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Welcome to the Pine Away Motel and Cabins

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  199 ratings  ·  80 reviews
New from the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend!

A charming tale of the folks who reunite at a ramshackle roadside motel in Pine Creek, Oregon, after the unfortunate death of Henny, a local who worked at the cabins all her life, and who isn't going to let a tiny thing like death stop her from living fully — not when her friends
Paperback, 448 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published August 2018)
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Average rating 3.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  199 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
2.5 stars

What started out as a unique story with a very different concept drastically took a turn around halfway through.

Until the involvement of another storyline, I was incredibly interested in the story. It was refreshingly different. I wanted to know the outcome of the main character and was interested in reading the impact that this character had on her friends and family. The story already had so much going for it whether it be through connecting to the main character or connecting to the
Lisa Wolf
Katarina Bivald’s 2013 novel about small-town life, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, completely charmed me, and I picked up Welcome to the Pine Away Motel and Cabins expecting a similar reading experience. Sadly, it didn’t really work out that way for me.

In this new novel, we see the town of Pine Creek, Oregon through the eyes of Henny Broek, who’s dead as of page one, having been hit by a truck on a day when she was feeling particularly happy. Henny doesn’t really understand how she can
I enjoyed reading this story! This whole book is told through the point of view of Henny, who has recently passed away after an accident, being hit by a truck. She is lingering around, watching her father and friends grieve her loss and continue on with their lives. The story takes place at the Pine Away Motel and Cabins in Oregon. I found these characters well developed and the plot unique. I was expecting this story to be sad, which there were sad parts at points, but it was told in a ...more
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was a teenager I read a Sweet Valley High book where a terrible earthquake occurred and a beloved side character died in the aftermath.

She was cremated and her ashes were scattered in the ocean and I was so touched that immediately after reading that I went up to my mother and told her that when I died I wanted the same kind of treatment.


“Amanda, I don’t want to talk or even THINK about you dying before me. Let’s not discuss this, okay?!”

“But what if that does happen,
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book so much more than I actually did. I liked the beginning--Henny's struggle to accept that she's dead, but also struggling to know why she is still lingering around. The navigation of the various friends, family, and acquaintances in dealing with her death is also touching and very realistic. That's where the book pretty much lost me though.
It flashes back in time to the 90s in Oregon where Ballot Measure 9 (an anti-homosexual bill) was on the forefront of
ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ

3.5 Stars

I am surprised this book doesn't have a higher rating. The characters are well-formed and distinct, with meaningful arcs and none of their stories are resolved magically or in ways that feel cheap. This was much more than I expected. Death, grief, love, regrets, hope....sounds deep and depressing, but this was told with humor. Never preachy, but engaging and uplifting. This was a very enjoyable read. The place we arrive at with each character feels earned.

There are so many funny,
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
The Pine Creek Motel has seen better days. Henny would call it charming, but she's always seen the best in things. Like now, when she's just met an untimely end crossing the road. She's not going to let a tiny thing like death stop her from living fully - not when her friends and family need her the most.

After the funeral is over, her body is buried, and the last casserole dish is empty, Henny is still around. She's not sure why, but she realizes she has one last opportunity to help her friends
Renee (The B-Roll)
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Check in at the Pine Away Moteltells the story of Henny, who has recently died and the Pine Away Motel tucked into the pine forest of Oregon. After a complete accident, Henny is killed by a truck as she is crossing the road and sort of clings around or doesn't fully pass on but instead, watches her friends and father live their lives and try to get over the tragedy. Henny's death becomes a sort of beacon for her friends and father and the entire town of Pine Creek to sort of rally behind what ...more
Lauren Archer
I just adored The Reader’s of Broken Wheel Recommend so much, so I was very excited to receive an ARC of her new book. Like her previous book this is a very quirky story. What started as one type of story, turns into a somewhat political story, which I was not expecting, but nevertheless it worked.

For my full review, please visit my blog at:
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was thrilled to be able to read an advance copy of this book since I adored the author's previous book, Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend. I liked this book too, but having the story being told by a dead person detracted from my enjoyment since I'm more of a realist. The writing, locale and characters were great. It was interesting to see the impact of homophobia in a small town setting and its long-term impact on the gay community. This topic made the book more serious than Readers. I think ...more
Karen Parisot
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Henny and MacKenzie together run the Pine Creek Motel. It’s a run-down little establishment just outside of town, but they do their best to keep the place up and seem content. Then Michael, a famous world traveling geologist, shows up unexpectedly at the check-in desk. He’s a friend from their childhood and also Henny’s great love. No sooner than the two lovers are reunited when tragedy strikes. Henny is run over by a truck. As her family and friends gather for her funeral and afterwards, Henny’ ...more
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it

Welcome to Pine Away Cabin and Motel is a gem of a book. Not at all what I anticipated it to be, this one was a sweet surprise. Henny has recently passed away after being hit by a truck, and she is hanging around her small town to make sure her family and friends are okay before she leaves this earth.

Read this book if:
-you like a slow burn
-you like quirky character driven novels
-you like stories that address issues of homophobia in a sensitive way
-you like to be charmed by a sweet small town
Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it
I found the premise interesting. The main character is a ghost who is watching what is happening in her previous job at the Pine Away Motel and its communuty. This was a fairly interesting book and it touched upon several sudjects such as greif, loss, and even LGBTQ rights. It was a good book but I'm not sure I would read it again.

I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy free of charge. This is my honest and unbiased opinion of it.
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
Welcome to the Pine Away Motel and Cabins is a heartwarming read about second chances and finding out you are never too old to start living. The book follows Henny, a thirty something year old local woman, who tragically died after being hit by a car. The story follows her trying to help her friends and family come to terms with her death. She is a silent observer to the changes at her job, the Pine Away Motel, and a revolving cast of characters that begin to call the place home upon her ...more
Kim McGee
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are certain Swedish authors who can make you see yourself in every quirky character even when you think you have nothing in common with them. Henny has a problem. She has just been hit by a truck and has passed away but is doing her darndest to still control the situation as a ghost. The small Oregon town where she has always lived and more importantly, the inhabitants of the only motel, are distraught and the boyfriend she just reunited with is beside himself. Henny is powerless to help ...more
Dec 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Even if I find this book well written I couldn't connect to the story and it fell flat.
Not my cup of tea.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Dec 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
Gave up ... could not get into this at all ....
Annette Jordan
Tucked away in the Oregon forest is the Pine Away Motel, run by friends Henny and McKenzie . When Henny's old friend and former flame Michael returns to the town after a gap of many years, the two reunite and it seems like the future looks bright. On her way back to work after spending the night with Michael, a distracted Henny is struck and killed by a truck and her ghost acts as the narrator for the rest of the book , which follows her father, friends and the rest of the townspeople as they ...more
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
I must admit I took days to finish this book. I just felt it was long, and not much to really enjoy. I wish it could have had more. I loved the cover.
Thanks, NetGalley for the advance copy to review.
Sep 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
This has an interesting premise but ultimately was lacking in plot, character and depth. The story meandered along without much changing. Seen through the perspective of Henny was full and of times silly.
Deborah E Kehoe
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Henny just had the most wonderful weekend with the man she’s always been in love with…until she gets hit by a car walking back to the Pine Creek Motel where she works. Henny’s untimely death doesn’t end with her following the light into heaven, instead Henny finds herself still among her friends and family and feels that there must be a reason that she hasn’t passed to the other side.

As she watches her friends lives go on she travels around town and see’s Proposition 9, a proposal for a law
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Welcome to the Pine Away Motel and Cabins by Katarina Bivald wasn't what I expected, but was so much more. It was a slow build, but I became more and more involved with the situations and the characters.

It opens with the ghost of Henny Broek who has been hit by a truck. Her life had been about to turn around--the love of her life has just returned to their small town, and Henny's dreams seem to be coming true. Then, before her dreams can be realized, Henny is looking at her own body.

At first,
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Having read The Readers Of Broken Wheel Recommend, I was eager to read The Pine Away Motel and Cabins. However, this book was more than I expected and when I finished it I wasn't left with a feel good residue. While the story traffics in lost love, missed chances, second chances and friendship, it is also a darker exposé on the treatment of the LGBTQ community by a group of Evangelical Christians in small town Oregon. It is a well written story with some uplifting and amusing moments but there
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
When you don't have a car for a month due to a predatory car insurance industry, you can get a LOT of reading done!!

I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do .

A charming tale of the folks who reunite at a ramshackle roadside motel in Pine Creek, Oregon, after the unfortunate death of Henny, a
Dec 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This book tells the story from the point of view of Henny, who is actually a ghost having been run over by a truck in the first chapter of the book. Why she's a ghost, why she's hanging around, why there aren't any other ghosts, etc., is kind of touched upon but never satisfactorily explained, and is just strange.

The book is about Henny's "family" -- her father, but also her close friends (Mackenzie, a lesbian motel manager; Camilla, a trans woman who owns the motel; Michael, the love of Henny's
Kathleen Gray
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Henny is hit by a truck when she dashes across the road after a romantic night with Michael, the man who she always loved but who left her to travel the world. Her ghost (and she's concerned because she doesn't meet any other ghosts, btw) hovers above her friends and family as they cope with her death. There are some great characters- Delores, Mackenzie, Camila, Michael- and Bivald has nailed her Oregon setting. This is less about Henny, though, than it is about how community was divided over ...more
Dec 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Here’s another multigenerational novel from Katarina Bivald whose The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend championed community spirit and reinvigoration. In her latest tale four friends are reunited in their hometown after many years apart. The story of their friendship drives the community into confrontation with attitudes of tolerance. What makes some friends stick close to home while others leave? Is it the nature of community to define who are acceptable members or instead to make a place for ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars!

I enjoyed the quirky story also written by Katarina Bivald, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, so I was excited to read her next book! Happy pub week Welcome to the Pine Away Motel and Cabins!

My thoughts: Henny has spent her life working at the rundown motel known as the Pine Away and located in Pine Creek, Oregon. Henny unfortunately passes away, but her town still needs her. So she can’t really leave? Can she?

At first the story seems as simple as its synopsis, but it’s not. The
Melissa Dee
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Henny is dead, and she is not exactly sure what her status is. She decides to settle on “ghost” as a working hypothesis, although that doesn’t seem right, somehow. From this perspective, she is able to observe her friends and family as they mourn, and then begin to move on from her death. Set against a background of small-town Oregon life, Henny’s anti-establishment friends and deeply conservative neighbors clash and clash again.

“Pine Away” is quirky and full of finely detailed characters. The
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
This review is hard for me to write because I really loved the author's first book The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend. In fact it was one of my favorite reads. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for this book. While the author does another great job creating a story around the quirky characters of a small town, this book just did not grab me.

To begin with, it is an extremely slow moving story. Several times I put it down and debated on whether to finish. My curiosity got the best of me
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Katarina Bivald grew up working part-time in a bookshop. Today she lives outside of Stockholm, Sweden, with her sister and as many bookshelves she can get by her. She'scurrently trying to persuade her sister that having a shelf for winter jackets and shoes is completely unneccessary. There should be enough space for a book shelf or two instead. Limited success so far. Apparantly, her sister is ...more