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Hometown Girl

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  1,075 ratings  ·  180 reviews
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Courtney Walsh returns with a hopeful and emotional new book about seizing second chances, finding yourself, and forging your own path.

Beth Whitaker isn’t supposed to be a small-town girl. She’s always dreamed of leaving Willow Grove, Illinois, for the big city, but she feels trapped, struggling to make up for a mistake that’
Paperback, 380 pages
Published September 19th 2017 by Waterfall Press
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Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,075 ratings  ·  180 reviews

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Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)
0.99 e-book

I just love this author's writing style! She has a way of drawing me into the lives of people who are struggling against the darkness and as their stories weave together the light emerges and hope shines brightly on its way to a happy ending- which really seems more like a new beginning. The contrasts and similarities between Beth and Molly as sisters really stood out to me, and it was interesting to see the characteristics they embraced and which ones
Jacob Proffitt
Dec 01, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
I stuck with this way longer than I normally would have. I think it's because I've had a string of disappointing DNF books, lately, and thus had a hard time admitting that yet another die roll had come up snake-eyes.

I think part of the problem is that Walsh is a decent writer. Her characters are clear, the setting evocative, and the plot holds together with an adequate eye to pacing. She's a bit coy about details, and I always hate that, but she only delayed about a quarter of the book before I
Katie W
It seems to be common for people, as they are growing up, to wish for what they don't have. Beth dreams of leaving her small town to make it big in the city. And she learns the hard way that plans and dreams don't always work out the way one would hope and expect that they would. She finds herself right back smack dab in the middle of her former life, after a short stint in the city, and just exists. Until her sister, Molly, makes a rash purchase.

Beth and Molly are so different from one another
Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
First, that cover. Is it not adorable? I fell in love with it right away.

And then I started reading … and couldn’t stop. Walsh’s engaging writing voice and beautiful way with words immediately immerses you into the story. Before you know it, you’re mentally stopping off for a pastry at Butler’s where you’ll of course chat with Beth and Callie. You’ll want to wrap your arms through the pages and give Beth a huge hug. You’ll find yourself laughing at Molly’s exuberance – and that rascally sheep! Y
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A favorite book!

This is the first book I’ve read by Courtney Walsh. I was drawn to it by the cover and had seen it recommended several times and I can see why. I could relate to Beth’s character. Don’t we all sometimes feel we need to earn our redemption? That we need to work so hard for respect and/or forgiveness? I could feel Drew’s withdrawal from people and wanted to offer him my understanding. This book deserves the 5 stars I rarely give.
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh friends, where on earth am I supposed to begin talking about this delightful little story?! There is so much to love about it and I'm afraid all I'm going to be able to do is gush. Which, I know, isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I'm sure you'd like to hear more than just "It's amazing, go read it!". But for the official record, it is amazing and you should go read it. :)

Can I just start with how much I loved the quietness of the story? There's no huge emotional bursts that lend themselves t
Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)
Full review on my blog: Which also contains a bonus recipe for apple cider doughnut bread!

Overall this is a beautifully told tale about life, love, and embracing your true self. This book has it all--romance, mystery, and a meaningful spiritual and personal journey.
100 Pages per Hour
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don't normally do this but with this book I fell in love with the cover! I just love the yellow polka-dotted rain boots so much! And I've loved everything I've read by Courtney Walsh so I didn't even bother to read the back cover or the description!

So I have to admit I was a little surprised to find out this book had some mystery to it! It took me a little while to get sucked into the story. But once I did I couldn't wait to unravel the mystery, to get to know Drew and Beth better. And to find
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
What's not to love about a book that celebrates life's challenges, love, the support of a small-town community, and finding your purpose. Hometown Girl takes all these themes and wraps them in a charming novel that combines romance with self-discovery, and even adds a dash of mystery.

Beth never expected to be living at home in the small town of Willow Grove so many years after finishing high school. The plan was to leave town and never look back. But sometimes you can't predict heartbreak or mak
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this book on audible and found the story poignant, heart warming and at times heart wrenching. This book had a strong story line rich with romance, mystery and the strong silent type hero. Drew, hero, had experienced an unspeakable tragedy as a young boy and had never recovered from it. This book is as much about his journey to redemption as it is about the romance between him and the heroine, Beth. This is my first Courtney Walsh book and I absolutely adored it! A sweet, clean, in ...more
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
" . . . . if you do what you were made to do, then you'll find the peace you've been looking for. You can't work for it, you know. You just have to rest in it."

Beth Whitaker has worked tirelessly to erase the mistake that may have led her father to an early grave. Her risky miscalculation cost the family company a lawsuit, which mercifully her father did not publicize. When her happy-go-lucky sister Molly, pops onto the scene with the harebrained idea of restoring an old community farm back to
Courtney Clark
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hometown Girl made me crave all things apple--- apple cider donuts, in particular! And coffee with danishes. Oh, and it tells an enchanting story of second chances, romance, and getting comfortable with unexpected dreams with a colorful cast and hints of suspense. And a sheep!!!

I loved seeing the similarities and contrasts between the arcs of Beth and Drew. They were similar in seeking second chances and a belonging or sense of security. Along the way, Beth begins to find the blessing she can be
Susan Snodgrass
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you want to read a book with great emotional depth, read this book. Courtney Walsh manages to convey the absolute depth of a character's heart here, so much so that sometimes it's painful to read. And her secondary characters are ones I would love to read more about. There is also a very good mystery involved, one that kept me guessing until revealed. Highly recommended. ...more
Karen R
Wow, once I started this book, I couldn't read it fast enough! There's a lot of insight packed into this contemporary tale with a lot of heart, wrapped around a mystery. Plus, there's a delicate romance between two people who seem to struggle with where they fit in, both trying to overcome what has them stuck in life. Some fun side characters add a bit of color to the small town scene. I especially liked Birdie and her wisdom given freely to Beth and Drew. Her encouragement to reach out and acce ...more
Cara Putman
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the audiobook of this title. A sweet small town romance with plenty of mystery and challenges to keep the plot moving. Well narrated, too!
Hallie Szott

Reading Challenge Categories:
-April Bookish Bingo: Set on a farm
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I lost count of how many times someone told me I should read a Courtney Walsh book but I just hadn’t gotten around to it. Then I met Courtney at CFRR and after hearing her talk about one of her heroes I immediately bought one of her novels. Sadly review books took precedence and it just mocked me from my shelf. But then the was an opportunity to be an influencer for this book and I jumped at the chance!
And boy was everyone right about this author! I was totally sucked into the story from the ver
I absolutely adore the cover of this book and that is what initially attracted me to it. The title left me wondering but not truly intrigued. But those boots just got me...too cute!

Hometown Girl is a beautifully written story about family, love, loss, forgiveness (including self), and learning to love oneself in a healthy way.

The MC Elizabeth/Beth is living with a lot of guilt and a secret that she's never told anyone. She's a good girl, an obedient child, but everyone makes mistakes and some w
Pam Graber
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beth Whitaker has spent years trying to make up for a mistake, an error in judgement that cost her father’s company millions in a lawsuit. For Beth, the three hardest words in the English language are, “I was wrong” and her tireless work for the company her dad founded is an effort to avoid having to say those words to the rest of her family. It’s bad enough that her dad knew before a heart attack took him. Must she further humiliate herself in front of the family that looks up to her?
No one un
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book surprised me. For some reason, I thought it was going to be about someone opening a flower shop. It's totally not.

It's about a business woman helping her sister renovate and restore a tourist farm/orchard/market/place with the help of a handsome cowboy-ish guy who has a deep, secret connection with the farm. That involves an unsolved crime.

I love mysteries, so that unsolved-crime aspect sucked me in, and so did all the details about restoring old buildings, setting up raised garden be
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
I'll be honest here. I thought the first part of the book--several chapters--was kind of slow-going. I had a little trouble sticking with it; but this was Courtney Walsh, right? I have loved her other books, so I kept reading, and then I couldn't read it fast enough! Wow, what a story! I didn't figure out whodunit until it was right there! I really loved the two main characters and how they were so flawed and yet allowed themselves to be reworked by their Creator and each other. I really loved t ...more
Just Commonly
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
"It's hard to break out of the mold everyone else puts you in. Especially when that mold turns out to be different than you thought."

Ever read a book that's supposedly a standalone and love the characters and the setting so much you hope for a series out of it? Well, Hometown Girl by Courtney Walsh is just that. Set in small town Willow Grove, and a memory induced backdrop of a farm/orchard that the townspeople rally to support, it makes for a great "hometown" for anyone.

The sweetness of the vib
Sep 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish there was an ability to give half stars on Goodreads, because I've agonized about where to place this review. 3 stars doesn't do it justice, and I can't bring myself to go a full four. I will explain my reasons, and none of it has to do with the writing.

Consistent throughout, 'Hometown Girl' is a story that captures such a wide array of emotions, heartaches, loss, tragedy and more. I find no fault in Courtney's writing. I love her style. The way she can pull the reader fully into the sto
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beth is the sensible one in the Whitaker family, a fact she’s reminded of when younger sister Molly shows up announcing she’s bought the derelict Fairwind Farm. Molly wants to restore the apple orchard and Christmas tree farm into the centre of the community it used to be. Beth is convinced she’ll never succeed … but somehow finds herself a partner in the venture.

The solitary Drew Barlow is returning to Willow Grove and Fairwind Farm for the first time in twenty years. He volunteers in a communi
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hometown Girl (2017) is a novel newly released by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Courtney Walsh. This must-read novel comes in all forms including eBook, and is 382 pages in length. With a full-time job and a very energetic and busy five-year old, this story took me three days to read. I give this novel 5 STARS. This story is a Contemporary Christian Romance.

This is another fabulous and flawless novel by Courtney Walsh. I absolutely love this story, and I relate to the main char
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"I'm saying if you do what you were made to do, then you'll find the peace you've been looking for. You can't work for it, you know. You just have to rest in it." (p 279)

A tumultuous quest for peace is at the heart of Hometown Girl and this quote really settled into my heart. Love that last line -- "You just have to rest in it." And isn't that hard? It shouldn't be, but it is. Especially for this hero and heroine.

Beth is...well, complicated. And, honestly, I didn't connect with her at first. In
Feb 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ll be honest. I started this book with the audible version and I just wasn’t feeling it. But something told me to keep trying, so I switched to reading the kindle version and gosh...I’m so glad I did!

This book...the farm...these people. I am finding it hard to believe that they don’t actually exist because that’s just how well it was written. The love and loss in these pages was palpable and I become completely invested in wanting Beth and Drew to find peace alongside each other.

Beth. Time to
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all, is that not the most adorable cover ever?!?! I loved this cover from the first time I ever saw it-definitely one of my all-time favorite covers!! This story packs a punch, let me tell you. The mystery contained with in the pages of this book is heartbreaking and tragic, and to see the pain it put Drew through made me so sad. I was happy to see the mystery resolved and Drew finally find healing and happiness. I really just want to give Drew the biggest hug ever! All in all, I really ...more
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truly delightful story set in a small town.
Beth and Drew have their own problems to overcome. I like how their relationship progresses as they learn to trust each other.
The mystery kept me intrigued.
Highly recommend.
I really enjoyed this book and the narrator was top notch.
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Courtney Walsh is a novelist, artist, theatre director, and playwright. Just Let Go will be her eighth inspirational romance novel. Her debut, A Sweethaven Summer, hit the New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller lists and was a Carol Award finalist in the debut author category. A creative at heart, Courtney has also written two craft books and several full-length musicals. She lives in Illi ...more

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“I'm saying if you do what you were made to do, then you'll find the peace you've been looking for. You can't work for it, you know. You just have to rest in it. - Birdie” 0 likes
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