Joan Medlicott. The Spirit of Covington. New York: Atria Books, 2003.

The Ladies of Covington that you know and love are back in this, the fourth book of Joan Medlicott’s popular series. Tired of watching their lives waste away at a dismal Pennsylvania boarding house for widows, 60-something Hannah, Amelia, and Grace threw their lots together when Amelia unexpectedly inherited a farmhouse in the little town of Covington. Often compared to Jan Karon’s Mitford, Covington is a small, North Carolina mountain town near Asheville.

In this installment of their adventures, the unthinkable happens: a careless forest fire burns the Ladies’ precious renovated farmhouse to the ground. Amelia, for all her complaining about the opossums in the walls and the creaky floorboards, is the most devastated. With the loss of the farmhouse, all the other losses in her life (the deaths of her husband and young daughter in particular) rise up and threaten to send her into a deep depression. Hannah and Grace are also saddened by the loss of their possessions and the house, but they are initially willing to rebuild in an affordable, modern style. But Amelia’s pain causes them to reconsider, and soon the Ladies are having an exact replica of the old building constructed. All seems well, but building a house takes a long time, and each woman will face different challenges that will threaten her former lifestyle: insistent gentleman friends proposing, abused children who need a guardian, and the problems visited on them by their own blood relatives all present Hannah, Amelia, and Grace with compelling reasons to move on with the rest of their lives. Will they decide to stay in Covington, the town each has come to know and love, after all? And will they remain, together, the Ladies?

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.



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Filed under 2000-2009, 2003, Medlicott, Joan, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

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