way of life.
When Caitlin of FSB Associates asked me if I would like to read and review The Lumby Lines, I checked out the Gail's website and couldn't say no. Gail has an adorable moose wandering around on her pages so go check it out. You can read the first chapter of each one of the books in the series and get a good feel for the books and the town and characters of Lumby. The series sort of reminded me of Jan Caron's Mitford Series. Caitlin surprised me by sending the whole series which includes: Lumby Lines, Stealing Lumby, Lumby's Bounty, and The Promise of Lumby. I'm glad she did, because once I read The Lumby Lines, I was hooked. And Gail's newest release Lumby on the Air will be coming out on July 6th and I just received an ARC of the book, so will be reviewing that one sometime in the near future.
It is a charming and endearing story, with some great characters and I'm looking forward to following their adventures in the remaining books. Pam and Mark stumble upon an old monastery, damaged by fire while on vacation and decide to buy it. While they are renovating it, the monks who used to live there, appear one by one to lend a hand and over time, reveal their stories and the story of the abbey. There are many quirky characters including an old, eccentric lady, Charlotte who dresses shabbily and finger nails are always dirty from digging in her garden and who just happens to be rich and anonymously generous. Plus, there is "Hank," a plastic pink flamingo who is quite a character and sits on the front lawn of the Abbey. His look changes depending on the day or season or holiday. You never know what he is going to be wearing and Pam and Mark never figure out who is making the changes.
The Lumby Lines is a cozy read and a wonderful respite from murder mysteries, science fiction, suspenseful thrillers and pedantic classics. If you have ever lived in a small town, you'll appreciate the small town flavor and atmosphere generated by the books. I highly recommend them. Many thanks to Caitlin for introducing me to Gail Fraser and Lumby.
Publisher: New American Library
Released: May 1, 2007
Source: Courtesy Copy
"I really have enjoyed my visit to Lumby. It is such a refreshing read and I can't wait to come back and visit. There's nothing offensive at all in this book and if you are a Mitford fan you will really like these books too."
"The Lumby Lines is a magical story filled with humor, romance, love, and the warmth of family and friendship. I fell in love with the town of Lumby and can't wait to continue the series. The characters are realistic and the everyday antics of small town life a breathe of fresh air.
"To read The Lumby Lines is to approach a book in a different manner. Reading this book is equal to a visit to a special place and a special group of people. It’s not your typical page-turner and I mean that in a good way. The Lumby Lines is similar to spending an extended amount of time in a small community and getting to know the residents and the various points of interest. This book is meant to be enjoyed over a long period of time."