Author: Tim Whitney
Genre: Young Adult, Holiday, Family, Fiction
Pub Date: October 2009, Bancroft Press
Hardcover, 223 pages
Book Source: Harrison at Bancroft Press
Synopsis (from the dust jacket)
Ever since his mother left, life hasn't been easy for Heath Wellington III. Between his father's (Junior's) bouts with alcoholism and literary rejection, and Heath's own wrongful suspension from school, there hasn't been all that much to be thankful for.
But following the tragic death of estranged grandfather Senior, father and son alike stand to inherit a life-changing fortune... with one catch.
Heath and Junior must spend the next three months managing Senior's bed and breakfast, located in the same Massachusetts home Junior has spent the last eight years trying to escape.
Upended from his everyday life and relocated to a town where everyone knew and loved the grandfather he can't even remember, Heath finds an inn full of some of the strangest people he's ever met, such as:
~ Winsted, the old, wise Jamaican man who used to lead the prayers in Senior's factory;
~ Mrs. Farrel, an elderly woman giving away her late husband's fortune letter by letter;
~ Mustang Sally, the muscle-bound, tattooed grease monkey who doubles as a children's author;
~ Carter, the silent TV news junkie and secret Harvard graduate.
And at a nearby school is Savannah, Junior's first love and her adorable, autistic daughter, Tory.
Bust most of all, there's Junior himself, vinegar to Heath's oil. As Heath adjusts to his new world, what he needs most is to start anew with his father, to understand that Junior, too, is dealing with loss, and to realize that even in the most tragic of times, there's a lot in life to be thankful for.
First of all, I would like to thank Harrison of Bancroft Press for sending me a copy of this book!
Thanksgiving at the Inn is an easy, enjoyable read that is not only perfect for the holiday season, but any time of the year. While on some levels I felt that this story could pass for middle grade reading (except for some mild profanity), it is a story that really anyone of any age can appreciate. This story reminds us the importance of being thankful for what we have--and that it's important to remember that at all times, not simply when tragedy strikes.
In my opinion, the writing is generally solid, though the plot may be a tad predictable and some of the characters could stand to be fleshed out a little more--particularly Heath's father. What I did enjoy was the variety of characters we see--the synopsis sums them up nicely, and they make for an interesting premise. Some elements of the plot may not seem believable, such as Junior's transformation after his accident, but I think the real importance of this book is the message that Whitney is trying to send. While all of the serious issues are dealt with on a superficial level, that does help to keep the read a little easier for those young adults out there that Whitney is targeting.
If you are looking for a book that is a quick read with a message of gratitude, then you might considering giving Thanksgiving at the Inn a try.
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