Love Mercy by Earlene Fowler is the first book in a sweet new series about “Love Mercy Johnson” set on California’s central coast in the town of Morro Bay. Publisher: Berkley, March 2009

Love Mercy Johnson has seen her fair share of heartbreak.  A year after her husband’s death, she still finds herself listening for his comforting laugh.  But her life is satisfying in Morro Bay, California, where she takes photographs for a regional magazine and helps her in-laws work the Johnson family’s cattle ranch. With the help of her good friends, Love is trying to move on.

Long estranged from her grandchildren, Love has given up hope of ever seeing them again.  Then her dreams of reconciliation come true when her eighteen-year-old granddaughter, Loretta Lynn “Rett” Johnson, unexpectedly shows up.  Suddenly, Love’s predicable life is completely disrupted.

Fresh from an embarrassing romantic entanglement, Rett, an aspiring songwriter, has hitchhiked across the country, lugging a prickly attitude, a broken heart and a stolen banjo.  Now grandmother and granddaughter must struggle to coexist while each confronts old resentments and hurts.  When a family crisis forges an unexpected connection between the two grieving women, they must discover whether they can change not only their  own lives but the lives of their loved ones for the better.

Very enjoyable and I loved how the human spirit shined through.  My rating: 4 stars

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