Up at Butternut Lake is the first novel in the Butternut Lake series.

It's summer, and after ten years away, Allie Beckett has returned to her family's cabin beside tranquil Butternut Lake, where as a teenager she spent so many carefree days. She's promised her five year old son, Wyatt, they will be happy there. She's promised herself this is the place to begin again after her husband's death in Afghanistan. The cabin holds so many wonderful memories, but the moment she crosses its threshold Allie is seized with doubts. But then she reconnects with old friends, Jax and Caroline, and meets a mysterious newcomer to the lake, Walker Ford. Allie must learn to unlock the hidden longings of her heart, and to accept that in order to face the future she must also confront--and understand-what has come before. 

McNear’s charmingly light “Up at Butternut Lake” gives voice to this enduring Midwestern fantasy in easy-to-swallow prose....
It would have been simple for McNear to tie up every plot line with a neat bow, but her writing proves more complex than mere vacation fluff. Still, if you’re packing your lakeside tote and hefting the canoe to the top of your vehicle, you might want to take along “Up at Butternut Lake.” The North Woods won’t be the same without some heartfelt reading to go along with the smell of a campfire and toasting marshmallows. ——-Minneapolis Star Tribune
Up at Butternut Lake is....a mostly heartwarming story of moving on from painful parts of one’s past. Well-written with realistic characters, this novel is one that you will find yourself wanting to finish in one sitting if you can. And readers who enjoy this story will rejoice at the thought of more novels in the future set in this charming little town. —-San Francisco Book Review
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