Title: A Year on Ladybug Farm
Author: Donna Ball
Publication Date: March 2009
A Year on Ladybug Farm is the story of three women in their fifties who strike out on an adventure together. When Bridget’s husband dies, the women who have lived most of their adult lives on the same street and have travelled the world together decide it might be time to purchase a home together. They find a run down mansion in the Shenandoah Valley that they each fall in love with. Cici wants to make use of her skills with tools, while Lindsey pictures the dairy barn becoming her art studio and Bridget is in love with the kitchen. If nothing else, Cici runs the numbers and decides that with the needed improvements, it could be a great investment. The house gets its name from the multitude of ladybugs found in the vacant house. They feel the ladybug is a good omen and decide to give it a year to see whether they feel the same way at years end.
The main characters are Cecille Burke, a divorced, REALTOR with a daughter in college and an ex-husband who is wealthy and hob knobs with Hollywood celebrities. Lindsey Wright is a single, teacher and an artist who seemed to have postponed her own attempts as an artist, while Bridget Tyndale is a recent widow with two grown children whose cooking skills make her the one the other two turn to for catering the grand parties, the three women have a reputation for putting together.
The characters feel whole; in fact, I would love to find friends like them. I was not ready to let the characters go by story’s end. Luckily, I discovered a sequel coming out in October.
The author wove a ghost, other quirky characters, and subplots to make a most enjoyable read. Her description of setting was realistic and pulled me deeper into the story.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys heart-warming stories about women who have lived long enough to experience life’s ups-and-downs and still have the courage to find new adventures.