I feel a little like I’m not equipped to review this book, like I should read it again and make sure I understand everything. You know, like I read it, I know what happens, but I’m not sure I’ll pass that quiz tomorrow morning. ;)
This is one of the books I picked up at the library book sale and added to my Fall Reading Challenge list. I was excited to read this one because I had heard good things about it and knew the author had other books I’d wanted to read as well. Then I read the first page…and saw my own darned town right there in black and white! I kid you not, Pace, Florida, right there on page one, second paragraph, second sentence. I looked over at dh and said, “We are in this book.” “Um?” “I said, we are in this book, Pace is in this book right here.” And then I read it to him…
He was tethered to the three-bedroom brick ranch where her parents still lived, half an hour away in tiny Pace, Florida.
“Half and hour away? Do they mean Pensacola?” asks dh. I quickly read ahead and sure enough, the main character of this story grew up in Pace, where we now live, and lives in Pensacola, where we grew up. SPOOKY.
I was hoping to see all kinds of references that I’d “get” and could have a secret smile at, and there were a few like the Piggly Wiggly on the state line and a mention of Pace High School and the Pensacola News Journal. But if the author had really lived here she’d know there is only one Krispy Kreme for goodness sakes. ;)
All that said, this is a good book. Well written, believable if somewhat strange characters, and a plot that keeps you reading. For me it wasn’t an easy read as there are a lot of storylines to keep track of and it gets a little muddled from time to time as we go back and forth between the past and present. It’s the kind of book you need to put down and ingest for a while before picking it back up. Even now after I have finished I am thinking back to certain scenes and connecting a few clues. While it centers on a current mystery it actually unravels lots of old family secrets and stories.
The author did a good job with the characters, although I thought the main character, Laurel, was portrayed a bit ambiguously. She lives in a fancy gated community and has a Martha Stewart life, but makes “new age art” quilts for a living. Nah, a person like that would be in downtown Pensacola, near the water in a house with pink shutters and a couch on the porch. (Believe me, they are there.) Otherwise I think the characters are well rounded and come to life very easily. A good book to pick up and dive deep into. Just don’t forget to swim to the top. ;)