Monthly Archives: July 2014

Skeletons in our closets

sweet water  We all have secrets from our past…things we’d like to keep hidden.  There are secrets hidden in every family then tends to create tension and stress present-day relationships.  Cassie Simon was only 3 years old when her mother was killed in an accident.  Her grandfather, who Cassie has no memory of, was involved in the accident…and now his death brings Cassie back to Tennessee over 20 years later.  Cassie has been living in NYC and working at an art galley.  She has a routine life, and when the call comes that she has inherited an old farmhouse in Tennessee, she jumps on the chance for a new start.  Little does she know, just what she is about to discover.

She leaves behind a boyfriend, friends and her career to start over in a small town where everyone knows her and seems to know more about her past than she does.  She meets her family and begins to learn about the tragedies that led to her mother’s death.

What I love about this story is that Cassie takes a rundown farmhouse and begins to fix it up and love it once again.  I love when stories focus on the history of a house and the people who care enough to bring them back to their former glory.  I loved the character of Cassie’s cousin, Alice.  She had spunk and charisma.  I wish I knew her….

Christina Baker Kline also wrote Orphan Train which I reviewed earlier.  Kline has the ability to connect families and their past and present together in a beautiful yet tragic way.

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Montana Mystery

home place   It has been five years since Alma has been in her hometown of Billings, Montana, and she had no plans of returning any sooner.  She was happy to leave her past in the past. (sorry for the cliché).   Her plan to stay away was derailed when news of her younger sister’s sudden death.  Vicky was found face-down in the Montana winter snow…apparently from exposure.  However, there are some things that just do not add up…things that make this death appear to be more of a murder than an accident.  For example:  why was Vicky out in the cold…alone so late at night?  Why were there wool fibers found stuffed into her mouth?  Then there are the threats coming from Rick Burlington who wants to buy the home place (Alma & Vicky’s family home) in order to mine on it….just how dangerous is he?

Vicky was the wild sister…who dappled in drugs and alcohol ans was pregnant at 16.  All these behaviors started after the tragic accident that killed both their parents and left Vicky crippled.  Alma went in the opposite direction of her sister and went to college and earned a law degree.  She  works in Seattle in a big law firm and is ready to make partner.   Now her plans have altered and she is on her way to Billings to open old wounds and discover the truth to her sister’s death.

I loved the descriptions of  Montana and the small town feel of the book.  I loved the story of Alma and her old boyfriend, Chance….it was a bit predictable…but enjoyable.

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