The Women of Great Heron Lake

I have reviewed The Women of Great Heron Lake by Deanna Lynn Sletten for Reader’s Favorite.

Written in the historical subgenre of fiction, The Women of Great Heron Lake by Deanna Lynn Sletten connects two women who married into the same Madison family but existed decades apart from each other. When, after over a year of fighting pancreatic cancer, Nathan passed away, her wife, Marla Madison felt free. After marrying Nathan, she had quit her job and devoted her life to caring for her daughter, Reese, and her husband. Now that Reese was a twenty-years-old adult and her husband had passed away, suddenly, she did not know what to do with the ocean of time available to her. Outside her family, she hadn’t formed any real connection with people. With nothing else to do, she threw herself into renovating her mansion. It was during one of these renovation times that she found the journal of the first Mrs. Madison, Alaina. As she delved deeper into the journal, she shivered at the eerie similarities between her and Alaina.

She tried slipping the drawer into the open section of the mantel and it fit perfectly.

“It’s a secret hiding place,” she said with glee. She couldn’t believe that she’d been in this room nearly every day for years and not once noticed this drawer.

She took the drawer over to her desk and sat down, then lifted out the old journal. It had a brown leather cover and was the size of a teenager’s diary. Opening it, she saw a name and date handwritten in near script on the first page. Alaina Clara Madison 1876.

– The Women of Great Heron Lake by Deanna Lynn Sletten

The Women of Great Heron Lake by Deanna Lynn Sletten reflects on the lives of women — now and then (the year 1875). Although born decades apart, both Marla and Alaina went through drastic changes after marrying wealthy men. Alaina was happy taking care of her father’s business and living the life of a spinster, but when she met Nathaniel, she could not resist his charms. Gradually, he manipulated her into adjusting her life goals to accommodate his dreams. Eventually, Alaina lost the one thing she craved the most: her freedom. Similarly, Marla, too, had lost track of her goals after marrying Nathan. When he died, she struggled with finding her purpose in life. The plot would resonate with many women who alter their personalities and passion to fulfill their expected duties as a wife and mother.

“Isn’t it a bit soon to be going out?”

Marla smiled and shook her head. “I’m just having lunch with my friends at the club. It’s not like I accepted an invitation to a party.”

Mrs. Cooper sniffed. “In the old days, no wife would be out galivanting while in mourning for her husband.

“Oh, Mrs. Cooper. We aren’t in the 1800s anymore. It won’t be disrespectful to Nathan for me to have lunch.”

– The Women of Great Heron Lake by Deanna Lynn Sletten

The Women of Great Heron Lake is the story of hope and second chances. Deanna Lynn Sletten makes a smooth transition between the present (Marla’s story) and the past (Alaina). The mindset and mannerisms remain authentic in both the timelines. The book is heaven for architecture enthusiasts. The description of the houses and mansions is so crisp that it transports you inside spacious structures. Emotions run high as Deanna Lynn Sletten narrates the sacrifices that Alaina made in the name of love and marriage. The patriarchal society’s flawed and biased rules are laid bare in the form of a gripping plot with indulging conversations. Women supporting women’s concept has been the backbone of the story as well. I recommend The Women of Great Heron Lake by Deanna Lynn Sletten to the readers who enjoy a slow-paced fiction that highlights a woman’s search for her identity.

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