Promises of Change by Joan Medlicott

promises of changeIf you’ve enjoyed Jan Karon’s Mitford series, you may be interested in Medlicott’s bestselling Covington series. Like Karon’s novels, these books are set in a small town in the North Carolina mountains, and, as in the Mitford series, the main characters are senior citizens who provide loving assistance to local residents of all ages. The series tells the stories of three women, Grace, Amelia, and Hannah, who share a home in a small town. Despite some tensions and arguments, they provide each other with support.

The series begins with The Ladies of Covington Send Their Love, and I recommend that you begin there and read the novels in order. While I have not read the earlier books in the series and therefore found it a bit difficult to get into Promises of Change, the eighth book, I soon understood enough of the characters’ pasts to feel as though I was reading about old friends and to decide to watch for future books in the series. If you plan to start at the beginning and to read the entire series, you may want to stop reading this review now to avoid spoiling the suspense as you read the earlier books! 

In Promises of Change, Hannah is happily married to Max, who lives across the street from the ladies, although she continues to maintain her home with Amelia and Grace. Max’s estranged son Zachary returns from India, bringing his pregnant wife with him. While the three women and Max all welcome the young family with open arms, Zachary brings many tense moments to everyone around him, and Hannah fears that her happy, peaceful life will be forever spoiled. Amelia enjoys her new career as a photographer but worries that the young woman whom she views as her daughter may move away. Max wonders if his dairy business is too much for him because of his advancing age and his other interests. Grace assists a young character who struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder, and many of the local people lose money in a scam. The young minister in the local church struggles with the difficulties of counseling parishioners. And these are just a few of the many story lines!

(Helen Snow, Information Services)

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