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Determined to take control of her life, sheltered Gracie Antes leaves her unhappy home in 1925 to pursue her dream of a singing career. On her way to the big city, she accepts a job as a housemaid at the bustling Crestmont Inn. Once there, Gracie finds a life-changing encounter with opera singer Rosa Ponselle, family she never imagined could be hers, and a man with a mysterious past. Relive the 1920s with a colorful cast of characters. Discover with Gracie that sometimes we must trade loss for happiness.

Set in Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania, the story is interwoven with details about the town, the rich history of The Crestmont Inn, and the family who passed ownership from one generation to the next. Many attempts have been made to explain how the mountaintop lake nestled in this tiny town came to be. Crestmont gives a new twist to an old Native American legend, setting the tone of grace around which the story is built.

Let the period of the Roaring Twenties spark your interest with its unique social mores, fashion, jazz, and yes, a little bootlegging thrown in for pizzazz.

Published: Star Publish LLC on
ISBN: 9781935188261
List price: $2.99
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2.5 stars

**Apologies for the long review, but I had a lot to say after finishing. For the TL;DR version scroll to the bottom :)*

I liked the book well enough, but the beginning was a bumpy start for me and throughout the story I was sometimes thrown out of it. I read the book description and thought I was going to be reading about Gracie and her journey to Crestmont, but as it turns out there were two stories interwoven into one. The problem for me was the way they were interwoven wasn’t smooth and at times caused confusion. For example, we start with two prologues which I didn’t know was even possible. The first prologue consists of an Indian legend explaining how Eagles Mere got its name. The second prologue of sorts goes onto explain how William Warner got his vision for Crestmont Inn and then there is a section on how Crestmont was passed onto his daughter Margaret Wood. Finally, 24 pages into the ebook we get into the story of Gracie. For the most part we follow Gracie along through her journey of independence, but on occasion the story would change to the perspective of the Woods family (owners of the Crestmont Inn). For me these transitions from one perspective to another just weren’t smooth enough and made the story feel disjointed. In some parts it caused me to question the point of the chapter I just read. For example, there is a section where Mr. Woods is trying to cheer his wife up because she is depressed on the anniversary of her father’s death. Mrs. Woods suddenly gets a moodswing and starts badmouthing Gracie. This behavior was very unlike her. Then in the next chapter she is being sweet as pie to Gracie without any hint of what she had previously said. The whole affair didn’t make much sense.

Also leading to my confusion and much irritation was the writing. Simply put: this book needs a good editor. Let me give some examples:

“With a high-pitched cry to summon the attention of his people, he grabbed Laurel Eyes and pushed her toward rock steps that led below. Not wanting to dishonor her people’s remains, she stubbornly planted her feet in refusal. He dragged her, wailing, into the depths. His people watched. Only the echoes of her screams cut the silence that followed.” … the Haudenosaunee wait around and then “A final anguished scream echoed from below. Then silence. Stormy Torrent, his face contorted, returned alone. ‘The one know as Laurel Eyes is no more. Her spirit has joined her people, our enemy.’ “ (p.11)

Eh, what? The bold emphasis is mine. It didn’t say he pushed her, but he dragged her. We are not told how she dies, but that she dies. This is a case of telling, but not showing and I can’t stand it. I want to know how this chick died. Did she get dragged to her death? Did she throw herself off the rock steps? Did Stormy Torrent get mad and stomp her to death? WTF happened?!

-----------
After they introduced themselves, Isaiah pounded Gracie on the back…” (p. 34)

How the hell is he pounding her on the back when they are both sitting in a car? Awwwwwkward!
-----------

“ ‘Stay with her,’ Mrs. Woods said, trying to calm her down when Gracie phoned her on Monday. ‘Tell me what you need and I’ll bring the shopping to you at noon.’ She was putting away groceries and heating up a casserole that had been sent over when Dr. Webber arrived.

‘Ah, Mrs. Wood.,’ he said, setting down his doctors bag, then handing her his coat, hat and gloves at the front door. ‘I see you
have full use of your arm now. How long has it been, over a year now?’
‘My arm is fine, thank you.’ She handed him his black doctor’s bag. ‘Mrs. Cunningham is upstairs.’ “
(p. 213)

Okay, that first paragraph is just one of many where the Enter key would have come in handy. How is it that Mrs. Woods can talk on the phone with Gracie one minute and then be at the house to welcome the doctor the next all in the same paragraph?

Then there are times when the character name changes. For example, Manrico becomes Marico within the same paragraph. Is it Christiana or Cristiana? I still don’t know as her name changed several times within the epilogue.


There are also two plainly contrived scenes used to further the plot line that really annoyed me. These go into spoiler territory so I will put them under tags...
What the heck was up with Mrs. Wood breaking her arm? One minute she's in the attic admonishing Gracie over the safe, then the next scene she's breaking her arm doing something completely different and then once again we are thrust into the plot line regarding the safe. This made no sense! If Gracie told her she knew where the combination was it would make sense that Mrs. Woods go to investigate what was in the safe. It doesn't make sense that she puts this task off being that her father is so important to her.

Also, the scene where she breaks her arm makes no sense. Her leg gives out while putting a heavy vase on the table. What?! She's not 80 and fragile!! Having Mrs. Woods falling down the dangerous ladder after getting the combination would be more logical.

The other scene that annoyed me was Eleanor getting hit in the head with a golf ball. Eh? If this scene would've amounted to anything other than Bessie leaving out of the blue and Gracie confronting her fear of water I could understand, but it was simply unnecessary.

I also didn’t care much for the ending. There were too many loose ends. It was clear by the end that the story wasn’t so much about Gracie, but about the Crestmont and what it represented to all these characters. However, after following them for so long I would’ve liked some resolutions on the other characters.


So why with my list of complaints did I give this book 2.5 stars instead of 1? Well, because it did have potential and I did like the characters. Even though Gracie was a Mary Sue I did like her gumption and her journey was realistic. How many times in our lives do we set out on one path only to end up on another? Circumstances change, we change and I think Weiss captures that rather well in this book. She also captured the meaning of family and friendship nicely. We can’t choose our family, but we certainly can choose our friends and who we surround ourselves with.

I also thought she captured small town life in the 1920’s well too. It’s clear that Weiss did research on the topic and incorporated much of it into her book. It was fun learning about the history of the Crestmont and seeing it grow from William Warner’s original dream.

So the too long, didn’t read version of this review is basically: I liked it, but wished it was more polished.
more
Crestmont by Holly Weiss is a great peek into summer resort in Pennsylvania I the 1920s. The resort is real as well as some of the events but the characters have been changed. The life of Gracie Antes is followed through the 1920s and there is an epilogue in the 1970s. Gracie didn’t really feel close to her own family, they just were not affectionate. Her future brother in-law surprised her with a kiss and she loved her sister very much but felt some attraction to him so she decided to set off on her own. She had a great voice so she decided that she wanted to sing in Vaudeville. She saved her money for transportation and got as far as Crestmont. She thought it would be a temporary stay. She interviewed and got a job as a room cleaner but she also found people who acted like a real family to her. We get to know all servants and family of the owners and the times of the inn in the 1920s. Jazz and the new inventions appear. It was easy to slip into the time period and both the charms and harmful things.It was easy to like Gracie; she seemed so humble and was so eager to learn. She borrowed books from the library and looked up books in the dictionary in order to improve herself. The writing was direct and sometimes filled with humor. I enjoyed reading this book very much. I recommend this book to all historical fiction fans of this time period.more
I loved the nostalgic old fashioned feel of this novel taking place in the 1920's at the Crestmont Inn. I also liked that it is told from the viewpoint of the waitresses and room cleaners, the bellboys and the cook, instead of the wealthy people who come for the summer season. Really enjoyed the character of Gracie, a young woman who leaves her home, wanting to be a singer and finds a home and family at the Crestmont. The author has an obvious love for this place, her descriptions of the Inn and the surrounding areas are beautifully rendered. Nothing really tragic happens but there are the usual differences people face when living in close proximity for each other such as the ongoing feud between Bessie and Grace. This is an enjoyable novel, a feel good book and I was fascinated enough to look up the Crestmont and have decided it is a place I must visit.more
Crestmont, by Holly Weiss, is a novel set in Pennsylvania in the 1920’s. The novel revolves around the Crestmont Inn and the characters who live there. The characters we meet are well crafted, the narrative flowed well, and the dialogue was crisp and realistic. The story is well paced and the reader is soon absorbed in the novel. There is plenty of conflict in the novel to keep the reader’s attention to the very end.The book is historically and geographically accurate. It is obvious Weiss thoroughly researched the area and its history before setting pen to paper. The reader feels as if they know the Crestmont Inn intimately. Gracie, our main character, who leaves home to embark on a singing career, is an endearing character, full of grace and personality. She ends up at the Crestmont Inn, where she meets a variety of characters who help her round out her personality, “find herself,” and discover her place in the world. The author takes us to a time in history where the world was a better place. The reader is captivated by the mystique of the locate and time and longs to be there in person.This is a book not to be missed and should be on everyone’s “must read” list.more
Charming is the first word that comes to mind when I think about “Crestmont.” The second is faithfulness. Holly Weiss skillfully brings to life an era gone by, carving out endearing characters who stretch, grow, and become family in the picturesque Crestmont Inn. When we are introduced to Gracie, an aspiring singer, she is an insecure, frightened, lost girl. Through the love and acceptance of her employers, The Woods, who strive to practice what they preach, we witness her blossom into a gracious, confident woman who finally belongs. Though Weiss paints a vivid picture of setting and daily life, her characters make "Crestmont" a truly remarkable story.more
Crestmont is structured like a song. It opens with an intense and beautiful tale that introduces the town of Eagle's Mere. There is a sense of nature and oneness in the setting, a sense of slowing down, which gives the book a very enticing start. And then the story of Crestmont begins, with its soft, somewhat slow melody. The story really takes off in 1925, when Gracie, an aspiring singer, begins to work at Crestmont Inn. Gracie is an endearing character. Her emotional depth makes the story really come alive, as do the personalities of those she meets on her journey. As Gracie's journey becomes more about what's within than where she's going, there is a spiritual awakening that occurs. I found this book to be carefully-written, almost too much so in places. The story moved slowly at times, and Weiss seems to spend too much time on little details that added very little to the storyline; it was a bit adverb-heavy. But, I'll admit, the cadence of the prose was not all bad. To my mind, it demanded more deftness from Weiss, in order to keep my interest, which she did. Few novels can slow me down, and it was just this, the slowness, that, in the end, kept me reading. With everything in life going at hyper-speed at all times, coming across a gentle book like Crestmont is rare, settling even.more
You really can't go wrong with this book. Set in the 1920's we meet Gracie, who decides to leave her home in hopes for a singing career. She finds a job at The Crestmont Inn and we come to know some wonderful people working and stay at the Inn. The story is a great getaway and I found myself wondering what it would be like to live during that time period. I highly recommend this book!more
Oh how I hate these kinds of reviews! Oy! What do you say about a book,while centered around a place that I've heard of many times because my family is from Pennsylvania, that just couldn't capture me?! I will be honest. That is all I can do for this book. Honest opinion. While I won't discourage anyone from giving Ms. Weiss' book a try, I will tell you that this book wasn't for me. Why? Well, her writing style for me, was not what I am used to and just couldn't get into it. The characters are well created, the plot wasn't all that unusual of a plot. I just couldn't get past the halfway point of the book. My interest was lost and I couldn't concentrate on the story enough to stay with it. Please, do not let this discourage you from trying Ms. Weiss' book. There are those of you who will like it, I'm sure. Everyone has different tastes, and my taste for this book just fell flat. I give this novel a 3 star praise, because, Ms. Weiss did do a good job with creating realistic characters. I will, in the future, try Holly Weiss' books out as sometimes different books by the same author, are written with different styles and maybe then I will be completely and wholly captured.more
Loved, loved, loved this book!!! It was such a wonderful story. I couldn't help but love all the characters! I wish I could have visited Crestmont back then!! And any book with an Isaiah for character had my heart since that is my sons name!more
Crestmont is the perfect vacation book. It's a light, evenly paced book that, conveniently, is okay to put down and pick back up later without feeling like I missed anything and did not have to re-read parts to catch myself up. Except now, I want to vacation at the Crestmont! This book was not at all what I expected. I found it to be a kind and gentle, smoothly written story of a young lady trying to make her way in the world with a stop for a job at the famed Crestmont Inn. The people she meets there help her to find herself and discover her place in the world in mid-1920's. Ms. Wiess' fondness for the Crestmont Inn is evident in her attention to details and thorough research of the area and it's history. The myth of the lake is a nice addition.This is not the type of book I usually read, I'm more used to action or intrigue or something edgier (and lately textbooks), but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I really enjoyed this book. It was such a nice change from the normal stuff I read, it was much like a vacation in itself! Although I would have liked to have known a bit more about the characters history (Why didn't Gracie's family care about her, she was obviously raised right? Why was Bessie the way she was? etc.)and maybe some more architectural descriptions of the inn (personal preference)I'm sure I will take this vacation again!more
The one thing I didn't like about this book was that it ended! I was intrigued with the lives of Gracie and the staff at the Inn. I loved the characters and the fact that Eagles Mere and the Crestmont Inn are real.more
Ms. Weiss successfully convinced me of what life might have been like while on staff at an inn in the mountains of Pennsylvania, USA.Her characters were endearing.more
Crestmont is not to be missed. Holly Weiss’ choice of the name Grace for her protagonist is as prophetic as it is descriptive. The best word I can think of to describe Grace/Gracie is chainik (Russian for a beginner who’s willing to learn). As Grace morphs into Gracie, she becomes a lovable, enchanting mature young woman.The Woods family comes alive and becomes your family under the author’s pen. Mr. Woods is the energetic visionary and Margaret is his Rock of Gibraltar. The two grow together and grow with Gracie over the years of the novel.Most of the characters encounter problems and setbacks, but perseverance and sheer pluck see them through. You’ll meet PT, the enigmatic fellow who plays the jazz piano, Isaiah the wonderful black chef and his petite wife, Olivia, the dressmaker. Oh! And Eleanor, one of the Wood’s daughters—she’s a pistol!Ms Weiss’ descriptions of life in the ‘20’s are accurate and vivid. Eagles Mere became my town and the Crestmont became my home. In some places, as I was reading, I chuckled to myself, and in a few places I had a lump in my throat. I missed everyone and every place when I closed the book.Don’t miss the Author’s notes and the afterword. They put a nice frame around the book--even a few interesting tidbits there as well.more
Read all 14 reviews

Reviews

2.5 stars

**Apologies for the long review, but I had a lot to say after finishing. For the TL;DR version scroll to the bottom :)*

I liked the book well enough, but the beginning was a bumpy start for me and throughout the story I was sometimes thrown out of it. I read the book description and thought I was going to be reading about Gracie and her journey to Crestmont, but as it turns out there were two stories interwoven into one. The problem for me was the way they were interwoven wasn’t smooth and at times caused confusion. For example, we start with two prologues which I didn’t know was even possible. The first prologue consists of an Indian legend explaining how Eagles Mere got its name. The second prologue of sorts goes onto explain how William Warner got his vision for Crestmont Inn and then there is a section on how Crestmont was passed onto his daughter Margaret Wood. Finally, 24 pages into the ebook we get into the story of Gracie. For the most part we follow Gracie along through her journey of independence, but on occasion the story would change to the perspective of the Woods family (owners of the Crestmont Inn). For me these transitions from one perspective to another just weren’t smooth enough and made the story feel disjointed. In some parts it caused me to question the point of the chapter I just read. For example, there is a section where Mr. Woods is trying to cheer his wife up because she is depressed on the anniversary of her father’s death. Mrs. Woods suddenly gets a moodswing and starts badmouthing Gracie. This behavior was very unlike her. Then in the next chapter she is being sweet as pie to Gracie without any hint of what she had previously said. The whole affair didn’t make much sense.

Also leading to my confusion and much irritation was the writing. Simply put: this book needs a good editor. Let me give some examples:

“With a high-pitched cry to summon the attention of his people, he grabbed Laurel Eyes and pushed her toward rock steps that led below. Not wanting to dishonor her people’s remains, she stubbornly planted her feet in refusal. He dragged her, wailing, into the depths. His people watched. Only the echoes of her screams cut the silence that followed.” … the Haudenosaunee wait around and then “A final anguished scream echoed from below. Then silence. Stormy Torrent, his face contorted, returned alone. ‘The one know as Laurel Eyes is no more. Her spirit has joined her people, our enemy.’ “ (p.11)

Eh, what? The bold emphasis is mine. It didn’t say he pushed her, but he dragged her. We are not told how she dies, but that she dies. This is a case of telling, but not showing and I can’t stand it. I want to know how this chick died. Did she get dragged to her death? Did she throw herself off the rock steps? Did Stormy Torrent get mad and stomp her to death? WTF happened?!

-----------
After they introduced themselves, Isaiah pounded Gracie on the back…” (p. 34)

How the hell is he pounding her on the back when they are both sitting in a car? Awwwwwkward!
-----------

“ ‘Stay with her,’ Mrs. Woods said, trying to calm her down when Gracie phoned her on Monday. ‘Tell me what you need and I’ll bring the shopping to you at noon.’ She was putting away groceries and heating up a casserole that had been sent over when Dr. Webber arrived.

‘Ah, Mrs. Wood.,’ he said, setting down his doctors bag, then handing her his coat, hat and gloves at the front door. ‘I see you
have full use of your arm now. How long has it been, over a year now?’
‘My arm is fine, thank you.’ She handed him his black doctor’s bag. ‘Mrs. Cunningham is upstairs.’ “
(p. 213)

Okay, that first paragraph is just one of many where the Enter key would have come in handy. How is it that Mrs. Woods can talk on the phone with Gracie one minute and then be at the house to welcome the doctor the next all in the same paragraph?

Then there are times when the character name changes. For example, Manrico becomes Marico within the same paragraph. Is it Christiana or Cristiana? I still don’t know as her name changed several times within the epilogue.


There are also two plainly contrived scenes used to further the plot line that really annoyed me. These go into spoiler territory so I will put them under tags...
What the heck was up with Mrs. Wood breaking her arm? One minute she's in the attic admonishing Gracie over the safe, then the next scene she's breaking her arm doing something completely different and then once again we are thrust into the plot line regarding the safe. This made no sense! If Gracie told her she knew where the combination was it would make sense that Mrs. Woods go to investigate what was in the safe. It doesn't make sense that she puts this task off being that her father is so important to her.

Also, the scene where she breaks her arm makes no sense. Her leg gives out while putting a heavy vase on the table. What?! She's not 80 and fragile!! Having Mrs. Woods falling down the dangerous ladder after getting the combination would be more logical.

The other scene that annoyed me was Eleanor getting hit in the head with a golf ball. Eh? If this scene would've amounted to anything other than Bessie leaving out of the blue and Gracie confronting her fear of water I could understand, but it was simply unnecessary.

I also didn’t care much for the ending. There were too many loose ends. It was clear by the end that the story wasn’t so much about Gracie, but about the Crestmont and what it represented to all these characters. However, after following them for so long I would’ve liked some resolutions on the other characters.


So why with my list of complaints did I give this book 2.5 stars instead of 1? Well, because it did have potential and I did like the characters. Even though Gracie was a Mary Sue I did like her gumption and her journey was realistic. How many times in our lives do we set out on one path only to end up on another? Circumstances change, we change and I think Weiss captures that rather well in this book. She also captured the meaning of family and friendship nicely. We can’t choose our family, but we certainly can choose our friends and who we surround ourselves with.

I also thought she captured small town life in the 1920’s well too. It’s clear that Weiss did research on the topic and incorporated much of it into her book. It was fun learning about the history of the Crestmont and seeing it grow from William Warner’s original dream.

So the too long, didn’t read version of this review is basically: I liked it, but wished it was more polished.
more
Crestmont by Holly Weiss is a great peek into summer resort in Pennsylvania I the 1920s. The resort is real as well as some of the events but the characters have been changed. The life of Gracie Antes is followed through the 1920s and there is an epilogue in the 1970s. Gracie didn’t really feel close to her own family, they just were not affectionate. Her future brother in-law surprised her with a kiss and she loved her sister very much but felt some attraction to him so she decided to set off on her own. She had a great voice so she decided that she wanted to sing in Vaudeville. She saved her money for transportation and got as far as Crestmont. She thought it would be a temporary stay. She interviewed and got a job as a room cleaner but she also found people who acted like a real family to her. We get to know all servants and family of the owners and the times of the inn in the 1920s. Jazz and the new inventions appear. It was easy to slip into the time period and both the charms and harmful things.It was easy to like Gracie; she seemed so humble and was so eager to learn. She borrowed books from the library and looked up books in the dictionary in order to improve herself. The writing was direct and sometimes filled with humor. I enjoyed reading this book very much. I recommend this book to all historical fiction fans of this time period.more
I loved the nostalgic old fashioned feel of this novel taking place in the 1920's at the Crestmont Inn. I also liked that it is told from the viewpoint of the waitresses and room cleaners, the bellboys and the cook, instead of the wealthy people who come for the summer season. Really enjoyed the character of Gracie, a young woman who leaves her home, wanting to be a singer and finds a home and family at the Crestmont. The author has an obvious love for this place, her descriptions of the Inn and the surrounding areas are beautifully rendered. Nothing really tragic happens but there are the usual differences people face when living in close proximity for each other such as the ongoing feud between Bessie and Grace. This is an enjoyable novel, a feel good book and I was fascinated enough to look up the Crestmont and have decided it is a place I must visit.more
Crestmont, by Holly Weiss, is a novel set in Pennsylvania in the 1920’s. The novel revolves around the Crestmont Inn and the characters who live there. The characters we meet are well crafted, the narrative flowed well, and the dialogue was crisp and realistic. The story is well paced and the reader is soon absorbed in the novel. There is plenty of conflict in the novel to keep the reader’s attention to the very end.The book is historically and geographically accurate. It is obvious Weiss thoroughly researched the area and its history before setting pen to paper. The reader feels as if they know the Crestmont Inn intimately. Gracie, our main character, who leaves home to embark on a singing career, is an endearing character, full of grace and personality. She ends up at the Crestmont Inn, where she meets a variety of characters who help her round out her personality, “find herself,” and discover her place in the world. The author takes us to a time in history where the world was a better place. The reader is captivated by the mystique of the locate and time and longs to be there in person.This is a book not to be missed and should be on everyone’s “must read” list.more
Charming is the first word that comes to mind when I think about “Crestmont.” The second is faithfulness. Holly Weiss skillfully brings to life an era gone by, carving out endearing characters who stretch, grow, and become family in the picturesque Crestmont Inn. When we are introduced to Gracie, an aspiring singer, she is an insecure, frightened, lost girl. Through the love and acceptance of her employers, The Woods, who strive to practice what they preach, we witness her blossom into a gracious, confident woman who finally belongs. Though Weiss paints a vivid picture of setting and daily life, her characters make "Crestmont" a truly remarkable story.more
Crestmont is structured like a song. It opens with an intense and beautiful tale that introduces the town of Eagle's Mere. There is a sense of nature and oneness in the setting, a sense of slowing down, which gives the book a very enticing start. And then the story of Crestmont begins, with its soft, somewhat slow melody. The story really takes off in 1925, when Gracie, an aspiring singer, begins to work at Crestmont Inn. Gracie is an endearing character. Her emotional depth makes the story really come alive, as do the personalities of those she meets on her journey. As Gracie's journey becomes more about what's within than where she's going, there is a spiritual awakening that occurs. I found this book to be carefully-written, almost too much so in places. The story moved slowly at times, and Weiss seems to spend too much time on little details that added very little to the storyline; it was a bit adverb-heavy. But, I'll admit, the cadence of the prose was not all bad. To my mind, it demanded more deftness from Weiss, in order to keep my interest, which she did. Few novels can slow me down, and it was just this, the slowness, that, in the end, kept me reading. With everything in life going at hyper-speed at all times, coming across a gentle book like Crestmont is rare, settling even.more
You really can't go wrong with this book. Set in the 1920's we meet Gracie, who decides to leave her home in hopes for a singing career. She finds a job at The Crestmont Inn and we come to know some wonderful people working and stay at the Inn. The story is a great getaway and I found myself wondering what it would be like to live during that time period. I highly recommend this book!more
Oh how I hate these kinds of reviews! Oy! What do you say about a book,while centered around a place that I've heard of many times because my family is from Pennsylvania, that just couldn't capture me?! I will be honest. That is all I can do for this book. Honest opinion. While I won't discourage anyone from giving Ms. Weiss' book a try, I will tell you that this book wasn't for me. Why? Well, her writing style for me, was not what I am used to and just couldn't get into it. The characters are well created, the plot wasn't all that unusual of a plot. I just couldn't get past the halfway point of the book. My interest was lost and I couldn't concentrate on the story enough to stay with it. Please, do not let this discourage you from trying Ms. Weiss' book. There are those of you who will like it, I'm sure. Everyone has different tastes, and my taste for this book just fell flat. I give this novel a 3 star praise, because, Ms. Weiss did do a good job with creating realistic characters. I will, in the future, try Holly Weiss' books out as sometimes different books by the same author, are written with different styles and maybe then I will be completely and wholly captured.more
Loved, loved, loved this book!!! It was such a wonderful story. I couldn't help but love all the characters! I wish I could have visited Crestmont back then!! And any book with an Isaiah for character had my heart since that is my sons name!more
Crestmont is the perfect vacation book. It's a light, evenly paced book that, conveniently, is okay to put down and pick back up later without feeling like I missed anything and did not have to re-read parts to catch myself up. Except now, I want to vacation at the Crestmont! This book was not at all what I expected. I found it to be a kind and gentle, smoothly written story of a young lady trying to make her way in the world with a stop for a job at the famed Crestmont Inn. The people she meets there help her to find herself and discover her place in the world in mid-1920's. Ms. Wiess' fondness for the Crestmont Inn is evident in her attention to details and thorough research of the area and it's history. The myth of the lake is a nice addition.This is not the type of book I usually read, I'm more used to action or intrigue or something edgier (and lately textbooks), but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I really enjoyed this book. It was such a nice change from the normal stuff I read, it was much like a vacation in itself! Although I would have liked to have known a bit more about the characters history (Why didn't Gracie's family care about her, she was obviously raised right? Why was Bessie the way she was? etc.)and maybe some more architectural descriptions of the inn (personal preference)I'm sure I will take this vacation again!more
The one thing I didn't like about this book was that it ended! I was intrigued with the lives of Gracie and the staff at the Inn. I loved the characters and the fact that Eagles Mere and the Crestmont Inn are real.more
Ms. Weiss successfully convinced me of what life might have been like while on staff at an inn in the mountains of Pennsylvania, USA.Her characters were endearing.more
Crestmont is not to be missed. Holly Weiss’ choice of the name Grace for her protagonist is as prophetic as it is descriptive. The best word I can think of to describe Grace/Gracie is chainik (Russian for a beginner who’s willing to learn). As Grace morphs into Gracie, she becomes a lovable, enchanting mature young woman.The Woods family comes alive and becomes your family under the author’s pen. Mr. Woods is the energetic visionary and Margaret is his Rock of Gibraltar. The two grow together and grow with Gracie over the years of the novel.Most of the characters encounter problems and setbacks, but perseverance and sheer pluck see them through. You’ll meet PT, the enigmatic fellow who plays the jazz piano, Isaiah the wonderful black chef and his petite wife, Olivia, the dressmaker. Oh! And Eleanor, one of the Wood’s daughters—she’s a pistol!Ms Weiss’ descriptions of life in the ‘20’s are accurate and vivid. Eagles Mere became my town and the Crestmont became my home. In some places, as I was reading, I chuckled to myself, and in a few places I had a lump in my throat. I missed everyone and every place when I closed the book.Don’t miss the Author’s notes and the afterword. They put a nice frame around the book--even a few interesting tidbits there as well.more
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