Review of CLOSE TO HOME: A Chicory Inn Novel – Book 4 by Deborah Raney

Publisher: Abingdon Press | Published: June 7, 2016 | Formats: eBook, Paperback, and Hardcover (304 pages) | ASIN: B0198VL2AS, ISBN: 9781426770463 and 9781501817458 | Series: A Chicory Inn Novel | Origin: NetGalley

Cover: Courtesy of Abingdon Press



Inside CLOSE TO HOME, Deborah Raney pulls us in many different directions and right into the storms of life!

From Bree Cordel Whitman’s angst-ridden, widowed life—years after her husband Timothy Whitman died in Afghanistan, we move to eighty-five-year-old CeeCee’s declining health, and then we slide into life with Drew Brooks as his livelihood unravels. Drew’s financial woe is coming at a time when he was getting serious about getting serious in life and beginning to want love, family, and stable connections.

We start with Bree, as she has managed to connect the past to the present through the entire Whitman family. Bree is again feeling a loss. This time, the loss is as much for her own life as it for her husband. She’s been sidelined but watches these people that she loves like family grow in number and move with grace through their own stories, but Bree’s life remains stuck in neutral. Does getting a new life mean she has to give up her past and her connection to these wonderful people?

On the other hand, does family mean staying together no matter what? Rather than face these questions head-on, Bree decides to walk along the edges of a dating life. What she uncovers is that although a breeze will come and go, it’s the windstorms that can get her lost inside this experiment, leaving her breathless and scared.

She’s been fond of a man at work, and Aaron has not been shy about letting her know that he is wanting more than a working relationship with her. Even while he agrees to keep this relationship quiet, at first, he seems overwhelmingly needy in keeping Bree all to himself. His questions, requests, and demands about her Whitman family relationships lead to the ones that she’s been trying to keep sheltered being exposed to a rocky situation when she tries to tiptoe around their relationship definition.

Meanwhile, Drew Brooks has known the Whitman family for years through his brother Dallas Brooks. Dallas is married to Danae Whitman and is growing in love and family members beside Drew, allowing Drew to do some questioning about his own life.

While Grant and Audrey are keeping up with the Inn and trying to make time for the grandchildren, Grant’s mother CeeCee develops some health issues that have this family nervous enough to make some plans. However, getting CeeCee on board will not be easy!

Family relationships, life, and love doesn’t always move on as planned, but are these family members strong enough to weather these successive major storms or will their foundation crack and crumble to leave stability only in their past?


***This opinion is my own.***



CLOSE TO HOME by Deborah Raney brings light upon a widowed, military wife in a time of grief and trouble. Bree Cordel Whitman hasn’t dated although no one had ever asked her not to, and she’s enjoys the life she has after her husband’s death in Afghanistan.

His family has kept her going at times.

However, she is wishing for the happiness that happens all around her, but she’s afraid she would have to give up a family to move on with her life. Bree does not want to lose them, but she wonders if growing more in love with the Whitman family is keeping her stuck inside the past?

Drew Brooks temporarily works for Whitman family and is back into wondering about Bree. However, he wasn’t ready for her to show up to a family dinner with a man. He thought that he would know when she was ready to date again, after losing her husband. However, he’s at a clear disadvantage to the man with her. This guy has a steady job while Drew is recently unemployed.

Can he await work to find him before asking her out or does he not even stand a chance with a career man standing beside her?