WELCOME TO THE PINE AWAY MOTEL AND CABINS by Katarina Bivald

WELCOME TO THE PINE AWAY MOTEL AND CABINS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

After her death, a friendly ghost watches over best friends at the no-frills Oregon motel where she used to work.

Henny Broek has just reunited with Michael, her high school sweetheart, when a truck driver accidentally runs her over. She leaves behind her co-worker, MacKenzie; her stoic father; and the patrons of the Pine Creek Motel. Soon news of her death summons the motel’s absentee owner, Camila, a trans woman who left town before her transition. With her soul in limbo, Henny waits silently for her friends to enjoy their reunion and be happy. But first, they’ll have to address the small-town politics that drove their group apart. In high school, when MacKenzie came out as gay, her friends rallied to stop an anti-gay ballot measure from passing. From there, the group split in two. MacKenzie stayed at the motel, encouraged by the community support. But Camila left to reinvent herself in LA, and Michael moved away to pursue a career as a geologist in rockier locations, breaking Henny’s heart. Just when they've all begun to heal from their grief over Henny's death, a Christian organization stages a protest to shut down the motel over morality concerns. As the motel fills with misplaced townspeople divided by the controversy, it becomes a sanctuary for some and a scapegoat for others. The protest looks bigger online than it does in person, adding a touch of realism. As hatred threatens her otherwise idyllic town, Henny watches from beyond, hoping to see evidence of love after life.

A celebration of life in which friendship, community, and a room for the night are gentle antidotes to prejudice.

Pub Date: Jan. 7th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-4926-8101-4
Page count: 448pp
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2019