While Emma Collins wonders who in their right mind would us her hard-won divorce settlement to purchase a bed-and-breakfast down in the Ozarks, her free-spirited sister Katy fantasizes dreamily about how this move to a small own will be just the thing for her six-year-old son, Josh.
And, as usual, Emma is right. But it is not until they drive to Warbler Lake, Missouri, to take over Bitsy's B & B that they realize just how right she's been. In this part of country, B&B stands for Bait and BBQ! the girls know little enough about running a bed-and-breakfast, but a bait-and-BBQ?
With their money and futures sunk into a run-down, roadside rattletrap, the girls have no choice but to roll up their sleeves and get to work. But as they settle in and get to know the difference between fatheads, night crawlers, mealworms and shiner, no one is more surprised than they are when they actually get the place up and running.
But trouble is brewing. Katy's ex-husband is having second thoughts about the custody arrangements for Josh, and he fully intends to get him back. With the prospect of losing the little boy, the sisters face another challeng, only this time it's Katy who proves that she, too, can solve a problem.
The beginning of each of the 31 chapters is a bit of wisdom from Bitsy, the woman who died and left her B&B to the town to sell and keep the proceeds to help Warbler Lake's citizens. Bits of wisdom like: "Use unsalted butter. You don't want somebody else deciding how much seasoning is right for you." or "Rub down your clean cooking grate with a smidgeon of oil. It will cut down on cursing when you're taking the meat off." or "Hornyhead minnows are often confused with creek chubs. Maybe you can't tell the difference, but the fish can."
I loved reading this book. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I can highly recommend this to anyone who likes a well-written, warm, and funny story. It's a soft, mellow book with soft, mellow good people and one or two harsh people who end up being mellower than the run-of-the-mill harsh person in other books. They are just harsh enough for the reader to dislike and hope that they get their come-uppance. The good people are wonderfully funny and sweet and you keep rooting for them.
I liked watching Emma and Katy make friends in the town and learn how to sell bait and work the BBQ pit. The town is behind them and the support is heart-warming and funny to see.
Five 'I wouldn't mind living in a town like Warbler Lake' beans......