A Place to Land

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Lauren K. Denton wastes no time in piercing the idyllic peace of the Figg sisters in “A Place to Land.” Violet Figg, the older, stronger protector of her fragile sister, first rejects the signs that all is not well. However, as the winds of change bring new people, and an old boat across the currents, the sisters must navigate nimbly or be taken under by the past.

The author structures the tale around the sisters and their contemporaries while contrasting their lives to those of some of Sugar Bend’s high school seniors. It’s a juxtaposition that adds depth to the story, especially as Violet mourns the paths she did not take as young woman. The graduates mull their next moves and feel urgency in their decisions. Violet, however, is faced with a different question: is anything ever really gone for good?

Maya, the untethered young woman who floats into Sugar Bend, becomes the focus of both Trudy Figg and one of the town’s native sons. She can hardly articulate what led her to the small town, but she becomes intoxicated by the normalcy and belonging she feels with the Figg sisters. The stakes are even higher, then, when the women’s hard-won contentment is threatened.

The reader feels the storm brewing as the town begins to take notice of the sisters’ secret. Will the retired officer directed to the boat by chance be the one who discovers the truth? The newspaper’s editor is looking for an exciting story to catapult her into the closest big city. Or will someone closer to the sisters find out what they are hiding? The author leaves the reader guessing as to the full weight of the Figgs’ secret, elevating the tension and keeping the pages turning.

Denton takes familiar themes, wraps them around compelling characters, then adds a bit of magical realism fitting to the setting. Sugar Bend feels real, gritty with salt and sand and small-town folks you’d want to meet on vacation. “A Place to Land” is a trip on the river you’ll be glad you took.

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Author Lauren K. Denton
Star Count 4/5
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher Harper Muse
Publish Date October 4, 2022
ISBN 9780785232650
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Category Popular Fiction