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Granite Springs #4

The Life She Finds

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When Lyn Hudson takes early retirement, her plan is to fulfil a lifelong dream to travel the world. But news of her father’s death forces her back to Granite Springs; the town she fled when she was eighteen. While she has fond memories of roaming the paddocks with her childhood friend, Ken, life on the land was definitely not for her.

Ken Thompson, cheated out of his inheritance in the family property after an argument with his father, has built up a successful business in Granite Springs as a realter and stock and station agent. When the son he intended to inherit his business returns to work on the family property, his plans for the future are shattered and family relations further strained.

Thrown together by circumstances, the pair discover the spark which they denied forty-five years earlier is still smouldering. But time has passed. They are different people.

Is it possible they’ll find common ground and start afresh, or will Lyn once again follow her dreams and abandon Granite Springs and their chance at happiness?

The Life She Finds is the fourth book in the Granite Springs series set in a small Australian country town.

271 pages, Kindle Edition

Published June 9, 2020

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About the author

Maggie Christensen

35 books124 followers
After a career in education, Maggie Christensen began writing contemporary women’s fiction portraying mature women facing life-changing situations. Her travels inspire her writing, be it her frequent visits to family in Oregon, USA or her home on Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast. Maggie writes of mature heroines coming to terms with changes in their lives and the heroes worthy of them.
From her native Glasgow, Scotland, Maggie was lured by the call ‘Come and teach in the sun’ to Australia,where she worked as a primary school teacher, university lecturer and in educational management. Now living with her husband of thirty years on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, she loves walking on the deserted beach in the early mornings and having coffee by the river on weekends. Her days are spent surrounded by books, either reading or writing them – her idea of heaven!
She continues her love of books as a volunteer with her local library where she selects and delivers books to the housebound.
A member of Queensland Writer’s Centre, RWA, ALLi, and a local critique group, Maggie enjoys meeting her readers at book signings and library talks. In 2014 she self-published Band of Gold and The Sand Dollar, Book One in the Oregon Coast Series, in 2015, The Dreamcatcher, Book Two in the Oregon Coast Series and Broken Threads, and in 2016, Madeline House, book Three in the Oregon Coast Series

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Displaying 1 - 22 of 22 reviews
Profile Image for Sharon.
986 reviews193 followers
August 19, 2021
The Life She Finds by Australian author Maggie Christensen is the fourth in a series called Granite Springs.

Lyn Hudson retires early as she has wanted to travel the world something she’s wanted to do for as long as can remember, but news of her father's death brings her plan to a stop. Lyn must now return to Granite Springs the town she left when she was eighteen.

Lyn has good memories of her childhood years in Granite Springs. Her days were filled with wandering around the paddocks with her childhood friend Ken Thomson. Seeing Ken again would bring back these memories, but a lot of years have passed and they were different now. Was it possible for them to go back to where they left off, or was it too late?

I have enjoyed all the books in this series including this book and can’t wait to read the next one. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Brenda.
4,094 reviews2,663 followers
June 5, 2020
Not long after Lyn Hudson’s retirement, she received a call from her mother in Granite Springs to say her father had died. Lyn dropped everything, flying to Granite Springs immediately. To see her mother Edith, so shattered, was a shock to Lyn and the guilt at her too infrequent visits rose again. Once the funeral was over, Lyn thought she would head back to Brisbane, but events changed that for her…

Ken Thompson had been the owner of Granite Springs Real Estate for decades after being kicked off the family farm by his father, leaving his brother Alec running the farm. Alec had since married Judy but with no children to pass the property to, Ken’s son Neil joined his uncle in the venture. Once again Ken felt the disappointment as his son would no longer take over his business when he retired. But it was the arrival back in town of the person who’d been his best friend when they were children, the woman who’d left Granite Springs when they were both eighteen, and broken his heart – he knew he hadn’t forgotten Lyn, but what were her thoughts?

The Life She Finds is the 4th in the Granite Springs series by Aussie author Maggie Christensen and once again it’s a realistic and well written portrayal of family, loss, hope, love and all that comes with the dynamics of family life. Set in a small rural town in New South Wales not far from the nation’s capital, Canberra, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the stories of the men and women in their 60s and am looking forward very much to #5 in the series. Highly recommended.

With thanks to the author for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kathleen.
887 reviews
October 28, 2020
THE LIFE SHE FINDS is in THE GRANITE SPRINGS series by talented author Maggie Christensen. The cover of the book is gorgeous. This book can easily be read as a standalone, but I recommend reading the books in order.
Having enjoyed reading the previous novels in this series, I was pleased to revisit Granite Springs, a fictional country town in New South Wales, Australia and get "caught up" with what was taking place in the lives of familiar characters Joanna and Colin Ford, Fran Reilly and Owen Larsen, Gordon and Carol Slater and Danny and Kylie Slater, and Sally Anderson. It was also nice to see that Scout the Golden Labrador and Bessie the sheepdog are still doing fine.
Lyn Hudson is a recently retired 62-year-old career woman ready to fulfill her dream of travelling around the world, when she gets an urgent phone call from her mother. Reluctantly putting her plans on hold, Lyn returns to Granite Springs her home town. Then there is an accident. Will Lyn ever get to travel the world? Or will she end up staying in Granite Springs?
Maggie Christensen is 'the queen of mature age fiction' and her characters are so realistic and well developed that they "step off the page".
My favourite characters were Lyn, her 19-year-old granddaughter Maddy, Maddy's boyfriend Zac, Lyn's 94-year-old mother Edith Carter, Ken Thompson successful owner of Granite Springs Real Estate, his son Neil, Joanna, Colin and Titch the sheepdog puppy.
This very moving story touched themes of family, love, grief, guilt, friendship, hope and second chances.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this well-written book and highly recommend it to all who like heartwarming stories of second chances.
*Special thanks to Maggie Christensen for a digital ARC of her novel, THE LIFE SHE FINDS, which enabled me to read it and write this unbiased review.
5 stars ⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️

Posted on GoodReads, Savvy Reader
Profile Image for Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews.
1,910 reviews270 followers
August 6, 2020

‘There would be a lot to work out, plans to change, an entire life to unpick, but Lyn knew what she’d found here in Granite Springs was worth all the disruption that might entail.’

The lure of the small Australian country town of Granite Springs is enough to convince Lyn Hudson, the lead of The Life She Finds, to reset her retirement plans and settle in this appealing locale. The Life She Finds is the fourth book in Maggie Christensen’s contemporary domestic fiction series. With a lost love rekindled, family politics, grief and plenty of everyday drama filling the pages of this novel, readers will enjoy following this continuing series.

In this latest issue of the Granite Springs series, it is time for Lyn Hudson to tell her story. A recently retired headmistress, Lyn has big plans to see the world as soon as she says goodbye to her career. But Lyn’s plans are derailed when her father passes away and her ageing mother requires her care back in Lyn’s home town of Granite Springs. Lyn hasn’t lived in Granite Springs since she was eighteen, she moved way leaving her childhood friend Ken heartbroken. When Lyn returns to Granite Springs she reconnects with Ken, a man who faces plenty of life and family troubles. Ken’s set plans for his own future retirement have been hampered by difficult family issues. Together, these two lost souls bond over their shared problems. New plans are made and love is renewed in this brand new tale from Maggie Christensen.

Poor Lyn, I really felt for this retired headmistress from the opening of The Life She Finds! No sooner has Lyn made plans to travel and see the world when she is hit smack bang with the death of her father and the care of her elderly mother. What a disappointment for this hard working woman! But Lyn is a good spirit and she genuinely cares for her family. Consequently, Lyn puts a hold on her hopes of travelling abroad to return home to the country township of Granite Springs. With things out of Lyn’s control, all she can do is try to make a go of things in her former home. Once Lyn returns to Granite Springs, the events in the novel move at a fairly good pace. There are twists, turns, dramas, personal relations, problems, decisions to make and matters of the heart to contend with. Both leads, held my interest throughout and we see the events of the novel unfold from each of them. We are also privy to their innermost thoughts and feelings thanks to the style of narration adopted by Christensen.

I have been following the Granite Springs series from the beginning so I feel like a piece of the furniture now. In the Granite Springs novels, new faces are fused with old friends from the previous issues in the series. It is always nice to see how these familiar characters are faring and I enjoyed their interactions with the central protagonists of The Life She Finds. Some of the background cast are endearing, while others are not so agreeable! However, this is common aspect of all small town communities, there are much loved personalities and those you would rather not spend any time with if you can help it! This time around Maggie Christensen pits her protagonists around a range of common life issues and some angst in the love department. There was plenty of sentiment and understanding that came from these experiences.

I have no doubt that fans of Maggie Christensen’s work will value this latest contribution to the Granite Springs series. The Life She Finds can be read as a standalone, or it could be read alongside the other books in the series. If you have been thinking about giving this series a go and you haven’t yet delved in, perhaps a binge read of the first four books is in order!

*I wish to thank the author, Maggie Christensen, for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Life She Finds is book #91 of the 2020 Australian Women Writers Challenge
Profile Image for Helen.
2,220 reviews12 followers
July 26, 2020
I loved this visit back to Granite Springs, MS Christensen knows how to pull a reader into her stories these characters are so real they are becoming friends, and this time we meet up with Lyn Hudson and Ken Thomson both grew up in Granite Springs but Lyn left as soon as school finished and Ken stayed, can they finally find the love that they deserve?

Lyn has taken early retirement and is planning to travel she is divorced and her daughter is grown with children of her own, but when her father dies she goes back to home to her mother and the town she left so many years before life on the land was never going to be for Lyn. She runs into her old friend and neighbour Ken and with a series of events change Lyn’s plans and Ken is there as support and a friend but there is also growing feelings can she change her life around to find happiness.

Ken Thompson loved being on the farm and he had planned to be there forever with a wife and have a family but when things change and he loses the farm he moves into town and becomes a realtor marries and has a son, divorced now he leads a quiet life. When he runs in Lyn his school sweetheart the girl he thought he would be with arrives in town it is not long before he is helping her out and enjoying some lovely time with her and those feelings from years ago are building, it is time for a new life.

Love is there for everyone to have, no matter your age and Lyn and Ken find the happiness and love that they deserve, I am loving this series and catching up with friends is always good. I cannot highly recommend this book and series enough MS Christensen is a wonderful story teller her older heroes and heroines are so good, thank you for another fabulous story I loved it.
Profile Image for Anne.
1,809 reviews
June 24, 2020
I always enjoy the time I spend among friends at Granite Springs, but this lovely story was one that particularly resonated with me. Lyn’s retirement travel plans have had to be put on hold – first the death of her father, then her mother’s ailing health and planned move into a care home. She fled Granite Springs in her youth, running away from a life she didn’t want to lead – and it’s the last place she wants to be. If you know me, you’ll understand why the storyline was so close to home – and the way the author captures Lyn’s response to the situation really couldn’t have been better.

Ken was her childhood friend, and fondly remembered – but also partly her reason for running away, when the simple friendship became burdened with the expectation of becoming something rather more. Both main characters are now in their sixties, and Ken’s a successful realtor (isn’t that so much better than being an “estate agent”?!), and their paths cross again with the planned sale of her mother’s home. His business was rather a forced change of direction – family issues drove him away from his farming home, and he’s now encountering more issues over the direction his own son will follow.

I really liked the way the central relationship was handled in this book – the professional contact with its undercurrents, well-meaning friends trying to bring them together, the rekindled friendship moving forward into the possibility of something more. The author always gets under the skins and into the inner thoughts of her characters so very well, and I found so much to identify with in this story.

And surrounding the central storyline is the community I’ve begun to feel very much part of – time spent in Granite Springs is time spent among friends. Every book in this series is entirely readable as a standalone, but having read the whole series I particularly enjoy coming across characters I’ve enjoyed spending time with before.

Lyn’s granddaughter arrives to attend university, drawn by her new relationship, but also by Owen and the new school of music and drama: and look, there’s Owen again, finding his feet as leader of the local choir, dealing with the still disgruntled opposition. And then there’s Jo – she becomes Lyn’s confidante (as she has to many others who join her at the table in the Coffee Bean), and she and Col bring everyone together for an Australia Day birthday party on their property that I’ve got to know so well. They’re all here – yes, even Jo and Gordon’s son Danny, who tried so hard to force his mother into one of his tiny apartments so he could take over her home, but this time he’s in a situation where he’s a little out of his depth.

I totally adore this series – wonderful stories, the best of writing, characters who have become friends, a vividly drawn setting, a touch of tension and intrigue, a few moments of drama, real lives I always feel privileged to share. And I think this book might have been my favourite so far – if you haven’t tried this lovely series yet, I really do recommend you give it a try.
2,890 reviews20 followers
June 4, 2020
Life after retirement: exotic thrills or no place like home😕 So true to life👍

I love author Maggie Christensen's novels about mature women finding a later in life chance at love. Her heroines are real women with realistic problems, often locked into major issues involving their grown children and exes; in this story she takes on an issue close to my heart.

Lyn finds her elderly parents take center stage just as she retires and prepares for a life of travel and leisure. Lyn has to confront their frailty and mortality, and her guilt at leaving them to their own devices in small town Granite Springs for so long as she pursued a career and married life in Brisbane. I could totally relate to Lyn's regret, fears and need to make up for the past.

I also really connected with Ken Thompson, the male lead who has faced so many disappointments in his life since Lynn left him behind 45 years before after a childhood of friendship and growing affection. He's hopeful, helpful and ready to see where a second chance with Lyn might take them.

I've read every book in the Granite Springs series and eagerly await each new release. There's a building community of 50 plus-age characters who mingle and support each other that is appealing, even when some of the women seem a bit too aggressively intent on matchmaking. It's a world I love to visit😍.
Profile Image for Craig / Phil.
1,301 reviews51 followers
September 29, 2020
Grab a cup of tea, sit back and relax and enjoy your return trip to Granite Springs.
Book four is about starting anew and taking a chance.
Lyn Hudson has been a head mistress for over twenty years and now it’s time for retirement and the opportunity to do the travelling she has always wanted to do.
But a phone call announcing her fathers death brings apprehension as she goes back to a town she once fled.
Ken Thompson has built a successful realtor business after being excluded from the family inheritance.
Back when they were teenagers, Lyn and Ken had an attraction but never acted on it.
Now forty five years later can they relight the spark even though time has passed and they are different people.
After finishing this book I feel like I’m part of the Granite Springs family.
I know most of the town’s inhabitants and their secrets, it’s good to touch base with old faces and well as the new additions.
A beautiful atmospheric setting, warm and inviting narrative and characters who have become friends, how could you go wrong with this fresh romantic sequence of stories.
Heartwarming and engaging tales of second chances.
Profile Image for Lena West.
Author 14 books3 followers
May 26, 2020
The best thing about reading books which are in series is getting the chance to revisit a favourite place and reconnect with old friends.
This is especially true of The Life She Finds, book 4 in the Granite Springs series, another of Maggie Christensen's well-written, heartwarming stories of second-chance romance and new directions. Lynn Hudson's story resonated deeply with me, as during my life I have faced several similar situations, as have many of her readers, and was able to look back with fresh eyes.
I can highly recommend the entire Granite Springs collection and The Life She Finds in particular.
759 reviews
May 14, 2020
In this fourth book of the Granite Springs series, Maggie tells the story of Lyn, a recently retired headmistress of a school who returns to her hometown for her father's funeral. While at home, her mother breaks her hip and Lyn is not only forced to postpone her grandiose plan of traveling the world which she had been dreaming about, but of looking the past "right in the eye" when she runs into her former best friend/ boyfriend from forty-five years before, Ken, the very successful owner of a real estate company in town. While they both grew up on neighboring sheep farms, he wanted to be the successor to his family's legacy, but Lyn had other ideas and left at the age of eighteen and never looked back.

Maggie C has a wonderful way of connecting her readers to the community of friends from the previous books. Another aspect I really enjoyed about this book is how multi-generational it is. She truly has a gift of writing love stories for mature adults looking for a second chance at life, and is open and accepting of the younger generations. I'm truly excited there's another book on the horizon!
404 reviews21 followers
May 8, 2020
This is the fourth in the Granite Springs Series and Maggie Christensen continues to write fascinating books about the characters who live in the town .
Lyn Hudson takes early retirement, planning to fulfil a lifelong dream to travel the world,but news of her father’s death forces her back to Granite Springs.While there, her mother takes a couple of falls which land her in hospital and she asks Lyn to sell her house through Ken Thompson, a local land agent.
Lyn and Ken had been friends while at school , living on neighbouring farms they had spent much of the spare time together.
Thrown together again , the pair discover the spark which they denied forty-five years earlier is still smouldering.
But Lyn is keen to sell her mother's house and get off on the world trip she has always dreamed about.
Again the author has been able to draw me into the lives of the Granite Springs community and I found this a great read. It was good to catch up with Owen Larsen who we had meet in an earlier book , as well as Jo and Col. As in previous books in the series the characters are solid, likeable characters in the older age group and the author creates a realistic relationship and highlights some of the concerns that can arise.
But at the end of the day does love conquer all , well I will leave you, the reader to find out .!
Thank you Maggie Christensen for an e copy to read , I am already looking forward to the fifth book in the series.
110 reviews
May 15, 2020
Lyn and Ken where childhood, teenage friends. Many twists and turns take place and it is 45 years later. Maggie has you falling in love with these in depth characters from page one and wanting to see if they will have a second chance at love.
May 7, 2020
The life she finds is the latest book by Maggie Christensen. I have read all her books and love every one of them. This is no exception and is an ideal summer light read which will keep you in suspense until the end.

It tells the story of Lyn who was born and brought up in Granite Springs and who moved away and makes a life for herself away from the small town where she felt claustrophobic, She marries but it is not a happy marriage and after 45 years returns to her hometown when her father dies and her mother becomes frail. This is a story of Lyn and Ken the boy she left behind in Granite Springs and the story revolves around them both

Does it have a happy ending? You will have to read the book, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
784 reviews8 followers
June 30, 2020
This fourth book in this series carries all the drama, mystique, love and memories as you expect from this writer. Maggie Christensen develops characters that are your next door neighbors, classmates, church family that are so easy to settle right in as the story unfolds. I love the "mature" characters and getting to see characters from earlier books that are blended into the story effortlessly and with beautiful touches. As Lyn and Ken take a look at their teen memories in Granite Springs, can they possibly find a way back 45 years later or is that moment passed this sweet couple by? Another delightful read that grabs your heartstrings, brings some tears, but leaves you smiling. Sweet, clean, Christian based romance for most ages.

I received an ARC copy of this book. However, this is my voluntary, honest and completely personal review.
Profile Image for Janet Graham.
2,128 reviews3 followers
June 4, 2020
Second Chance at Life and Love
This book is fourth in a series. The different episodes focus on different people that are in all or most of the books. In this episode, a sixty-something couple gets a second chance at the relationship they didn't have as 18 year-olds. In the 45 ensuing years, each had led full lives with careers, spouses and children. It is a very good series. It is nice to have the more familiar characters coming in and out of the lives of the new characters. The author writes very well; the reader experiences everything along with the characters. The author gave me an ARC copy of this book and this is my honest review.
181 reviews
June 9, 2020
This is book four in a series about small town lives and it's developing quite nicely. I will have to admit I had a hard time warming up to Lyn which was a first. However that did not stop my reading an otherwise charming series about people from all walks of life. These books focus on the retiring generation finding a life of promise and it does a great job of doing just that. It also includes the surrounding generations and their part in the journey. It was fun to see the continuation of familiar characters along with the new. Cozy reading!
August 28, 2021
I the Life She Finds.

As I stated in a previous comment her tales still end too abruptly. The stores are quite enjoyable but sometimes they move too slowly. It really should not take a rational person to make an obvious decision without something catastrophic happening to the one they love.
12 reviews
January 7, 2023
Full circle

Growing up together and weighed down by the hopes of their parents,the paths of old childhood friends cross once more .Will they take the next step,forty five years later in life?

2 reviews
June 21, 2020
Second chance-as we have all wondered

The author delivers a story that is always believable, and the story moves along at a smooth pace. I am impatient for the fifth in the series.
Profile Image for Anne Rightler.
1,698 reviews12 followers
August 14, 2020
Having read several of Maggie Christensen's books (although none of the previous ones in the Granite Springs series), I knew that I would be in for a heartwarming story about friends and families. Sure enough! In The Life She Finds, fourth in a series, I enjoyed reading about Lyn, recently retired and ready to take on a long awaited world tour. Yet, life happens, and she is drawn back to the town she left as a teen, a town that held no future for her. What would it hold for her now as she cares for an aging mother and reconnects with old friends, well-meaning but often meddling! The author writes well and draws the reader right into the scenes of life in this Australian town. The characters are likable and relatable. I especially liked Ken, who realizes he still loves Lyn, even after all these years and is willing to work to reignite the spark that had glowed in their teenage years. But would Lyn recognize and grasp the second chance at love that she's been given or go back to the big city life where she belonged? The author keeps romantic tension high with twists and turns to the plot. One especially was for me a 'wow, I didn't see that coming' moment! Christensen isn’t afraid to tackle difficult subjects such as grief, and guilt and bitterness. In The Life She Finds she, again, gives her readers older, more mature figures who find that second chances do come around and it brings a sense of hope and expectancy. It is a good story of family, friends, and love the second time around.
I received a complimentary copy of the book and was not required to write a review. The opinions are my own.
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