Pam and Mark Walker are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary with a week-long family reunion and a ceremony renewing their vows. But when Mark's brother-in-law starts broadcasting his radio talk show from Montis Inn, his disparaging remarks about small-town life cause immediate rifts that only widen when he sides with a real estate developer who wants to turn Lumby into an asphalt Aspen. As the controversy pits family against family, and neighbor against neighbor, will the spirit that defines Lumby triumph once again?
A return trip to Lumby can never come too soon. This time the townsfolk are looking to see the family reunion of the Walkers at Montis Inn. Lots of preparations must happen to make sure this goes off without a hitch. Of course, this story would not be complete without traditional Lumby fare such as Mark making impractical decisions or Hank the flamingo showing up in unexpected places.
There is a lot to like in this book. I love the humor in this book. I guffawed during the raccoon/cat scene. I mean really...what would you do if you walked in on that spectacle? Actually the whole bit involving the cat was humorous as the old bull has become attached to her. How often does that happen? It's something you only read about in those internet forwards. Also there's lots of food. That's something about these books that I love and ever since Pam rehired Andre, the food at Montis sound delicious. Those ribs that were mentioned sounded divine. I also really liked reading about Pam's mother's new relationship. It was also really nice to see that even though Pam had misgivings and was uneasy at first about this, she eventually was able to let go and allow her mother to move on. Reading this book gave off a warm cozy feeling.
While I loved returning to Lumby, I would have to say that this book was my least favorite of the series. This mainly has to do with Mark's family. I really did NOT like his brother in law and totally agreed with his son's perspective of him. Carter was just rude, outspoken and very insensitive. He was so inconsiderate throughout the book that honestly every time he showed up, I wanted to skip reading. At the same time, I wish Pam and Mark had been less passive and more adamant about the rules of staying at Montis Inn and enforced them. I wasn't too big a fan of Mark's niece Jessica but I could understand the teen angst and desire to fit in. There also seemed to be a lot less interaction with the rest of the townsfolk, even the monks don't get that much page time. The books are wonderful because of all the colorful characters from around town. This book seemed to more of a Mark and Pam story and I missed seeing everyone else.
Even with these quibbles, I still enjoyed the book. I love how all the stories tie into one another. With the focus on Montis Inn, I could really see the setting come to life. The picture in my head of the inn was very clear as things were described that I hadn't read about before. The character development, while a bit predictable, was very nice to read. Plus there's all the humor and small town charm that make the Lumby series great. As I have said before these books are total comfort reads. I'm a bit sad that this is the newest book because now I have to wait until the next one!
Lumby on the Air by Gail Fraser is published by NAL Trade (2010)
This ARC was provided by a publicist