Three years ago, in Between Heaven and Texas, Marie Bostwick told Mary Dell Templeton's story. Now, she moves that storyline forward thirty years in From Here to Home.
Mary Dell was one of a long line of strong women from Too Much, Texas. When her son, Howard, was born with Down syndrome, her husband, Donny, couldn't handle it, and disappeared. Mary Dell and her twin sister, Lydia Dale, found a way to keep their ranch going while Mary Dell started a quilting shop. That quilting shop, fueled by Mary Dell's passion, to teach others to quilt, led to the TV show, Quintessential Quilting, that she co-hosted with Howard.
Now that Mary Dell is sixty, she's finding she's needed more at home in Too Much than in Dallas, where the TV show is filmed. Her mother is aging. Her widowed niece is having a hard time juggling the quilt shop, the ranch, and taking care of family. Lydia Dale's son, Rob Lee, is a veteran of Afghanistan, suffering from PTSD, and failing at his ranch duties. But, just as Mary Dell decides she needs to ask to film at home, the indomitable woman is shaken to her core. The network's new executive, hoping the show will fail, wants to hire a young, pretty co-host, while letting Howard go. Howard wants to stay in Dallas so he can attend college and spend time with his girlfriend. It's just not the best time for Mary Dell's friend, Hub-Jay, to propose. And, Mary Dell never did divorce the man who walked out on her thirty years earlier.
Bostwick's latest book, like her earlier ones, is about a strong woman, triumphing, with the help of family and friends. Mary Dell Templeton might not be quite as sassy as in earlier books, but she's just as determined to make life right for her family. From Here to Home is a story about a supportive group of family and friends, rallying around issues caused by loss, illness, PTSD. When Mary Dell says, "We're family. We rise and fall and get back up together.", she summarizes this book. And, if she includes close, supportive friends as "family", she summarizes many of her books.
Mary Dell Templeton is the linchpin of a strong, hospitable Texas family. Read of her early years in Between Heaven and Texas. If you like her then, you'll appreciate the woman she becomes in From Here to Home.
Marie Bostwick's website is www.mariebostwick.com
From Here to Home by Marie Bostwick. Kensington Books. 2016. ISBN 9781617736575 (paperback), 360p.
FTC Full Disclosure - I received this book to review it for a journal.