One of our recommended books is A Good Measure by Nan Rossiter


Return to Tybee Island off the coast of Georgia in USA Today bestselling author Nan Rossiter’s third Savannah Skies novel, a heartwarming story about love, acceptance, finding your place in the world, and learning to carry on in the face of overwhelming loss.

It has been eight months since Libby Tennyson’s husband, Jack, passed away, and now every afternoon when the fiery sun sinks below the horizon, she finds herself wandering through the empty old farmhouse in which they raised their six sons. Melancholy hour, she calls it—the time of day that was once a flurry of dinner,

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Return to Tybee Island off the coast of Georgia in USA Today bestselling author Nan Rossiter’s third Savannah Skies novel, a heartwarming story about love, acceptance, finding your place in the world, and learning to carry on in the face of overwhelming loss.

It has been eight months since Libby Tennyson’s husband, Jack, passed away, and now every afternoon when the fiery sun sinks below the horizon, she finds herself wandering through the empty old farmhouse in which they raised their six sons. Melancholy hour, she calls it—the time of day that was once a flurry of dinner, homework, and chores, but with her sons grown and on their own, she grieves for all she has lost—and worries about what the future holds for her youngest son, twenty-eight-year-old Chase.

All the Tennyson boys are handsome—but there’s something about Chase that has always made women swoon. Growing up in the shadow of his older brothers, Chase was different—gentler, kinder, a boy with a big heart who looked after those most vulnerable. Though his family loves him deeply, Chase never felt he could truly be himself until he met Liam Evans, his partner in business and love. After six years, Chase and Liam are ready to make a lifetime commitment…yet both feel apprehensive including their very traditional families in their wedding planning.

But life is full of surprises, and Libby finds unexpected hope in her new stage of life when she connects with The Guild, a group of widows who get together every Thursday evening for wine, laughter, and companionship. Here, Libby not only discovers a safe space, but a place of honesty, and…growth. And while Chase and Libby may not see eye to eye every time, they can both always agree that love truly does win.

After all, a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, is always poured back…because for all the measure you use, it will be measured to you!

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  • Harper Paperbacks
  • Paperback
  • April 2022
  • 336 Pages
  • 9780063076242

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About Nan Rossiter

Nan Rossiter is the author of A Good MeasureNan Rossiter is the award-winning and bestselling author of seven novels, including The Gin & Chowder Club. Nan lives in Connecticut with her husband, Bruce, and a noble black Lab named Finn. They are the parents of two handsome sons who have decided to grow up and strike out on life journeys of their own. When she’s not working, Nan enjoys hiking or curling up with a good book.


“Sinking into a Nan Rossiter story is like coming home.”Robyn Carr

“A sweet read perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.”KT Book Reviews on Promises to Keep

“A multi-leveled, beautifully written story that will glow in readers’ hearts long after the last page is turned.”-Kristan Higgins, New York Times bestselling author on Promises of the Heart

“Rossiter’s writing style is compelling. The setup of the novel provides a number of passages that tug at the reader’s heartstrings, and the situations evoke realistic compassion.”Houston News




LIGHT BLUE FLAMES LICKED THE DENTED BOTTOM OF THE OLD COPPER TEAKETTLE, making it rock like an unsteady sailor. A moment later, the soft whistle emanating from its spout escalated into an urgent scream. To some, the sound—like the cry of a hungry baby—might be unnerving, but to Libby Tennyson it was welcome. She hurried into the kitchen, carrying the small denim overalls she’d been mending and clicked off the burner. The ancient kettle squeaked and sputtered indignantly, and then—like a baby that has just latched on—settled contentedly. Libby poured steaming water into the pot and dunked a single bag several times before putting the top on to let it steep. The delicate Wedgewood china—miraculously unchipped—two-cup pot and vintage kettle had both been handed down to her from her grandmother, and Libby had never been able to make a “pot of comfort” without thinking of the indomitable force of nature that Gram had been.

Elisabeth McCormack Jansen, or “Bet,” as she’d been called by her husband—and after whom Libby had been named—was a new wife and expectant mother when the Great Sadness—as she called it—struck the nation, and one of the many lessons the young woman learned during those lean years was that two—even three—cups of tea, strong enough to provide a measure of comfort, could be made from a single bag. Bet Jansen’s thrift was legendary. Her family loved to recount her resourcefulness—from canning and pickling every kind of fruit and vegetable (including watermelon rind!) to being able to “make do” with whatever she had on hand, even concocting a delectable, hearty version of Stone Soup (minus the stone) with the last of the root vegetables in her cellar. She also had the eccentric habit of mixing breakfast cereals, and whenever her grandchildren declined to give her favorite combination—Corn Flakes and Honey Grahams—a try, she’d tease: You don’t know what you’re missing! She washed and reused aluminum foil, served boiled hot dogs on toasted white bread, smothered with spicy mustard and sweet homemade pickle relish, had the mildly obsessive habit (before OCD was a diagnosis) of wrapping her bread in two plastic bags to keep it fresh, and she religiously touted the health benefits of prune juice, insisting that one small glass kept her “regular” while dutifully squeezing a small daily glass of fresh OJ for her husband. To say that Henrik Jansen was not a fan of the thick brown substance of which his wife sang praises would be an understatement. In fact, whenever she offered him some, he made a silly scrunched-up face that made his grandchildren fall apart in giggles . . . and made Gram roll her eyes. Gram had been a tiny wisp of a woman with a heart the size of Tennessee, and although her spitfire spirit and stalwart faith had the power to move mountains, she maintained her frugal ways all her life, even after her cup once again overflowed with blessings. And her youngest granddaughter—and namesake—was cut from the same cloth.

Libby set her hen-shaped egg timer for seven minutes—just like her grandmother had—and waited for her tea to steep. It was true—she and Gram had a great many things in common—so many, in fact, that her grandfather had teasingly called her Mini-Bet. Not only had they shared the same name, but Libby had also inherited her grandmother’s cornflower blue eyes and kind smile, her silky brunette-turned-prematurely-silver hair, and her never-idle hands; and both women, try as they might to have daughters, had only given birth to sons—Bet, five strapping boys, the youngest of whom was Libby’s dad, Dutch; and Libby, six of her own—and now, Libby mused wistfully, they had one more thing in common—the aching sadness of becoming widows at much too young an age.

Libby watched the sun slip out from behind the slate-gray clouds and make its first appearance of the day before sinking below the dark horizon. It had been raining since dawn. The weatherman said there was even a chance of snow!—a rare occurrence in eastern Tennessee, especially in late April, but at that moment, the fiery orb was sending coral streaks across the sliver of cobalt sky, and casting an ethereal golden light on the ancient oak tree that stood like a sentinel in the middle of their windswept fields. The Tennyson Tree, the boys called it—the tree under which Cale—and now Jack—were buried.

Melancholy hour, Libby thought—the time of day that had once kept her so busy making dinner, helping her boys with homework, and prodding them to finish their chores that she hadn’t had time to notice the setting sun. But now, as it streamed through the windows, washing the walls with a golden light, all she could hear was the tumbling teasing voices of her sons echoing through the rooms, along with her husband’s stern commands. A lifetime of memories. Sweet memories.

It had been eight months since Jack died and Libby still couldn’t believe he was gone. She kept expecting him to come through the door and pull her into a playful hug. Tall, handsome, and strong as a bear, Jack’s six-foot-four frame and larger-than-life personality had filled a room, but after a valiant—albeit brief—battle with cancer, he’d become a shadow of the man she’d married. And then, on a sun-kissed summer day—the kind of day that should have found him out baling hay or harvesting corn—he’d succumbed to the dreadful disease, and his fighting spirit had slipped away, a whisper on the wind. Four months after that, Dutch died, too. Her two anchors in life taken from her, and it had been more than she could bear.

She turned from the window, poured a cup of tea, and held it in her hands, letting the heat seep into her aching joints. “Oh, Jack,” she whispered, feeling tears sting her eyes, but when she heard the knob of the mudroom door turn, she quickly brushed them away.

“Grandma?” a small voice called.

“In here,” Libby called back.

“Oh, no! Hold on . . .” the flustered voice called, and then, “Dang it, Gran! Is it okay if Goodness and Mercy come in? Because they’re in!”

“It’s okay, hon,” Libby assured her granddaughter as the two tiger cats—one orange, one gray—scampered across the worn linoleum. She smiled, remembering how Chase—who had an affinity for rescuing and befriending orphaned animals—found two kittens behind the shed when he was around seven years old, and it had been at around the same time he’d been tasked with memorizing the Twenty-Third Psalm, so when the kittens imprinted on him and started following him everywhere he went, he christened them with their biblical names.

“Sorry,” Ellie said as she kicked her barn boots onto the mat. “Cats are so sneaky—they just slink around, spying on you. I think they were waiting in the shadows for me to open the door.”

“Probably,” Libby said, chuckling as she watched the cats curl up together on the soft fleecy dog bed near the woodstove. “Are you and Dad done milking?”

“Almost. Uncle Eli and Uncle Grayson are helping him. He said I could come in for a minute. Boy, it’s really gettin’ to be mud season out there!”

Libby nodded, remembering all too well the mud and manure her six sons and husband tromped through when they were feeding and milking their five hundred cows. The washing, hanging, ironing, and folding of laundry (not to mention the pairing of socks!) had been endless. She certainly didn’t miss it . . . or did she? Now, the thankless chore fell to her sons’ wives. Matt, Eli, and Grayson continued to run the farm, but they’d all married country girls who’d known the mud they were getting into.

“Would you like a cup of tea?” she asked, eyeing her granddaughter.

“Earl Gray?” the little girl asked hopefully, shaking off the chill and holding her hands out to the woodstove.

“Is there any other kind for a day like today?”

Ellie swept her blond hair out of her cornflower blue eyes—a combination of genetic traits that ran as strong as thistle in the stubborn Tennyson line. “Lemon, too, please.”

Libby poured a second cup, squeezed in a slice of lemon, picked up the overalls, and brought both to the table. “These are little Jack’s.”

Ellie eyed the knees. “Were you able to patch ’em?”

“Does a cow give milk?”

The little girl smiled. “How come you always do that, Grandma?”

“Do what?”

“Answer a question with a question.”

“How come you ask so many questions?”

“You just did it again!” Ellie exclaimed. She held her hands over the cup and breathed in the fragrant citrusy steam. “Grampa used to do it, too,” she added, smiling. “I miss him . . . and Dutch.”

“Me too,” Libby said, “and I think it comes from having so many children asking so many questions all the time.”

Ellie blew softly on the surface of her tea. “Why did you have so many kids?”

“So we could put them to work, of course,” her grandmother teased, as if the answer should be obvious. “As you well know, there are plenty of chores around here.”

“True,” the little girl agreed. From the moment she’d been able to walk, Ellie had accompanied her dad to her grandparents’ farm to “help” with all those chores—from feeding the chickens to leaning her cheek against the warm belly of a big bovine and skillfully tug on its smooth teats, squirting fresh milk into a bucket or into the open mouth of one of the many barn cats that patrolled the premises. Ellie had been—as her dad loved to tease—born an old farmhand. Now she eyed her grandmother. “Gran, did you ever want a girl?”

Libby nodded. “Oh, yes. I have so many recipes and kitchen secrets to pass along . . .”

“Good thing you have me,” the spunky ten-year-old chirped.

“Good thing!” Libby agreed.

“Mom says I broke the all-boy streak.”

“You did indeed . . . and now we have Maddie on our team, too.”

Ellie nodded, thinking about her younger brother and all her cousins. Out of ten Tennyson grandchildren, only two were girls—Ellie and her newest cousin, Madison . . . and although there were two more buns in the oven—as her mom, Jodi, liked to say, the gender reveal confetti for both expectees had been blue. “Maybe Uncle Gage and Uncle Chase will have girls.”

“Maybe,” Libby replied, trying to tuck away her worry by taking a sip of tea. Gage, her second oldest, at thirty-seven, had recently gotten engaged, and he and his fiancée, Maeve Lindstrom, were planning to get married on the farm in June, but Libby didn’t know what the future held for her youngest son. At twenty-eight, Chase’s life was unfolding in ways she hadn’t expected—or maybe she’d just been in denial, and with a mother’s heart, she worried—despite Gage’s reassurance—that Chase might never experience the wonder of being a dad.

“What’s wrong, Grandma?” Ellie asked softly.

Libby looked up, instantly pulled back to the present, and mustered a smile. “Nothing, hon,” she lied, and then eyed her granddaughter’s cup. “Would you like some more tea?”

“Maybe a spot,” Ellie replied, mimicking her favorite British TV character, Hyacinth Bucket. “Just to warm it up,” she added with a grin.

Libby brought the teapot over and warmed up both of their cups.

“We have to remember to watch The Great British Baking Show and Keeping Up Appearances this Saturday,” Ellie said, thinking ahead to her weekly sleepover night, a routine that had begun shortly after her grandfather died.

“Don’t we always?”

“We didn’t last week.”

“Why is that?” Libby asked, frowning.

“Because we played cribbage and lost track of time.”

“Oh, right,” Libby said, nodding.

Just then, the mudroom doorknob turned again, and a second later, Libby’s third-oldest son, Matt, peered in, his cheeks ruddy from working outside. “You ready, kiddo?”

“Hello to you, too,” Libby said.

“Hi, Mom,” he said, smiling. “I’d come in, but I don’t think it would make you happy,” he said, gesturing to his muddy boots.

“That’s quite all right,” Libby said, nodding as Ellie wrapped her arms around her.

“See you tomorrow, Gran. The sun’s supposed to come out.”

“Do you think we’ll recognize it?” Libby teased, squeezing her.

“I’m told it’s a big fiery ball,” Ellie said, laughing.

“Well, we’ll just have to keep an eye out for it then.”

“Love you.”

“Love you, too. Don’t forget your brother’s overalls.”

“Oh, right!” Ellie said, picking them up. “Thanks . . . and thanks for the tea.”

“You’re welcome.”

Through the kitchen window, Libby watched her son and granddaughter walk to his truck and then glanced at the kitchen clock—it was still early enough. She could easily make it down to the Coffee Bean. She didn’t have to stay long—just long enough to say hello to her two oldest friends and the other ladies from town who’d lost their husbands in recent years. She bit her lip, considering, then looked down at her clothes. She’d have to change . . . and it was getting dark—she didn’t like to drive in the dark . . . not to mention she still had more mending . . . and she wanted to get up early and have the coffee ready when the boys got there in the morning. Maybe next time, she thought. She poured the last of the tea into her cup, put another log in the old Vermont Castings woodstove, and walked back to her sewing chair with Goodness and Mercy trotting after her.