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The Awful Mess: A Love Story


  • Sandra Hutchison


  • Divorce
  • Single Women
  • Contemporary
  • Literary
  • Humor
  • Romance

What if the dream you gave up on finally came true ... at the worst possible time?

Divorced by a husband who wants children she can’t have, editor Mary Bellamy starts over in tiny, affordable Lawson, New Hampshire. All she wants is peace and quiet and maybe a cat.

But the unhappily-married Episcopal priest who's trying to save her heathen soul might be susceptible to more earthly temptations. And the handsome local cop who's also an excellent kisser confuses her by being in favor of gay rights, but opposed to sex before marriage.

Soon Mary's keeping a scandalous secret at great cost to her own happiness. Worse, her disintegrating ex-husband threatens what little she has left.

In this witty and affectionate tale of small town life, Mary may discover the connections she's made can bring her not only terrifying risks, but unexpected blessings.

If you'd like to spend time in a small town where differences in politics, religion, and general crankiness don't stop people from lending each other a helping hand, you'll love Lawson, New Hampshire. And if you enjoy compelling characters, page-turning suspense, and a satisfying romance, you'll love THE AWFUL MESS. Start reading it today!

A semifinalist for the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.


"It renews me as a reader, to enjoy a book so much; and as a writer, see it done so well." – Tim Farrington, author of THE MONK DOWNSTAIRS

“…utterly delightful and refreshing, with believable, unique characters that drew me in right from the beginning.” – Anne M. Bennett

"THE AWFUL MESS is a wonderful read!" – Julia Spencer-Fleming, author of IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER

"Read THE AWFUL MESS: A LOVE STORY and you'll go to bed more optimistic than when you got up today." – Hard to Please Book Lover

"I enjoyed the writing, cared about the characters, and kept turning the pages to find out what would happen next!" – Alec Hastings

“The characters are unforgettable. Our 'heroine' is as believably funny, self-critical, bull-headed, and resourceful as your best friend.” – E. Browne

“5 of 5 Stars.... Yes, it's romance and a love story, but it's much much much more than that.” – Sue Ward

Includes group discussion questions.

The Sex and Language Warning: This book has some bad behavior in it, including a couple of sex scenes and some language some might prefer to avoid.

The Religion Warning: This book contains religious themes, but if you require piety and reverence in such matters, this book is not for you. Skeptics will probably be able to cope.