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Review – Thanksgiving at the Inn by Tim Whitney

thanksgiving at the inn

Thanksgiving at the Inn
by Tim Whitney
223 pages
Published October 1, 2009

Thanksgiving at the Inn by Tim Whitney is a novella following 15-year-old Heath and his father, Junior, after they find out that Junior’s father, Senior, passed away and has left his son an inheritance. Heath and his father haven’t gotten along since his mother left, and things are even worse right now since Heath was caught cheating on a test (he wasn’t really cheating but his dad doesn’t believe him).

This inheritance comes with a few strings attached. First, Junior and Heath must move in to the bed & breakfast Senior has started. Second, Junior must help with the chores. Third, Junior actually has to be nice to the people living there. This might be easy for most, but Junior’s been pissy ever since his wife left, and he’s especially angry at his father for things that happened many years ago.

There’s quite the cast of characters living at this B&B:

  • Winstead, an old Jamaican man who takes Heath under his wing;
  • Mustang Sally, a big guy with tattoos all over his body, who has a love of cars and children;
  • Mrs. Farrel, an elderly lady who is slowly giving away her husband’s fortune to people he cheated; and
  • Carter, the middle aged guy who watches lots of TV and has a couple of secrets of his own.

Thanksgiving at the Inn is a very sweet book told in third person from Heath’s point of view. The reader feels Heath’s frustration as he tries to connect with his dad but is met with sarcasm and irritability. Heath finds friends and mentors in the people living at the B&B, and a chance encounter at some railroad tracks leads him to befriending a young autistic girl.

Lots of issues are covered in this book, such as alcoholism, autism, dyslexia, parent-child relationships, family, friends, and secrets, but most issues are covered superficially. I felt like I was reading what will soon be a made-for-TV Lifetime movie. You know the kind: there’s a heartstring-pulling plot, the requisite flawed characters, the naively hopeful person about the flawed characters, and then the LOOK! It’s all better! ending. And of course I cry at those movies, it’s not like I won’t watch them, it’s just that I prefer books that go into more depth on issues this book tried to tackle.

With that said, I’ve got a few people in mind who I’ll be passing this book along to, who I know will love it!

Rating: 75 out of 100

Other reviews that liked this book more than me:

Cafe of Dreams (gave it 5/5)

Cindy’s Love of Books


Melody’s Reading Corner

Life in the Thumb

A Reader’s Journal

Book source: I got this book from the fantastic folks at Bancroft Press.

And one more thing? If you click on one of the Thanksgiving at the Inn links and buy something from Amazon, I’ll make a commission! Mwahahahaha!! Maybe with the pennies I make I’ll be able to call someone who cares.

You can thank the FTC for this disclosure!

| Tags: , , 8 comments »

8 Responses to “Review – Thanksgiving at the Inn by Tim Whitney”

  1. Michelle

    I agree, there were lots of issues being addressed in this book for sure. I think the characters really made it for me though. I also think it is better served as a middle grade book where lithgly touching and informing a child on theses issues is warranted over delving deeper into them. It allows children to find out about alcoholism and go to their parents for further explination. Great opportunity to connect!


  2. Biblibio

    “I felt like I was reading what will soon be a made-for-TV Lifetime movie.” – The reason I don’t read many touted books. I have issues with books that try too hard to be meaningful and good by using a standard formula, and this really sounds like one of those books (based on your description). Your assessment sounds about right – good for some, bad for others. Good to know.


  3. Stephanie

    I struggled through this book – a little too sticky sweet for my tastes.


  4. Beth F

    I like the premise, but I’ve never been a fan of those Lifetime movies…. I’ll likely pass on this. Thanks for the review, because I could have been tempted.


  5. Kathleen

    This sounds like one I would rather watch as a movie than read as a book…funny you said that about the Lifetime movie!


  6. Shona

    I kind of liked the plot. I feel such books can convey the message better than the movies , because books are more character centric .. Nice review..


  7. Kathy

    I’m not sure I’ve ever read a Thanksgiving book. It might be nice to read around the holiday if you want to feel sentimental.


  8. zibilee

    I am not sure if this book would be for me, but like the above poster, I have not yet come across a Thanksgiving book. I think I know a few people who would like this book, so I will be mentioning it to them. Thanks!


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