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Coming to Rosemont Book Club Questions

Novelist Barbara Hinske, like her predecessors  Jan Karon and Debbie Macomber, creates a picturesque small town to the delight of her readers.

Jan Karon’s 11-part Mitford series features Father Timothy Kavanagh, an Episcopalian rector serving the parishioners of Lord’s Chapel and the quirky townspeople of Mitford, North Carolina.

Although filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Debbie Macomber’s 12-part Cedar Cove series (both book and television) is based on Port Orchard, Washington, producer/writer Debbie Macomber’s summer residence. “Cedar Cove” is the community of Deep Cove in North Vancouver, BC

Presently, Barbara Hinske’s midwestern series totals three novels with a fourth to appear in the summer. Ms. Hinske’s story does not pinpoint Westbury’s exact locale, but Frank Haynes tunes into a Chicago Cubs baseball game one evening while driving. Could that be a hint?!

The comfortable life of Maggie Martin crashes with the death of her charming husband, the President of Windsor College.  In the aftermath, the forensic accountant faces three questions: why did Paul embezzle $2,000,000 from the university, who is the tall, blonde woman with two kids in Scottsdale, Arizona, and when did Paul inherit his family’s estate.

With questions one and two answered, Maggie flies from Southern California to Westbury, the county seat of 40,000 residents, and  the location of Rosemont, an aristocratic, 15-acre estate.

Dubbed  a miniature Downton Abbey, the English manor house with six chimneys at the end of a deep lawn, hasn’t been inhabited for a decade or more.  Ms. Hinske’s pinterest account, offers  up possible exterior and interior designs to fuel the reader’s imagination.

Once inside the manor’s mahogany front door, Maggie feels an instant affinity for the graceful stairway to the second floor, the library with a six-foot fireplace and the French doors to a patio.  The usually pragmatic accountant quickly vows to sell the California home and claim Rosemont as her own.

From that point onward,  our leading lady never looks back: the dust covers are whisked away, the house cleaned and local  handy man Sam Torres makes the needed repairs to convert the house into  Maggie’s forever home.

Soon, the dynamic Maggie investigates discrepancies in the town’s pension fund and hosts an Easter Carnival to replenish its coffers thus gaining the love and admiration of Westbury’s citizens, especially the gentle-natured veterinarian, John Allen.

Seventy six percent of amazon.com reviewers awarded Coming to Rosemont four or five stars.

One characterized the novel as: “quick moving,” and “hard to put down”.  Suggesting a Hallmark Channel movie adaptation, another reader commented,  “a very nice adult fairy tale”.

Another book lover renamed the main character, “Martha Stewart” because of her ability to “run a successful business, save the town and capture the heart of the most eligible man” at the same time.

To round out your book club’s conversation about Coming To Rosemont, check out the suggested discussion questions below.

Discussion Questions

  1.  Maggie Martin, multi-tasking extraordinaire, packed up her California home and moved cross country in one week’s time while maintaining her forensic accounting business and serving on a Westbury committee to unearth irregularities in the town’s pension fund. What did you find most admirable about Barbara Hinske’s character? Most impressive? Is Maggie too perfect?  Can you relate to her?  Do you envy her?
  2. Compare and contrast the Martin’s California home with Rosemont.  How do these settings reflect the family’s life in the two locations?
  3. Discuss the character of Frank Haynes and his role in Westbury’s government.  Does he have any redeeming qualities?
  4. How would you answer the question, “What do you like to do for fun”?  When Maggie admitted that she couldn’t remember, Veterinarian John Allen took her ice skating.  What did John and you, the reader, learn about Maggie from this incident?
  5. Maggie and John are drawn to each other at their initial meeting.  How do they differ?  What do they have in common?
  6. The town of Westbury had been run by the old-boy network for many years dating back to Mayor Wheeler’s father.  What exactly is an old-boy network and suggest its strengths and weaknesses?  If you have lived in a small town, can you pinpoint the big ducks in the small pond in your experience?
  7. During her visit to Westbury, Susan sees a whole new side of her mother.  Drawing from your past experiences, have your children developed a whole new appreciation for you (their parents) after they have become adults themselves?
  8. Does Susan’s unsuccessful relationship with Rob mirror Maggie’s marriage? If Paul had lived, would he and Maggie still be married?
  9. Welcome to Rosemont keeps the reader guessing with each plot twist. At any time were you able to guess the story’s ending? If so, what tipped you off?
  10. Barbara Hinske has included elements of mystery, crime, and romance in Welcome to Rosemont. Ask book club members to choose which word best describes Hinske’s novel and explain their choice.
  11. How would you rate Coming to Rosemont? Will you be reading Weaving the Strand, book two in the Rosemont Saga Series? Uncovering Secrets, book number three?

2 thoughts on “Coming to Rosemont Book Club Questions

  1. I had read some of Barbara’s books before but this trilogy was really very good. It had all the elements of a good mystery, a good romance, and a female heroine who is just like us…doing her best in a world that is sometimes pitted against you. I started with the second book but it was such solid references, if you missed the first one, you can keep going. I can’t wait for the next book!
    Thanks for writing the review Linda!!

  2. I definitely agree!! After book 1, I couldn’t get my hands on 2 & 3 fast enough. Barbara has a definite talent for plotting a successful, very readable book.

    Many thanks for your comment!

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