Just a dot on the map of the northwest, Lumby looms big in the hearts of its residents. The townsfolk consider each other family as well as friends. And though the annual cow race can bring out the competitiveness in people, when times get tough, there is no better person to turn to than your nearest neighbor.
Lumby is thrown into the spotlight when one of the most important paintings of the twentieth century, The Barns of Lumby, is stolen. Town matriarch Charlotte Ross has a very personal connection to the painting-and to the artist, Dana Porter. And as a media frenzy descends on the little town, one of the actual barns disappears overnight from the rural landscape-and pieces of it begin showing up in the strangest places.
After reading the first book in this series, I could not wait to return to Lumby again. I had such a wonderful visit that I wish that this town actually existed. Right now I am in need of a place to rest and relax and Lumby is the perfect town for me to achieve both. Since I can't actually go there in real life, reading about the town in a book is the next best thing.
The book starts off a little slow but that was mainly because I was trying to remember who everyone was again. Once you get into the story however, it's easy to get sucked into the plot as you mingle with the characters. They are what makes the story. I loved visiting with Pam and Mark as they are in full swing with their inn. They are really putting their heart and soul into making this second start in life work for them. From ordering unique trees to attract bees to getting animals to attract business, the couple have tons of adventures. Also of interest are the monks at the monastery who have found a new business in making rum sauces. I loved reading about all the different products they were making.
The story also has a bittersweet touch to it as the reader finds out about the history of how The Barns of Lumby got painted. I really liked how the story between Dana and Charlotte played out throughout the book. It's wonderfully romantic but doesn't bring up a past that will hurt anyone. The entire plot involving the missing barns was very intriguing as I couldn't picture how in in the world an entire barn could disappear overnight. It was a good mystery mixed in with the rest of the story.
This is the second book in the series, and while it can be read as a standalone, I really recommend reading the first book to get a full understanding of the characters and the town itself. As in the first book of the series, there is another version of the Lumby Reader at the end of the book with more recipes, garden tips and another humorous and informative interview with Fraser and the Lumby gang. Again if you are a Mitford fan and are looking for a new series to tide you over, these books will be perfect for you. I can't wait to go back and visit again.
Stealing Lumby by Gail Fraser is published by NAL Trade (2007)
This review copy was provided by a publicist