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The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery

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Present Day. After tragedy plunges her into grief and unresolved anger, Sarah Ashby returns to her childhood home determined to finally follow her long-denied dream of running Old Depot Grocery alongside her mother and grandmother. But when she arrives, her mother, Rosemary, announces to her that the store is closing. Sarah and her grandmother, Glory Ann, make a pact to sa Present Day. After tragedy plunges her into grief and unresolved anger, Sarah Ashby returns to her childhood home determined to finally follow her long-denied dream of running Old Depot Grocery alongside her mother and grandmother. But when she arrives, her mother, Rosemary, announces to her that the store is closing. Sarah and her grandmother, Glory Ann, make a pact to save the store, but Rosemary has worked her entire life to make sure her daughter never follows in her footsteps. She has her reasons--but she'll certainly never reveal the real one. 1965. Glory Ann confesses to her family that she's pregnant with her deceased fiancé's baby. Pressured into a marriage of convenience with a shopkeeper to preserve the family reputation, Glory Ann vows never to love again. But some promises are not as easily kept as she imagined. This dual-timeline story from Amanda Cox deftly explores the complexity of a mother-daughter dynamic, the way the secrets we keep shape our lives and the lives of others, and the healing power of telling the truth.


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Present Day. After tragedy plunges her into grief and unresolved anger, Sarah Ashby returns to her childhood home determined to finally follow her long-denied dream of running Old Depot Grocery alongside her mother and grandmother. But when she arrives, her mother, Rosemary, announces to her that the store is closing. Sarah and her grandmother, Glory Ann, make a pact to sa Present Day. After tragedy plunges her into grief and unresolved anger, Sarah Ashby returns to her childhood home determined to finally follow her long-denied dream of running Old Depot Grocery alongside her mother and grandmother. But when she arrives, her mother, Rosemary, announces to her that the store is closing. Sarah and her grandmother, Glory Ann, make a pact to save the store, but Rosemary has worked her entire life to make sure her daughter never follows in her footsteps. She has her reasons--but she'll certainly never reveal the real one. 1965. Glory Ann confesses to her family that she's pregnant with her deceased fiancé's baby. Pressured into a marriage of convenience with a shopkeeper to preserve the family reputation, Glory Ann vows never to love again. But some promises are not as easily kept as she imagined. This dual-timeline story from Amanda Cox deftly explores the complexity of a mother-daughter dynamic, the way the secrets we keep shape our lives and the lives of others, and the healing power of telling the truth.

30 review for The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Walker

    This book earns the 'Carrie Couldn't Put Down' badge! And that's saying something. I've been hoping for a 'can't put down' book for quite some time. By the end of Chapter 2 I was hooked, and I couldn't stop reading until the last page. Beautifully flawed characters, a storyline that pulled you through each chapter yet believable, and an important theme/message that we all could take to heart. You could feel the love, hurt and conflict woven through the whole story. The chapters were just long eno This book earns the 'Carrie Couldn't Put Down' badge! And that's saying something. I've been hoping for a 'can't put down' book for quite some time. By the end of Chapter 2 I was hooked, and I couldn't stop reading until the last page. Beautifully flawed characters, a storyline that pulled you through each chapter yet believable, and an important theme/message that we all could take to heart. You could feel the love, hurt and conflict woven through the whole story. The chapters were just long enough to tug you along and pull you even deeper into the characters storylines, but just short enough that it was easy to say 'I could read one more'. To the point, that 24 hours after I started the book it was finished, and I was sad that there wasn't more. Highly recommend! After reading "The Edge of Belonging" Amanda Cox moved up to an author I would keep my eye out for. After this second book, anything with her name on it has earned pre-order status!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kristina Hall

    Characters: Amanda Cox is a master of character development. Even though I didn’t always agree with the choices Glory Ann, Rosemary, and Sarah (a grandmother, mom, and daughter) made, I understood these characters. They had such complex, well-developed relationships with each other that were fun to see unfold. Language: Clean. Moral: I’d say the main themes in this book were family and the destructive power of secrets. This book didn’t have as many Christian morals as I would’ve liked, but most of Characters: Amanda Cox is a master of character development. Even though I didn’t always agree with the choices Glory Ann, Rosemary, and Sarah (a grandmother, mom, and daughter) made, I understood these characters. They had such complex, well-developed relationships with each other that were fun to see unfold. Language: Clean. Moral: I’d say the main themes in this book were family and the destructive power of secrets. This book didn’t have as many Christian morals as I would’ve liked, but most of the characters were Christians. Plot: Although this wasn’t the fastest moving book (it wasn’t supposed to be), I found it entertaining because of all the dynamics between the characters and all the secrets brought into the open. It had a nostalgic feel I really liked. Random comments: This wasn’t a big part of the plot, but I wish Glory Ann had taken getting pregnant outside of marriage a little more seriously. At some points, she seemed to recognize the sinfulness of her actions, but other times, she didn’t really care. Romance: Clean. This novel had hints of romance in it, but the romance wasn’t the main plot. Writing: Amanda Cox has a great writing style: descriptive (but not overly descriptive), smooth, and engaging. Overall: The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery was an entertaining read, and I’d recommend it to fans of Christian fiction and split-time novels. I’m looking forward to reading more by Amanda Cox in the future! Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher/author. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Katie Powner

    I loved this one! From endorsement: The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery by Amanda Cox is a heartwarming and soul-satisfying story that covers a variety of relationships in a thought-provoking and honest way. It's about secrets and their consequences but also about seeking the truth. Cox skillfully blends women's fiction with split-time and adds a touch of romance. I highly recommend this wonderful book! I loved this one! From endorsement: The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery by Amanda Cox is a heartwarming and soul-satisfying story that covers a variety of relationships in a thought-provoking and honest way. It's about secrets and their consequences but also about seeking the truth. Cox skillfully blends women's fiction with split-time and adds a touch of romance. I highly recommend this wonderful book!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    Such a heartfelt story that had me in tears at times. Three generations of stubborn southern women that are holding secrets they don’t want to let go of for fear of hurting the ones they love. But true healing comes from bringing the secrets from darkness into the light. We long to find someone who sees us as we really are and accept us and love us. Why is it so hard to accept help from our loved ones? “Happiness doesn’t come from ‘big whatevers’. It comes from the everyday choice to embrace the Such a heartfelt story that had me in tears at times. Three generations of stubborn southern women that are holding secrets they don’t want to let go of for fear of hurting the ones they love. But true healing comes from bringing the secrets from darkness into the light. We long to find someone who sees us as we really are and accept us and love us. Why is it so hard to accept help from our loved ones? “Happiness doesn’t come from ‘big whatevers’. It comes from the everyday choice to embrace the beauty in the little things.” I fell in love with the setting of this book, the focal point being The Old Depot Grocery. The squeaky, uneven floors brought back long ago memories of a similar store in my father’s hometown and a general store across the street from me when I lived in rural, northern Wisconsin. I could picture the old relic that Nan and Sarah wanted to preserve. The faith element underpinned the story, shown in the lives of selfless Clarence and steady Clay as well as the background of the other characters. The rest of the family depicted is so believable they could have been my friends and neighbors. Many lessons to ponder in this wonderful novel. Lessons on love , forgiveness, redemption and hope amidst tragedy. “Time doesn’t magically heal wounds all by itself. Sometimes hurt leaves a gaping place, and the only thing for it is to stitch it back together and learn to live with the scars.” *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

  5. 5 out of 5

    Grace Johnson

    *Warnings* #1 This is a long review, so pull up a chair and grab a bowl of popcorn. You’ll be here awhile. #2 When I read a review, I want substantial information. So I will not skimp on the details. Which may mean some spoilers, so watch out. Stars: 3.5 stars Synopsis: Sarah Anderson Ashby is back in her small Tennessee hometown after the sudden loss of her husband. Her hope? To help her grandmother at Old Depot Grocery—the store that’s been in their family for years—and to stick around. For good *Warnings* #1 This is a long review, so pull up a chair and grab a bowl of popcorn. You’ll be here awhile. #2 When I read a review, I want substantial information. So I will not skimp on the details. Which may mean some spoilers, so watch out. Stars: 3.5 stars Synopsis: Sarah Anderson Ashby is back in her small Tennessee hometown after the sudden loss of her husband. Her hope? To help her grandmother at Old Depot Grocery—the store that’s been in their family for years—and to stick around. For good this time. Reality? Her mom is trying to sell Old Depot Grocery, and on top of that, it seems everyone’s hiding something. Something that might just set a lot of things to rights. Favorite Quote: “I don’t think you’ll ever find that ‘full life’ you’ve been craving until you accept the life you have. Mistakes. Heartache. Grief. All of it. Then you need to decide if you’re ready to let God have these burdens you’ve placed upon your own shoulders or if you’ll keep on carrying that pain and regret, miserable under the weight of it.” Split-time women’s fiction. My two least favorite things lumped into one novel. And yet, for all my distaste for dual timelines and boring women’s fiction, The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery managed to keep my attention from Page 1 to The End. Starting out, the first few chapters were like one big red flag. A young, unwed pregnant woman. A marriage to a man she doesn’t love and, on top of that, has never met. A big city girl moving back home. A harried mother with plans of her own. The typical stuff—all the cliches you expect from women’s fiction, historical fiction, contemporary novels, and worse yet, Hallmark movies. However, as cliched as it was, it honestly wasn’t all that bad. For instance, Glory Ann grew on me. Of course, I adored her future self—grandmothers are one of my favorite types of characters—but her younger self was...tolerable. I really appreciated how Cox didn’t dwell too long on all of Glory Ann’s baggage and mixed feelings and pressed on with the story. As much as I love drama, whining is not something I’ll tolerate. Glory Ann grew to love Clarence and made a life with him, which pleased me immensely. Mostly because I loved Clarence to pieces. Seriously, he was so precious and I would’ve read a full novel of just him loving on Glory Ann because by George he was the sweetest darn thing I’ve ever seen! But enough of my gushing. On to the rest of the characters… Rosemary had the potential to be really annoying; however, since the novel moved forward on two different timelines and the focus wasn’t solely on Rosemary, she didn’t get on my nerves too much. (I know I’m being harsh...just bear with me, y’all.) I often leaned more toward Sarah and Glory Ann’s side of the battle—er, situation—but I did become invested in Rosemary’s life and wanted to know more about the reasoning behind her decisions. On that note, I think Cox did a commendably job putting tension (nerve-wracking tension, mind you, which isn’t the best in real life, but can work wonders in fiction) between Rosemary and her family and adding a dash of, well, secrecy (of course) to the situation that kept me on my toes. Sarah, on the other hand, lacked the personality of her mother, grandmother, and the supporting cast. She could’ve been either really annoying (which I’d been expecting, to be honest) or a true gem. Instead, she felt flat to me and was slightly bland. To be honest, that’s something all too common with split-time fiction. Some, if not all of the characters, just don’t have the time to be developed properly. Sarah was one of them. That said, everyone else was vivid and interesting...including Clay. Loved him too. And Beau. Seriously. What is it with the guys in this book? Moving past the first impression (yes, that was my first impression), Cox managed to weave the dual timelines together pretty well. I’ve found that to be true of most authors—they pace the story out well, arrange the scenes perfectly, and execute everything just so from a technical standpoint. The more creative aspects, though, aren’t as up to par as I would hope. (Either that, or I’m just picky...eh, we’ll call it a bit of both.) Her writing was good. Even, straightforward without being bland, as good as I would expect from a Revell author. That said, there were a few moments that were kind of stilted and the way she cut off her sentences...not how some authors like Roseanna M. White do, like this: She jerked up. Knocked over her chair. Spun to the door. (I personally think this method of writing follows with the emotion of the moment in many cases, which is why I don’t mind it.) Rather, Cox cut off her sentences like this: She sat down. Sipping from her tea. Maybe she’s not the only one who does this...but she’s the first I’ve encountered, so it did jar me a few times. I know that’s kind of a pet peeve...but y’all know that’s what these reviews are for: me to rant about my pet peeves and character crushes. I’ll never give you black-and-white statements or carefully crafted opinions. Just steam-of-consciousness craziness. But enough about me! Where was I? Oh, yes, my most favorite pet peeve of all. Christian content. Now, the spiritual elements in Old Depot Grocery were far too subtle for my tastes...but Cox did weave in a good message, at least on Rosemary’s part. I’ll give her credit for that, especially since so many Christian novels these days not only lack explicit Christian content, they also lack themes and messages. And while I’m being crotchety, can I just say that the Southern setting seemed way off to me? I’ve lived in South Georgia all my life, and while I know that’s a far cry from Tennessee, I still think there were some elements that made me raise my eyebrows. Seriously. This book had such a nineties vibe...and I don’t mean in the past timeline. I mean the modern-day part. That just screamed eighties and nineties. And believe me, the South has changed drastically since then. Long story short (because I need to put an end to all my nonsense), Amanda Cox’s The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery was everything I dislike in a novel. That said, I couldn’t put it down! It did have a lot of cliché aspects and of course I had a few things to nit-pick about, but Cox somehow wrote a novel that held me captive in spite of that! Even though it wasn’t my style, I know readers of women’s fiction and split-time fiction will love it! WAIT. I totally forgot to mention that ending. Like, I was on pins and needles the whole time thinking that between the author and Rosemary, my heart would be ripped to shreds (yes, I can get attached to buildings), but THE ENDING. I absolutely ADORED what Cox (or, well, Sarah) did with Old Depot Grocery in the end! I won’t spoil anything, but as the granddaughter of a Vietnam vet, it made me very, very happy. By far my favorite part of the book! Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Heidi Chiavaroli

    This book is AMAZING! From endorsement: Amanda Cox has penned another brilliant novel in The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery. A weaving of the secrets of mothers and daughters throughout generations, I became invested in these authentic characters and flipped pages fast to see how this talented author would deliver their satisfying outcome. Beautiful, inspiring, emotional, masterful. This sophomore novel by Amanda Cox seals her spot on my “must-read” author list. Highly, highly recommend!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    When I read the preview for THE SECRET KEEPERS OF OLD DEPOT GROCERY, I knew it was going to be an emotional story and I knew it was going to make me cry. I had no idea I would be sobbing and be an emotional wreck after finishing it. All of Amanda’s characters feel genuine and relatable and put your emotions on one heck of a roller coaster ride. The message of hope amid sorrow and tragedy flows through the book. Three generation of women and they can’t seem to communicate. I’m sure we have all ex When I read the preview for THE SECRET KEEPERS OF OLD DEPOT GROCERY, I knew it was going to be an emotional story and I knew it was going to make me cry. I had no idea I would be sobbing and be an emotional wreck after finishing it. All of Amanda’s characters feel genuine and relatable and put your emotions on one heck of a roller coaster ride. The message of hope amid sorrow and tragedy flows through the book. Three generation of women and they can’t seem to communicate. I’m sure we have all experienced this in some form. Amanda’s latest book, THE SECRET KEEPERS OF OLD DEPOT GROCERY is the story of Sarah and the life changing decision she makes, much to the dismay of her mother. Her husband has died in A car accident and she is supposed to be a grieving widow. Only she isn’t really grieving. She didn’t want to be married to him anymore just before the accident. Amanda Cox deals with some difficult issues throughout the book but she does it so well. I am now an Amanda Cox fan and she has become my newest auto buy author! While THE SECRET KEEPERS OF OLD DEPOT GROCERY is focused on the lives and different personalities of the women and how each in their own way responds to the not knowing what comes next, the question at the very heart of the book is – would I take the easy way out and sell the one place where I was the happiest? Needless to say, the story brings a strong emotional response. So keep the tissues handy. THE SECRET KEEPERS OF OLD DEPOT GROCERY will stay with you for a long time after you finish reading it. I have no idea when I will be able to read another book, but right now I can’t stop thinking about this one. There were several times I found myself desperately wanting to keep reading, to find out what would happen next, but I was afraid to turn the page, scared of the possible fates awaiting these characters. Amanda Cox has a magical way of telling dramatic stories about women, friendship and family. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Books. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gloria

    Amanda Cox has a wonderful way with creating real characters and sometimes complicated relationships between them. In this story, we see all of the ups and downs of three generation of women caused by secrets and misunderstandings, mostly brought on by others. Glory Ann's story starts during the time of the Vietnam War and moves on to her daughter Rosemary's story, and granddaughter Sarah, present day. Cox does a great job capturing the time periods along the way and the mindset of the times, es Amanda Cox has a wonderful way with creating real characters and sometimes complicated relationships between them. In this story, we see all of the ups and downs of three generation of women caused by secrets and misunderstandings, mostly brought on by others. Glory Ann's story starts during the time of the Vietnam War and moves on to her daughter Rosemary's story, and granddaughter Sarah, present day. Cox does a great job capturing the time periods along the way and the mindset of the times, especially of the rural South. This is a story that will touch your heart as you see these strong women overcome their feelings of guilt and shortcomings, in their eyes, all woven with a thread of love, faith, and hope. Their lives are strengthened by the love of Clarence, Glory Ann's husband and Rosemary's Daddy, and his commitment to community through the Old Depot Grocery store in small town Tennessee. This is a great read for those who enjoy stories of family relationships based on love and faith. I received a complimentary ARC from Revell Publishing through NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine only.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    Three generations of women have spent time in the Old Depot Grocery Store. It started with Glory Ann and Clarence. Then her daughters Rosemary and Jessamine joined the crew and grew up in the family store. When Rosemary got married to Bo they had young Sarah and she roamed the aisles as she grew up. All of them served the community. At the same time, they all hid secrets from each other. The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery is set in several time frames in history as readers learn the stories Three generations of women have spent time in the Old Depot Grocery Store. It started with Glory Ann and Clarence. Then her daughters Rosemary and Jessamine joined the crew and grew up in the family store. When Rosemary got married to Bo they had young Sarah and she roamed the aisles as she grew up. All of them served the community. At the same time, they all hid secrets from each other. The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery is set in several time frames in history as readers learn the stories behind each of these special women. I enjoyed reading The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery. Cox is a wonderful story teller and I was caught up in each woman's story. It was interesting to see how they all made some of their choices. At the same time, it was sad to see family members not always treat loved ones the best in the way that Glory Ann actually came to be at the grocery store. However, I loved that she decided to make the best of her situation after a few years with Clarence. Clarence sounded like a great dad and a wonderful community member and friend to so many. I especially liked the way he loved people. I also liked that while Sarah didn't necessarily go about things the best way, she still made choices that put an end to the secrets and opened up a whole new world. I must admit I kind of cringe when I read books where people hide secrets that change other people's lives. Yet, I have seen real life instances of it happening so I believe it is true to life. I value good communication and I like that The Secret Keepers of the Old Depot Grocery teaches that value through the story. I received a copy of this book from the author. All opinions in this review are my own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Christine Indorf

    A dual timeline book based on 2 woman that are facing the same thing. Glory Ann in the 60's get pregnant out of wedlock so her father marries her off to a man she doesn't know. Glory Ann finds out the man she love is killed in the war. As time goes on so does her feeling for her husband, together they raise 2 girls in their beloved Grocery store. Can Glory Ann have love for both girls and can the oldest ever feel like she belongs. Present day Sarah, Glory Ann Granddaughter, moves back home after A dual timeline book based on 2 woman that are facing the same thing. Glory Ann in the 60's get pregnant out of wedlock so her father marries her off to a man she doesn't know. Glory Ann finds out the man she love is killed in the war. As time goes on so does her feeling for her husband, together they raise 2 girls in their beloved Grocery store. Can Glory Ann have love for both girls and can the oldest ever feel like she belongs. Present day Sarah, Glory Ann Granddaughter, moves back home after her husband is killed. She longs to work at the grocery store. When she finds out she is pregnant can she handle being a mom? Along the way in this story there a surprises just around each corner. Both timelines are excellent and you will never feel lost or wondering if one is better than the other. My favorite character in the book is Glory Ann husband. His love for Christ grants him wisdom and love for all who are put in his path. This is such an excellent story. From beginning to end I loved this book. Amanda Cox is a new author for me and now I can't wait to read more from her. One all should read and if you do I hope you enjoy it as much as I had!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Walters

    "I'd say broken pieces and all, we have a pretty beautiful life." The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery is a story about three generations of women connected to a family grocery store that has served each of them through critical points in their lives. I appreciated the nostalgia of each woman's history with the store but what really drew me to each page were the men. Ms. Cox crafted three men who truly epitomize selflessness, grace, and sacrificial love that I think wins this story and IMO so "I'd say broken pieces and all, we have a pretty beautiful life." The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery is a story about three generations of women connected to a family grocery store that has served each of them through critical points in their lives. I appreciated the nostalgia of each woman's history with the store but what really drew me to each page were the men. Ms. Cox crafted three men who truly epitomize selflessness, grace, and sacrificial love that I think wins this story and IMO softens the hard edges of the heroines. It was easy to slip into the story from the early pages but became a bit slow and I wish the uncovering of secrets happened a bit sooner but that might be my own impatience as I could see the pieces falling together early on. If there's one thing I *really* struggled with it was the secondary character and sister, Jess, I started the story not being a fan of hers and ended it the same way. Maybe there's more to her in books to come? Overall, tremendous writing, heartfelt emotion in the death of my favorite hero (so disappointed his story ended), and left me longing for the good 'ol days. ***I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.***

  12. 5 out of 5

    Staci

    1965 to present day Tennessee The author does a nice job of blending two timelines into one. It's about secrets and mother/daughter relationships. Favorite quotes (both by Clay): "I'm driving a roaring red tractor with a pretty girl perched next to me. Fairly sure it's not my waving catchin' their attention." "Somehow or another I came into Old depot planning to buy out all the beer in the store and I left with a Bible and a Farmers' Almanac instead." 1965 to present day Tennessee The author does a nice job of blending two timelines into one. It's about secrets and mother/daughter relationships. Favorite quotes (both by Clay): "I'm driving a roaring red tractor with a pretty girl perched next to me. Fairly sure it's not my waving catchin' their attention." "Somehow or another I came into Old depot planning to buy out all the beer in the store and I left with a Bible and a Farmers' Almanac instead."

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlyn Krispense

    Not gonna lie, for the longest time I misread that title. I thought Old Depot Grocery had secret caretakers or something and then I was, like, halfway through the book when I realized OH WAIT THE PEOPLE AT OLD DEPOT HAVE SECRETS! And then the title made so much more sense. *cough* But yes. This has been senior moments with Kate. Tune in next time to see me make a further idiot of myself. But hey, I can laugh about it, so it's all good. ANYWAY. On to my review. (see, when I don't wait weeks after Not gonna lie, for the longest time I misread that title. I thought Old Depot Grocery had secret caretakers or something and then I was, like, halfway through the book when I realized OH WAIT THE PEOPLE AT OLD DEPOT HAVE SECRETS! And then the title made so much more sense. *cough* But yes. This has been senior moments with Kate. Tune in next time to see me make a further idiot of myself. But hey, I can laugh about it, so it's all good. ANYWAY. On to my review. (see, when I don't wait weeks after I've read the book to write the review, I can actually add pERsoNaLiTY) Oh my word, you guys. I seriously could not put this one down. There are so many words I could use to describe this book, but the one that really stands out in my mind is whimsical. Forget the dual timeline, the entire thing had an air about it that...goodness, I can't really explain it, it just...all the vibes were there and it was specTACular. I could practically hear the wooden floorboards creaking as customers stepped on them and as little Rosemary and Jessamine played hide-and-seek. I felt a part of something really...special. The characters were all incredible. Like, yeah, they had problems and they kept secrets when they shouldn't have but the thing is, I understood why. If you want your characters to do the wrong thing but still be lovable, make them relatable and play on the readers' empathy. It works wonders. *nod* But anyway. Sarah, Rosemary, and Glory Ann all had their secrets, and while it got quite frustrating at times, I never felt like grabbing by their shoulders and giving them a good SHAKE—because EMPATHY. Like I said, it works wonders. Honestly, though. I just really loved all the characters. (Except Jessamine. She was an absolute brat that needed her father to apply the board of education to the seat of learning, as my own father would say. That part really did drive me absolutely batty.) Glory Ann was someone that required patience...but she's worth it. Rosemary had to be the most patient girl I know. And Sarah's heart of gold made me love her. I honestly adored Clay. Bo, though a very minor character, was still so vital to the plot and the book would never be the same without him; he was amazing. But I'd just like to take up an entire paragraph to talk about CLARENCE. Again, a minor character. But quite possibly the most important character in the entire book. Actually, I'm pretty sure he was. I'm going to avoid going into detail in case of spoilers, but...y'all. Like... *flails* I CAN'T EVEN DESCRIBE HOW INCREDIBLE CLARENCE WAS. He is an entire reason to read the book. The book wasn't suspenseful or particularly fast-paced, but I was so invested in the characters that, like I said earlier, I seriously couldn't put it down. What lesson did I learn from this book? You need to let people make their own choices; let them decide what they want to do. Don't try to decide for them. And, though I already knew this, but I'll just say it: secrets always, always come to light. Whether you want them to or not. *I received a copy of this book from the publisher for promotional purposes. All thoughts are my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rosalyn

    I really enjoyed this story. This is one of those stories that you really, REALLY don't want to stop reading. And yet, as I sat down to put my thoughts into words, I found it hard to really articulate well what I appreciated about this book. This is a story spanning numerous generations. Glory Ann. Rosemary. Sarah. Each one of them keeping secrets. Each determined to protect their family members, and only give their best. And yet, as some of these long-buried secrets come to life, there is renewal a I really enjoyed this story. This is one of those stories that you really, REALLY don't want to stop reading. And yet, as I sat down to put my thoughts into words, I found it hard to really articulate well what I appreciated about this book. This is a story spanning numerous generations. Glory Ann. Rosemary. Sarah. Each one of them keeping secrets. Each determined to protect their family members, and only give their best. And yet, as some of these long-buried secrets come to life, there is renewal and restitution in their relationships, as never before. This is a story of mothers and daughters. Of self-acceptance, forgiveness, and lots more. I loved the setting. A beautiful old depot-turned grocery store. There's just something about those old-timey stores...not very many are left, but they are so incredibly fascinating. This story is one I could sit for hours and try to tell you what is about, and yet, not reach the end of it. Amanda Cox has given us a beautiful story that is well worth reading, and perhaps, rereading. Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery is the story of three generations of women who are each hiding secrets both past and present in an attempt to protect the family they love. But instead of helping, those secrets are driving them apart. When the truth begin to come to light, will it destroy or heal a hurting family?

  16. 5 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    'It's the things we don't say that have the power to rule our lives without our permission.' When I read Amanda Cox's debut novel last year, I thought it was astounding! She was a great new voice in Christian fiction and I made sure to keep an eye out for her next offering. I was not disappointed at all in her sophomore effort. Told over the span of sixty years, the story comes alive in Cox's pen. Three women in a family feature prominently here as Cox brings them to life vividly. Each has their 'It's the things we don't say that have the power to rule our lives without our permission.' When I read Amanda Cox's debut novel last year, I thought it was astounding! She was a great new voice in Christian fiction and I made sure to keep an eye out for her next offering. I was not disappointed at all in her sophomore effort. Told over the span of sixty years, the story comes alive in Cox's pen. Three women in a family feature prominently here as Cox brings them to life vividly. Each has their own cross to bear and have born them for many years. We see their pain, joy, secrets as they deal with the life they've lived. Indeed, we feel their pain as Cox fleshes them out fully for us to see. 'It was a double-edged sword, this life of hers. Loving the blessings she had, sometimes still aching for what couldn't be.' This book explores powerfully the mother/daughter relationship and the importance of keeping lines of communication open, and the detrimental effects of secrets kept. Certainly one for the keeper shelf. Amanda Cox knows her craft well. My thanks to Revell Publishing for a copy of this book via Net Galley. I was not expected to leave a positive review . The opinion here is expressly my own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chris Jager

    It is hard to review this book because it is so good and I just want to tell you all about it. If you don’t have this one on your reading list put it there. A dynamic story of how secrets kept can destroy relationships. It is just plain and simple a good read. It is the type of book that you want to curl up with and never leave.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    A satisfying story of family & poignant reminder that it's never too late to heal the rifts that break us apart. A beautiful characterization of the sacrificial love of a father. I'm glad I took the time to listen! A satisfying story of family & poignant reminder that it's never too late to heal the rifts that break us apart. A beautiful characterization of the sacrificial love of a father. I'm glad I took the time to listen!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kelly-Ann ~ Sassy Bookish Mama

    Last year I read the debut story Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox and I completely fell in love with this author. I could not wait to read more from her. I must say that she did not disappoint. This story was so captivating and on the topic of mother-daughter relationships that I personally have not read too much in fiction about. Put all that in a dual time line story and I am completely hooked. Mrs. Cox has a great ability to pull you into a story and putting layers into her characters that mak Last year I read the debut story Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox and I completely fell in love with this author. I could not wait to read more from her. I must say that she did not disappoint. This story was so captivating and on the topic of mother-daughter relationships that I personally have not read too much in fiction about. Put all that in a dual time line story and I am completely hooked. Mrs. Cox has a great ability to pull you into a story and putting layers into her characters that make them so believable and relatable. This story has three different characters each with their own hurts and secrets. As they unravel you begin to see how everything is connected and if they would've just sat down and talked to each other and been honest things may have gone a bit smoother but God has us learn from our choices and I believe that these women definitely not only learned things about themselves but about their love for each other as family. I can't tell you too much because I am afraid I would ruin the story for you but know that you will fall in love with Glory Ann, Sarah and Rosemary. You will not want to put the book down as you journey in their lives. Oh, if you are wondering if there is romance in this story... there is and although subtle it was sweet. It was definitely the right amount and came at the right moment. Overall I thought Amanda Cox did an excellent job and I cannot wait to see what she writes next! I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kailey

    I really enjoyed this book! I loved the way the dual timelines worked together to for this story! I loved all of the characters, too. Amanda Cox is definitely an author to keep an eye on! I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Cox

    FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book. These are my honest thoughts. The atmosphere was superb in this one. That was the most mesmerizing thing for me while I was reading this book. I also thought the author nailed the dialect of small-town Southern United States. The way these characters spoke and thought made them come alive for me. The cover was amazing… until I realized there were only two letters mentioned in the story instead of the hefty stack shown on the lower porti FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book. These are my honest thoughts. The atmosphere was superb in this one. That was the most mesmerizing thing for me while I was reading this book. I also thought the author nailed the dialect of small-town Southern United States. The way these characters spoke and thought made them come alive for me. The cover was amazing… until I realized there were only two letters mentioned in the story instead of the hefty stack shown on the lower portion of the cover. Now that car… I’ll take one of those, please! So gorgeous, those curves. And I still love the tone that’s set by the cover. That was totally spot-on. Clarence was a completely compassionate gentleman. I couldn’t get enough of this guy and his love for “his girls” (his wife and daughters). His protective spirit and encouraging nature were amazing, and I wish he could have been in several more scenes. Now for the stuff I struggled with… Glory Ann recognized early that pre-marital sex and an unwed pregnancy were mistakes, BUT shortly after that, she was “not ashamed of” these things, though shame is exactly what sin should stir up in us. She also saw and spoke to her dead fiancé as if he were really still alive. That was spooky and weird. The name for the elderly ladies’ sewing club didn’t make sense to me and felt disrespectful to God. It was the “Poker Night Prayer and Sewing Circle.” They never once played poker. Why not call it simply the “Prayer and Sewing Circle”? I was completely confused at where Sarah had previously lived. I thought it was Chicago, Illinois, because Chicago was mentioned several times. Then, out of nowhere, “get back to Virginia” and “her Chicago responsibilities” were both mentioned on a single page, talking about her going home to her former place of residence for a time. At that point, I lost all bearings of where Sarah’s past took place. Having the “preacher’s wife let a cuss word fly” was not a good example of Ephesians 4:29, which says, “No foul language is to come from your mouth.” A preacher’s wife has great responsibility to lead by example because of the position of spiritual leadership her husband and she are both in, so this was definitely something that bothered me. Whenever a character was asked if she had an affair, her immediate and only response was, “No. Never.” How, then, did she end up having a baby out of wedlock? Sounds like a pre-marital affair to me. Not all affairs are when one or both parties are already married. It’s any sexual relationship outside of the bonds of marriage. An online dictionary says an affair is “an intense amorous relationship, usually of short duration,” which was exactly what happened. Therefore, the lady did have an affair, which means she also lied about not having one. Overall, this story was very atmospheric with a compassionate gentleman of a character who stood out as memorable. I’ve already heard from several other reader friends on Goodreads that they adored this story, so I’m sure other readers will as well. Content: unwed pregnancy, gambling term in a prayer group name, replacement profanity, teen drinking, drugs mentioned

  22. 5 out of 5

    Reading Fool

    I received an Advance Reader's Copy of this book. A compelling story about three generations of strong women, each with secrets that they have kept from their loved ones. The story is told in alternating chapters between the past and the present. Glory Ann and her husband Clarence own the Old Depot Grocery in Brighton, Tennessee. Old Depot is a central point in the small town, serving the community in more ways than merely being a grocery store. There they raise their daughters, Rosemary and Jess I received an Advance Reader's Copy of this book. A compelling story about three generations of strong women, each with secrets that they have kept from their loved ones. The story is told in alternating chapters between the past and the present. Glory Ann and her husband Clarence own the Old Depot Grocery in Brighton, Tennessee. Old Depot is a central point in the small town, serving the community in more ways than merely being a grocery store. There they raise their daughters, Rosemary and Jessamine, two sisters who are both high-spirited but very different from each other. In the present day, Rosemary's daughter, Sarah, comes home to Brighton following a tragedy in her life. The author weaves an engaging, entertaining story and I could not put the book down. This is a story of resilience and redemption.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    The Secret Keepers of the Old Depot Grocery is a touching tale of family, Southern ladies, and going home again. The voices in this story, matriarch Glory Ann, stubborn Rosemary, and widowed Sarah, are all distinct and engaging. I adored these ladies, as well as the secondary characters – oh my, the men in this story! They aren’t perfect, but they give it their all in terms of love and support of their families. Clarence is by far my favorite character – I admired his way of unconditionally lovi The Secret Keepers of the Old Depot Grocery is a touching tale of family, Southern ladies, and going home again. The voices in this story, matriarch Glory Ann, stubborn Rosemary, and widowed Sarah, are all distinct and engaging. I adored these ladies, as well as the secondary characters – oh my, the men in this story! They aren’t perfect, but they give it their all in terms of love and support of their families. Clarence is by far my favorite character – I admired his way of unconditionally loving his family. I think what struck me the most is that there isn’t a specific antagonist, just time and circumstance and expectations that lead the characters to make certain choices. Those choices have lasting impact on the future, but they really were just doing what was deemed right at the time. However, life is messy and complex despite the best laid plans, and secrets are bound to cause unforeseen rifts. The choice is then to either hold on to real and perceived hurts or choose to open up and forgive With this sophomore novel, Amanda Cox is officially on my list of authors I will always read. She writes the poignant nuances of life with a deft hand, creating warmth and hopefulness in her stories, while still honoring realistic situations that arise. Readers of women’s fiction and stories about family will not want to miss this trip to the Old Deport Grocery! I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This review is my honest opinion.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    This book was so good. It alternates chapters past and present. Each story just as interesting. Three generations of women with secrets. It was a page turner and I couldn’t read it fast enough. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the early copy

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dana Michael

    The Secrets Keepers of Old Depot Grocery by Amanda Cox is a beautiful story about three generations of women who have kept secrets. These secrets have kept these women from having the relationship they could have had and a misunderstanding of their true feelings. Cox is a brilliant writer and with great emotion she kept the flow moving well. I loved these characters and felt for them. Honestly, I'm not much for women's fiction. They often times are sad and melancholic and leave me feeling horrib The Secrets Keepers of Old Depot Grocery by Amanda Cox is a beautiful story about three generations of women who have kept secrets. These secrets have kept these women from having the relationship they could have had and a misunderstanding of their true feelings. Cox is a brilliant writer and with great emotion she kept the flow moving well. I loved these characters and felt for them. Honestly, I'm not much for women's fiction. They often times are sad and melancholic and leave me feeling horrible for the lot of characters. I didn't feel that way with this story. Even though circumstances were hard for these women in this book, I felt there was hope for them. There is even a thin thread of a romance. So that made me happy. Also, this book takes place in my neck of the woods in West Tennessee, so that was fun. Brighton Tennessee is in the next county over so I enjoyed that in the book as well. All in all a very enjoyable book with a happily ever after. Yay me!! *I was given a copy of this book by the publisher and this is my honest opinion.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    Oh my gosh! I'm beyond pleased with this sweet Southern tale! I loved every bit of it! I finished this book in one whole day because I wanted to see how this story played out and let me tell you I wasn't one bit disappointed. .This author sure knows how to spin a wonderful tale and one that still has my head spinning in more ways than one. What a fine story! Reminds me of Fried Green Tomatoes ( My favorite movie) of all time. There wasn't one thing that I didn't like. All of it was just awesome. Oh my gosh! I'm beyond pleased with this sweet Southern tale! I loved every bit of it! I finished this book in one whole day because I wanted to see how this story played out and let me tell you I wasn't one bit disappointed. .This author sure knows how to spin a wonderful tale and one that still has my head spinning in more ways than one. What a fine story! Reminds me of Fried Green Tomatoes ( My favorite movie) of all time. There wasn't one thing that I didn't like. All of it was just awesome. There was a character that I didn't like but that's ok. She's the one who made the story in my opinion. At times my heart went out to her. Glory Ann was my favorite. I loved how the author shows us that even our favorite characters aren't perfect and that's what I loved. It made Glory Ann strong and able to handle whatever life threw at her. There's so many wonderful inspirational messages that are woven throughout the book. Ones that we can use in our everyday lives to remind us that God is willing to help guide us on our journey through life. My thanks for a copy of this awesome book. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    Can I just say from the beginning that you should not start this until you have time to finish as I stayed up way to late saying just one more chapter just one more. It seeps into your pores and you have to know will there be healing, will the past and present collide, will there be forgiveness. I could never do this book the justice it deserves in a ten star review as I’m not that talented. Ms. Cox has astonished me with this story and I already want to read it again and yes I would probably sh Can I just say from the beginning that you should not start this until you have time to finish as I stayed up way to late saying just one more chapter just one more. It seeps into your pores and you have to know will there be healing, will the past and present collide, will there be forgiveness. I could never do this book the justice it deserves in a ten star review as I’m not that talented. Ms. Cox has astonished me with this story and I already want to read it again and yes I would probably shed tears again as I felt every nuance of their story, the pain and the joy. God gives beauty for ashes and I found that to apply in this case. An emotional read that is breathtakingly beautiful. I was captured by her first book “The Edge of Belonging “ and now rate her on my favorite author list. A must read soon book. Get ready to have your socks knocked off. I received a complimentary copy from the author/publisher. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    After reading and loving Amanda's debut novel last year, this one was high on my priority read list for this year. Trust me when I say, this one is even better than "The Edge Of Belonging" and that one was superb. "The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery" is a beautiful story of hope, redemption and family. I couldn't read this one fast enough! The ending was lovely and the story is one I devoured. I purchased an audible copy and the narration was very good. This will definitely make my top 2021 After reading and loving Amanda's debut novel last year, this one was high on my priority read list for this year. Trust me when I say, this one is even better than "The Edge Of Belonging" and that one was superb. "The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery" is a beautiful story of hope, redemption and family. I couldn't read this one fast enough! The ending was lovely and the story is one I devoured. I purchased an audible copy and the narration was very good. This will definitely make my top 2021 read list no question. It's destined for my keeper shelf. I received this book from the publisher(while purchasing my audible copy) and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

    Amanda Cox's sophomore novel is centered around the complexities of the mother-daughter relationship, the secrets we keep, and the beloved Old Depot Grocery. I was wholly captured by this story and all that it grappled with. Ok, so when the title mentions secret keepers, that is no understatement. These ladies have kept huge, life-changing secrets from one another, and to watch how this story unfolded was so interesting. The deeper I got into the book and the more the secrets were revealed to the Amanda Cox's sophomore novel is centered around the complexities of the mother-daughter relationship, the secrets we keep, and the beloved Old Depot Grocery. I was wholly captured by this story and all that it grappled with. Ok, so when the title mentions secret keepers, that is no understatement. These ladies have kept huge, life-changing secrets from one another, and to watch how this story unfolded was so interesting. The deeper I got into the book and the more the secrets were revealed to the reader, the more eager I became to see how everything would be revealed. While those secrets were kept in order to protect the people they love, it actually just complicated those relationships and made it more difficult for true connection to happen between the characters. But I love how the characters learn to share, and how that honesty would bring healing. And I loved Old Depot Grocery. It was such a hallmark of these ladies' lives and added so much warmth and dimension to the story. I could feel how connected the characters were to this place because of the history and memories that happened there. They all had so many emotions tied up in that store. Overall, I really enjoyed Amanda's new book, and it has solidified her as an author whose books I will continue to pick up. Oh, the joy of finding an author to add to the list of 'must read'! Thank you to the publisher for this gifted book in exchange for my honest review. These are my honest thoughts on the book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Abby Breuklander

    Love love and love this story! What a beautiful reminder that God's plans always prevail despite all of the twists and turns that life tries to throw at us. That there is freedom in releasing our need to control anything and everything. He knows what He's doing, we just have to step out of the way and let Him work in ways that only He can. Love love and love this story! What a beautiful reminder that God's plans always prevail despite all of the twists and turns that life tries to throw at us. That there is freedom in releasing our need to control anything and everything. He knows what He's doing, we just have to step out of the way and let Him work in ways that only He can.

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