The Late Bloomers' Club by Louise Miller

The Late Bloomers' Club

Louise Miller

Two sisters must decide if they will sell their land to a developer. When a disaster strikes, their town community bands together to help, and Nora and Peggy discover that doing the right thing doesn’t always mean giving up your dreams.

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“A downright delightful read. . . [with] everything you want from a small town summer read: sweetness, charm, and a side of romance.” HelloGiggles

A delightful novel about two headstrong sisters, a small town's efforts to do right by the community, and the power of a lost dog to summon true love


Nora, the owner of the Miss Guthrie Diner, is perfectly happy serving up apple cider donuts, coffee, and eggs-any-way-you-like-em to her regulars, and she takes great pleasure in knowing exactly what's "the usual." But her life is soon shaken when she discovers she and her free-spirited, younger sister Kit stand to inherit the home and land of the town's beloved cake lady, Peggy Johnson.

Kit, an aspiring--and broke--filmmaker thinks her problems are solved when she and Nora find out Peggy was in the process of selling the land to a big-box developer before her death. The people of Guthrie are divided--some want the opportunities the development will bring, while others are staunchly against any change--and they aren't afraid to leave their opinions with their tips.

Time is running out, and the sisters need to make a decision soon. But Nora isn't quite ready to let go of the land, complete with a charming farmhouse, an ancient apple orchard and the clues to a secret life that no one knew Peggy had. Troubled by the conflicting needs of the town, and confused by her growing feelings towards Elliot, the big-box developer's rep, Nora throws herself into solving the one problem that everyone in town can agree on--finding Peggy's missing dog, Freckles.

When a disaster strikes the diner, the community of Guthrie bands together to help her, and Nora discovers that doing the right thing doesn't always mean giving up your dreams.


Advance Galley Reviews

I read Louise Miller’s last book about a small town—The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living—and really enjoyed it. So, I was honestly looking forward to The Late Bloomers’ Club. There were some great things about the book such as the setting and the baking and cooking elements. Both aspects were described in great detail, especially the food. It was to the point where I was hungry just reading about it. Despite that, I couldn’t get into the story. It just wasn’t for me. Since I didn’t finish The Late Bloomers’ Club, I encourage you to look for other reviews about it. This copy of the book was provided by First to Read for this review, thank you!

Thank you First To Read for giving me the opportunity to read an advanced copy of The Late Bloomers' Club by Louise Miller. However I completely ran out of time and didn’t have a chance to read this book. I was really looking forward to reading this book but life just got in the way.

Reading this book reminded me of being wrapped up in a cozy blanket. I loved the town of Guthrie, the quirky characters, the small town charm, and the descriptive writing style. I felt so immersed in the world while reading this book. It definitely reminded me a bit of Stars Hollow. Can't wait to read more by this author!

First I've got to say this book is not my typical genre. I am more of a fantasy/sci-fi person, but I'm trying to branch out. I'm glad I went outside of my box and read this gem. This is my first book review, so bear with me. This book has a lot of charm. I really enjoyed every character and I loved the town. Reading it reminded me of one of my favorite shows, The Gilmore Girls. It has the same small town feel, full of characters that I'd love to meet in real life. I would love to see these characters again in a sequel or short story! The community of Guthrie is one I would enjoy visiting again. If you are looking for a nice, cozy read to use to unwind at the end of the day, look no further!

3.5 stars Thanks to Penguin's First to Read and Pamela Dormans Books for allowing me to read and review this book. Published July 17, 2018. What a nice comfortable little story. Light and breezy, easy to unencumber yourself of todays’ worries, as you devour this novel. The writing is light and airy, and easy to read. The author has done a good job of defining the characters and community. You feel as though you have landed in one of the few remining towns that still remain in the easy going spirit of the 1950’s. Quirky, warm and fun loving this novel gives it all. Sisters Nora and Kit are faced with deciding the best approach to the problem of whether or not to sell the land and premise they acquired through an inheritance, while the community also makes its opinion heard. Unsure of exactly what should be done, Nora turns to finding the lost dog of the benefactor, the now dead lady, Peggy Johnson. An easy on the eye, must-read, down-home cozy novel. Good recipes, entertaining and worth the read.

Reading Louise Miller is like wrapping yourself in a soft, cozy blanket. The Late Bloomers' Club is a perfect read for times that you want a quiet novel to escape from a stressful world. I enjoyed following Nora and Kit as they deal with an unexpected inheritance and the potential costs and benefits of disrupting their small town by allowing in a commercial developer. This book was an absolute delight!

I adored this novel and would definitely read more by Louise Miller. The characters were well defined, the protagonist was relateable, and the story arc followed well and at a good pace. I couldn't put it down and wanted to see what happened next. I appreciated the bits off mystery and intrigue as well as the differences between Kit and Nora. I could picture sleepy little Guthrie and it's townsfolk. Is definitely recommend this book to others.

3.5 stars After a slew of emotional, heavy, intense reads, I needed a “palette cleanser” of sorts, something light-hearted and not too long, a book that would be a perfect wind-down to summer -- Louise Miller’s The Late Bloomers’ Club fit the bill nicely! This is a charming story set in a small town in Vermont, with characters so endearing that I found myself taking to them almost immediately. I grew up in the hustle and bustle of a big city where everyone was always so busy trying to meet the demands of city life that it was often hard to develop friendships with others in the same neighborhood, let alone the community at large. Because of this, I’m often attracted to books about small towns where everyone in the community know each other and the natural inclination is to band together and help each other out in times of trouble – this is the exact type of community at the center of this story, which revolves around Nora Huckleberry, owner of the Miss Guthrie Diner, her free-spirited sister Kit, and cake lady Peggy Johnson who bequeaths the sisters with her home and property upon her death. While the sisters are tasked with having to decide whether to sell the land to the big-box developer that Peggy was in talks with prior to her death, they also have their own personal issues to deal with – add to that the differing opinions from everyone in the community, some of whom want the growth opportunities that the developer would bring, while others oppose any change that could potentially threaten their livelihoods. These various conflicts were incorporated into a narrative that featured many elements of a heartwarming, “feel-good” story – small town atmosphere with ordinary people living ordinary lives, close-knit friendships, sisterly and family love, plenty of descriptions of mouth-watering foods and desserts, lush depictions of farms, orchards, country houses, a light touch of romance, and yes, Freckles the dog (one of the characters I adored the most, lol). The result was a well-balanced story with just enough depth to keep things interesting, but still maintain a light, warm tone that made this an easy, fun read. While it’s true that much of the plot was predictable and the ending was tied up a little too nicely, that was to be expected with this story, so not much of an issue there. If I had one “complaint,” it would be that the narrative was told entirely from Nora’s first person point of view, which made the writing a little bit clunky in some parts – I think the story would’ve been better told in third person, especially since the other characters aside from Nora also factored into the story in significant ways. With all that said, I did enjoy this one overall and actually would like to read this author’s first book, The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living, which it sounds like is a companion piece to this book (same setting and some of the same characters). A worthwhile, recommended read! Received ARC from Pamela Dorman Books via Penguin First to Read program.

As much as I like this author I couldn’t get into this book. It started very slow and I had to put it down. I will definitely try again at another point.

This was a solid novel. I really love books that are set in small towns as there is a certain ambiance to the story. There is something refreshing about a town where people know each others families as it shows the sense of community. I liked Nora as a character and found her relatable. I liked most of the other characters especially Max. The one exception to this was Nora's sister kit who I found to be very self-involved. Her "me, me, me" attitude grated on my nerves though she does have some redeemable qualities so she's not entirely unlikable. The pacing of the novel is a bit slow and I did find my attention waning at points, but ultimately I liked this. I would read other novels by Louise Miller.

This book was enchanting. It is full of humor, love and small town life. I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review. I will certainly be on the look out for other new books from this author and get the copy of her other book. The book is about two sisters, who live in the small town, Guthrie. Nora runs the family business, a diner, which is a significant part of their community. When a catastrophe happens, the town rallies together to take care of one of their own. Could not put this book down and finished in one sitting.

This was a very refreshing, relatable and heartwarming read. Part chick lit, part mystery. I highly recommend. I really liked Nora, the main character. I loved that she was older, didn't have children, and was career-minded as the owner of her diner in a small, rural town. The story also resonated with me because it discussed the personal and financial costs of elder care throughout the book. I'm glad the author didn't sugarcoat any of it. Taking care of an elderly loved one is very expensive and does take a toll on a person. I received an advance reading copy of this book, but all opinions are my own.

I am a big fan of a good chick lit novel. I know that it gets a bad rep, but I have always enjoyed it, so when I saw this title on Penguin's First to Read, I knew I needed to snatch it up! The Late Bloomers' Club has all of the makings of a great, light hearted summer read: a quirky small town, bickering sisters, and a hint of romance with a somewhat taboo man. I did like the main character, Nora, quite a bit. I found her to be highly relatable in her people-pleasing tendencies, as well as her need to take care of everyone, excluding herself. Kit, her younger, flighty sister was a little bit harder for me to warm up to, but she made for a great foil to Nora's more down-to-earth persona. The men in this story really did shine though. Max was an absolute delight, and I personally thought he could have done much better than Kit (sorry, not sorry! ;) ) Elliot was a precious man, and a fitting romantic lead for our heroine. Overall, I enjoyed the feel of the story. I got a lot of Gilmore Girls vibes from the town of Guthrie. From the town hall meetings that quickly devolve into chaos, to the festivals for every possible holiday or occasion, I found myself falling in love with the people of this small community. I also loved the themes of the novel: the importance of never giving up on your dreams, and the importance of community and of family - both blood and the one that you create for yourself. It was a heart-warming story, and it really made me want to go driving through New England in the fall! Pacing was a bit of an issue for me, but apart from that I thought it was a sweet little book with a lovely message. My Rating: 3.5/5.0 I gave The Late Bloomers' Club 3.5 STARS. This is a fun little chick lit story that will be a fun read for any Gilmore Girls fans, or even just for fans of quirky small towns.

This book is such a great summer read. I fell in love with the town and all the characters in this book. Louise Miller’a writing is gorgeous, she really makes you feel like you are in Vermont. Thank you to first to read for the amazing copy of this book. Views are my own.

What a lovely book! It is an easy read and you want to know what's going to happen next. Pictures the relationship between sisters and the bond they have for their hometown. You will relate to them, at least I did. I recommend this book to those who love a well-formulated story. This is the first book I've read from Louise Miller and she has a fan out of me. Now I have to read her other book, A City Baker's Guide to Country Living. Thank you, First to Read, for the free copy. Views are my own, this is an honest review.

Once I realized this title was written by the same author of A City Baker's Guide to Country Living, I couldn't wait to read it. I adore the slice of life look inside Guthrie and it's quaint cast of characters. Although I had the same problem with this novel that I had with City Baker's Guide--it's slow roll out at the beginning-- The Late Bloomers' Club is well worth it in the end. My favorite character? Freckles.

Set in a small New England town, this book tackles the problems of growth – for the town and the main character’s personal life. Nora owns the town’s diner – she knows everyone and what they like to eat. When Peggy, the local “cake-lady” dies, Nora finds that she and her sister, Kit, have been left Peggy’s house and property. The sisters have to decide if they want to sell their inheritance to a big-box store for lots of money – but at what cost to their town? I loved the setting of this book – it made me feel like I was in Vermont. The characters were well developed. I especially like Nora – she is very real to me. I like how she deals with all of the real-life problems she is faced with. I was given this book by First to Read in return for an honest review.

Wonderful book! Great summer read!

This was a wonderful read. Reminds me of a cozy mystery. All characters were well developed. Really shows how small communities can stand together. I have added Louise Miller to my Favourites List.

Baking, small town vibes, sisters pulling together, mysteries discovered in wills...all the ingredients of a good summer novel are artfully woven together in this delightful tale. If there aren’t any great surprises, there are many sweet turns and pleasant twists that keep the story moving forward. There’s only a hint of romance but our main character is overburdened in so many areas that she really needs to lighten up before love can find her. But first, she needs to find a missing dog. This is a fast and enjoyable book.

I loved this story!! It was a very fast read for me, I devoured it in a couple hours! I liked the characters and the feel of the town. I wanted to walk through Peggy’s forest. Definitely add to your list!

What a charming and delightful book! Like all the other glowing reviews, I simply enjoyed this book.

I could not put this book down. I woke up, read it. Had a 20 minute break at work, used it all up to read more about Nora and Kit. Time for bed? Can't...gotta finish this. As a few have said already---it truly was a delight to dive into this book.

This book was like a breath of fresh air. The author made the characters so real and likeable that I was captured from the first page to the last. A thoroughly delightful read. Looking forward to more from this author.

Too often an author has a wonderful first book and then can't follow up with the next one. I am happy to report that Louise Miller's wonderful first book (The City Baker's Guide to Country Living) is followed up by this fantastic second book. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next. This novel takes the reader back to Guthrie Vermont - a very small town with some interesting and sometimes quirky residents. Nora is the owner of the diner in town. Her father built the diner and she took it over as she grew up. She has spent her whole life taking care of other people - her mother when she had breast cancer, her father when he had Alzheimer's - her sister Kit after her mother died - the people she works with and the people of the town. She knows who everyone is, what they will order for breakfast and when they need help. When the 'cake lady' dies and leaves her home to Nora and Kit, they have to make a decision whether to sell the land to a big box store that has made a fantastic offer or to keep the house and the land and strive to keep Guthrie the same small town its always been. I loved the characters in this book - especially Nora. She tried so hard to help everyone and neglected her own wants and needs. Also Vermont is so wonderfully described that I feel like I have visited the small town of Guthrie and enjoyed the scenery in the area. This was a fantastic book and I definitely recommend it. Thanks to First to Read for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.

This was a delightful read. I quickly found myself connected to Nora in a way that I didn’t expect. She puts herself out there for everyone and seems to neglect herself, which is very relateable. I wanted her to find love, a connection, but on the other hand, I wanted her to recognize her own value. The hard part for me was that I knew, from the abstract, that a disaster was going to hit the community. I kept waiting for it. I thought at first it would be a natural disaster, then I thought that maybe it was just the loss of the cake lady. Waiting for the disaster seemed to constantly be in the background for me. And the book was so much, before the disaster. It’s a tale of a small town trying not to lose its’ very special “smallness” and one of its’ own, Nora, finding her truth. This is my first time reading Miller and I think it was a great intro in to her writing. I’ll definitely add her to my reading list and will be recommending this book to family and coworkers. During a time when the real world can be so intolerable, this was a story to remind you that there is still good in the world, even if it is in a book!

This book was an amazing read. I was hooked from the very beginning. Nora, the owner of the Miss Guthrie diner, and her sister Kit inherit the farm of Peggy. When a big box store wants to purchase the farm, the entire town is torn between selling and preserving it. The story has many twists and turns, all related to the farm the owner. Highly recommend this nook.

I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy from First To Read for my honest review. This is Louise Miller’s second book and both are set in a small town called Guthrie Vermont. I haven’t read the first book but I would consider this book a stand alone book. I liked The Late Bloomers’ Club so much that I have added the City Baker’s guide to Country Living on my TBR list. Late Bloomer’s Club is about Nora who has lived in Guthrie her entire life and runs the local diner. Nora is the type who takes care of everyone else before her own needs. Nora and her sister inherit land (that a Walmart type store wants to buy) and Nora must decide if she wants to sell to help her and her sister or put the needs of the town first. The love story is a bit of a side note and I was perfectly ok with it. I thought it was like reading a Hallmark Movie. The Author’s descriptions throughout the book are fantastic. Whether she was describing the orchard or the movie Road House (which I haven’t seen but I now want to see just based on the description in the book). If you need a little lightness in your life then I would highly suggest putting this book on your TBR list.

Hisnis an outstanding novel. The writing created a world the reader cared about. Each of the characters were full formed with legitimate back stories whose quirckyness added to the story.

I LOVED Louise Miller's first book, A City Baker's Guide to Country Living. The Late Bloomer's Club has a similar feel to her first novel, but I would say that this is a more sophomoric effort. Whereas her first book sucked me in right away, The Late Bloomer's Club was a bit slower for me. It wasn't until about a hundred pages in that I really got into it. The story still isnt' as engaging as City Baker's Guide, but you can't deny how good Louise Miller is at creating a homey, heartwarming story. I compared her first book to an episode of Gilmore Girls and this isn't far off! I would've liked the romance to be a bit more fleshed out, but all in all this was an enjoyable second book!

When this world brings me down, it's time to pick up a Louise Miller book. The Late Bloomer's Club delivers new characters in Guthrie, Vermont. I want to eat at the Miss Guthrie and have Max and Nora bake cakes for me. Is that too much to ask? There are so many scenes that made me smile in happiness, but my favorites involve the mind blowing artwork in the midst of the woods, the abandoned orchards, and Miss Peggy's home. Don't read this book if you're looking for angst and heartache. Read it if you're looking for a soft spot to land. Anything that Louise Miller writes, I will read.

I was thrilled to be selected by First to Read with an advance copy of Louise Miller's second novel, The Late Bloomers' Club. Unfamiliar with her writing style, I was eager to open up and read. High praise to Louise Miller who scores another huge winner with this easy read, powerful, and captivating page turner. From the first page to the very last, I was immersed in the lives of the two Huckleberry sisters and what they would do with their unexpected inheritance. Louise Miller brilliantly depicts many subplots within the main premise of what to do with the 200+ acres of land and the cake lady's charming farmhouse. I could not stop reading and finished the book within two days. I smiled, I teared up, I laughed, and got scared....I especially loved the author's use of the primary protagonist Nora and older sister, as the very poignant narrator of the story. With this effective technique, Nora got in my head and I could relate to her as a real person. Louise Miller's vivid portrayal of character development and attention to every detail is quite extraordinary and masterful. Her novel became a screenplay in my mind and I wondered what actresses would best fit the roles of Nora and Kit. The novel captures everything about a strong and determined woman of today who struggles within herself to constantly do the right thing, fix and nurture everyone, and takes little time for herself until she rediscovers love again. This is a must read for women! THANK YOU to Louise Miller and her team for a heart warming and inspiring novel which became my escape for two days. I await her third novel..........

 


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