The Road to Happenstance, by Janice L. Dick (Tansy & Thistle Press, 2020)
A whimsical town, a host of quirky characters, and events that seem to conspire to keep Matthew Sadler from leaving once he arrives by “happenstance.”
Fleeing painful memories, Matt and his motorcycle are roaring along the highway when a near-accident forces him onto a hidden side road. On the far side of a covered bridge, he discovers the town of Happenstance.
He’ll leave as soon as he gases up. Or after a night’s rest in the charming Happenstance Hotel. Or after he helps the elderly sisters who run the hotel. Or after…
As well as the sisters, he meets Bear, a local mechanic with some unusual turns of phrase, and Veronica, who bears a startling resemblance to his dead wife.
The longer he stays, the more he suspects a mystery behind the hotel’s troubles.
This gently-paced novel will bring smiles—and maybe a wistful longing to find a place like Happenstance in the real world.
The road was scarcely wide enough for two cars to pass, a dirt path with a scattering of gravel on top as a sort of apology. [Kindle location 30]
We got whatcha want, unless you want what we don’t got, and then you prob’ly don’t need it. [Bear, describing the town; Kindle location 50]
They came with their offerings of food to their gods of guild and duty and pity, but he would rather have been alone. [Matt remembering the visitors after his wife’s death; Kindle location 1788]
Author Janice L. Dick is known for her faith-filled historical fiction. Although The Road to Happenstance is a contemporary novel, the town’s nostalgic feel lends an impression of stepping back in time, and Matthew’s personal struggles are affected by his faith. For more about the author and her work, visit janicedick.wordpress.com.
[Advance review copy provided by the publisher. My opinions are my own.]