The Thornes have a very long history in the Ozark Mountains, from the small cottage down the hill to the huge rambling estate they built and named Thornehill. Grace thinks she’s made the perfect marriage to older Jack Thorne, until she feels neglected during their grand trip to England and lets German armament king Frederich Von Holdt sweep her off her feet for a night of passion. Grace and Jack mend their differences, but that little indiscretion has consequences on subsequent generations, as does the roll in the hay her son takes with the gardener’s daughter, leaving two cuckoos in the Thorne nest. When Jack dies, Grace gains control of everything, and her indomitable spirit holds the family together through the trials of WWI and the Great Depression when she turns Thornehill into a hotel that at first caters to a most unexpected clientele (lol).

Grace has two grandchildren, Sonny and Laura, but Laura is her favorite and she’s just as spirited, intelligent and independent as grandmother. Laura soon finds herself swept up by the charm and charisma of a man who feels he’s destined for the White House. OK, so it’s also his domineering mother and uncle with their hopes set on the White House, and they’ll go to any lengths to achieve it. Laura soon finds out that her marriage isn’t quite the bed of roses she hoped for, but WWII happens and her husband is off to be a war hero and further his chances in the political arena. While hubby’s away, Laura puts Thornehill’s many rooms to good use and turns it into a convalescent home for returning soldiers. And one of those returning soldiers is a man from her past she thought she’d put out her mind for good…

Can she give up that ticket to the White House for true love in rural Arkansas? I’m not telling – read it for yourself.  Not the greatest book ever and certainly not JYB’s best, but still an entertaining read for those who like the multi-generational type of family stories.  You can pretty much guess where much of the story twists are going, but it was still fun watching them, especially that final well deserved comeuppance that you-know-who got. About time. 3.5/5 stars.