Book Review: The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton

"She'd do well to know my story, know how it changed me from quiet to bold.  Weak to strong. I'll tell her. I'll sit her down and tell her everything. One of these days."  (3)

Title:  The Hideaway
Author: Lauren K. Denton
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date:  April 11, 2017
Genre: Literary Fiction 

When her grandmother’s will wrenches Sara back home from New Orleans, she learns more about Margaret Van Buren in the wake of her death than she ever did in life.

After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags's ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay, Alabama. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed her The Hideaway and charged her with renovating it—no small task considering Mags’s best friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still live there.

Rather than hurrying back to New Orleans, Sara stays in Sweet Bay and begins the biggest house-rehabbing project of her career. Amid Sheetrock dust, old memories, and a charming contractor, she discovers that slipping back into life at The Hideaway is easier than she expected.

Then she discovers a box Mags left in the attic with clues to a life Sara never imagined for her grandmother. With help from Mags’s friends, Sara begins to piece together the mysterious life of bravery, passion, and choices that changed Mags’s destiny in both marvelous and devastating ways.

When an opportunistic land developer threatens to seize The Hideaway, Sara is forced to make a choice—stay in Sweet Bay and fight for the house and the people she’s grown to love or leave again and return to her successful but solitary life in New Orleans. 

A beautiful story of love and family, of friendships and of possibilities, The Hideaway by debut author Lauren K. Denton brings you all the best of southern fiction as you can fathom.  There are stories, and then there are the kind of stories that just pulls you into the setting, the romances and the journey of self-discovery, for all the characters.

The Hideaway is every bit Sara's story, as it is Mags'. It was through knowing Mags' story that Sara discovered much more than knowing who her grandmother was, and the dilapidated and run-downed old Victorian held all the secrets. What is The Hideaway, and is it for all? The journey for some may not be as expected, but nonetheless, realization and revelation will come eventually. 

"Things aren't always as difficult as you make them out to be. Sometimes you just have to turn your brain off and dive in."  (322)

Surprising to find that I really liked all the characters in this book. It doesn't always happen, but I find even the most despicable character will have served their purpose in The Hideaway. And that round out the development of both Mags and Sara beautifully.  With all the hospitality and quirks you'll find in Southern fiction, The Hideaway held all the charm and mystery. It is perfect for fans that love history, details and stories within stories.  

"To say The Hideaway is important to me is an understatement. I'll go to my grave carrying memories of both sweet, miraculous love and deep, aching loss in my heart, and the house has been a witness to it all."  (44)

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.



Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Lauren K. Denton now lives with her husband and two daughters in Homewood, just outside Birmingham. In addition to her fiction, she writes a monthly newspaper column about life, faith, and how funny (and hard) it is to be a parent. On any given day, she’d rather be at the beach with her family and a stack of books. The Hideaway is her first novel.

TO CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Check out the full tour schedule for more information! Click on the image below to take you there.



  1. Thank you for the lovely review! I'm so thrilled you enjoyed The Hideaway!


  2. Wonderful review, Annie! I'm adding this one to my Goodreads shelf!

  3. "all the best of southern fiction as you can fathom" That is an excellent recommendation indeed!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.


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