Review: The Red Door Inn – Liz Johnson

Liz Johnson. The Red Door Inn. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 2016.

In the midst of an absolutely crazy week, I was able to finish only one book.  Granted, it was a pleasure to read a novel by a relatively new author. :)

Liz Johnson kicks off her Prince Edward Island Dreams series with The Red Door Inn.  Marie Carrington finds herself with no money and few options, with a ferry ride between her and her dream of reaching Prince Edward Island in Canada.  Through the kindness of a stranger, this American girl finds herself with a much-needed job decorating a bed and breakfast in the last few months before it opens.  In addition to Jack Sloane, the kind old man and owner, the bed and breakfast also houses its resident contractor, Jack’s nephew, Seth.  Seth and Marie find themselves working side by side, even as they hope to avoid each other and anyone else who resembles the people who hurt them in their previous relationships.  With only two months until the newly-named Red Door Inn is supposed to open, Marie, Jack, and Seth must work together to overcome their pasts and the ongoing obstacles of fixing up the Inn.  However, the Inn offers its own brand of healing, in keeping with the prayers of the woman who first imagined its existence.

The Red Door Inn offers an intriguing view of the modern-day Prince Edward Island.  While readers may be more familiar with L.M. Montgomery’s works about PEI, this novel presents its own unique cast of characters and memorable places.

Overall, I rather enjoyed The Red Door Inn.  Ms. Johnson creates a light and pleasant storyline that draws countless connections to the unique places and people of PEI.  I believe that many readers, including those in my own family, will definitely appreciate this book.  The overall storyline is relatively simple, so that the pacing of the novel is relatively slow.  Likewise, I would not describe the characters as being incredibly complex or developed.  However, I fully realize that many readers, especially in the Christian fiction genre, are particularly looking for this kind of book.  Personally, I appreciate novels that include a slightly faster pace and more development that pulls the reader into the story.  Instead, The Red Door Inn depends more strongly on its characters to drive the story.  Fortunately, some of my favorite (minor) characters from this novel will be featured in Where Two Hearts Meet, the next book in Ms. Johnson’s Prince Edward Island Dreams series.

Readers who enjoy relatively light contemporary Christian fiction will likely appreciate The Red Door Inn.  Also, fans of Christian fiction that takes place in Canadian or seaside settings will also want to look into Ms. Johnson’s new series.  With the novel’s PEI connection, fans of L.M. Montgomery might find this new series to be worthwhile.  However, the modern-day PEI and Ms. Johnson’s writing style may turn off some readers who are expecting a contemporary telling of Ms. Montgomery’s tales.

Ms Johnson will release Where Two Hearts Meet in the Prince Edward Island Dreams series in October 2016!

Special thanks to Revell Reads Blog Tour for the advanced copy of The Red Door Inn!

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