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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

A Place to Land

ISBN: 978-0785232650

Publisher: HarperMuse

Publication Date: 10/04/2022

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC)

USA Today bestselling author Lauren K. Denton delivers another distinctly Southern story that shimmers with beauty and possibility.

A hidden past isn’t past at all.

Violet Figg and her sister Trudy have lived a quiet life in Sugar Bend ever since a night forty years ago stole Trudy’s voice and cemented Violet’s role as Trudy’s fierce and loyal protector. Now, Trudy spends her days making sculptures from found objects and speaking via notes written on scraps of paper, while Violet runs their art shop, monitors the bird activity up and down the water, and tries not to think of the one great love she gave up in order to keep her sister safe.

Eighteen-year-old Maya knows where everyone else belongs, but she’s been searching for her own place ever since her grandmother died seven years ago. Moving in and out of strangers’ houses has left her exhausted, so when she sees a flyer on a gas station window for a place called Sugar Bend, she follows the strange pull she feels and finds herself on the doorstep of an art shop called Two Sisters.

When a boat rises to the surface of Little River in the middle of the night, the present and the no-longer-buried past clash, and the future is at stake for Maya, Violet, and Trudy. As history creeps continually closer to the present and old secrets come to light, the sisters must decide if it’s time to face the truth of what happened forty years ago or risk losing each other and newly formed bonds with those they’ve come to love.

My Review

Southern storyteller Lauren K. Denton returns following The One You're With with A PLACE TO LAND —a forty-year-old mystery of two sisters, a hidden past, a secret, and a young girl looking for a home.

Set in Sugar Bend, Alabama, we meet sisters, Violet and Trudy Figg.

A tragedy occurred forty years ago, and Trudy has not been able to speak since this time. She spends time making sculptures from objects she has found and communicates by writing notes.

Violet is very protective of her sister, and she runs their art shop while monitoring bird activity. She also gave up her true love to save her sister.

We also meet eighteen-year-old Maya, who is looking for a place to land after her grandmother died. She comes to Sugar Bend and shows up at the art shop called Two Sisters. An interesting character, moving from one foster home to another and looking for a place to call her own.

From two time periods, the present day and events back in the 1970s and 1980s.

Told in alternating POV, the past and present collide after a boat floats up on Little River during a storm, making the future uncertain for Maya, Violet, and Trudy. They must face the past to move on.

Will they try and keep the past buried, or will all be revealed?

An emotionally moving story of family, sisters, love, hope, and evil in a small town infused with mystery, intrigue, and redemption. Well-developed characters and vivid settings make this a must-read for fans of women's and southern fiction, family drama, a touch of romance, and mystery.

A special thank you to #HarperMuse and #NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: Oct 4, 2022

My Rating: 4 Stars


Lauren K. Denton is a master at crafting deeply meaningful stories that explore the relationships that give life purpose, beauty, and richness. A Place to Land is a touching tribute to sisterhood, first loves, and promises kept.

-— Susan Meissner, USA TODAY bestselling author of The Nature of Fragile Things

A Lauren K. Denton novel is like a whispered secret from a dear friend, and her latest lyrical stunner is no exception. A Place to Land captures the gray areas of life in all their complexity and questions whether we can ever really move on from the past. In a story of sisterhood and small-town secrets, Denton proves that, in our lives, like our art, there is always a chance to create beauty from the brokenness. Denton is a masterful storyteller who makes magic on every perfect page.

— Kristy Woodson Harvey, New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Veil

A small Alabama town confronts a decades-old secret in the atmospheric latest from Denton (The One You're With) . . . Denton masterfully paces this slow-burn mystery and vividly renders the dark undercurrent of small-town life, exemplified in the residents' unwillingness to believe that beloved local celebrity Jay was abusive. This thriller will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

— Publishers Weekly

Lauren Denton unfurls a mystery by reconciling a buried past with a modern-day story set in a town with vibrant characters brimming with Southern charm.

—New York Journal of Books

Denton takes familiar themes, wraps them around compelling characters, then adds a bit of magical realism fitting to the setting. Sugar Bend feels real, gritty with salt and sand and small-town folks you'd want to meet on vacation. A Place to Land is a trip on the river you'll be glad you took.

—Nashville Book Review

About the Author

LAUREN K. DENTON is the author of USA TODAY bestselling novels The Hideaway and Hurricane Season. She was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, and now lives with her husband and two daughters in Homewood, just outside Birmingham. Though her husband tries valiantly to turn her into a mountain girl, she’d still rather be at the beach. Website:; Instagram: LaurenKDentonBooks; Facebook: LaurenKDentonAuthor; Twitter: @LaurenKDenton.







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