This is the third book by Christina Baker Kline that I have read this year, and all of them have hooked me from the start. This story flashes back to 1986. High school graduation. 6 friends sitting around a bonfire celebrating. One decides to call it an early night and heads off into the darkness. She is never seen again.
Flash forward 10 years. Jennifer has still not been found…not a trace. The friends have all drifted apart and moved away from their tiny town in Maine. The story focuses on Jennifer’s best friend, Kathryn. Kathryn has moved to Virginia to start a career in journalism and get married. Now she finds herself divorced after two short years and out of a job. So she heads back to the only place she knows….home. She is depressed and discovers that she is returning home a few weeks before her ten-year high school reunion.
She reconnects with Jack, one of the original 6 from the night Jennifer disappeared. Jack now works at the local newspaper and asks her to do a piece for the paper on Jennifer and the status of the past ten years. Kathryn is hesitant, but she agrees. Once she begins to dig deep into the past that she realizes that she never really knew Jennifer. Jennifer had secrets, and Kathryn is hoping these secrets lead her to Jennifer. However, there is someone who knows that Kathryn is getting dangerously close.
The book is filled with suspense, love, sadness and danger. The characters are authentic and vivid….you love some, hate others and are just creeped out by a few. Kathryn’s ex-husband is such an obnoxious character, but he is written perfectly. Another must read by Christina Baker Kline.
This is the second book in a trilogy by Mary McNear called Butternut Summer. I have not read the first one, but I did some research and it is not necessary to read them in order. The three books all take place on Butternut Lake and involve three friends (Allie, Jax and Caroline) who live there. Each book is about a different character and her story. This second installment follows Caroline who is in her early 40’s and has a daughter, Daisy, who is twenty-one years old and home for the summer from college. Caroline’s husband left them when Daisy was only 3 and has not returned until now. He has inherited a small, run-down cabin on Butternut Lake and has return to repair the cabin as well as the life he left so long ago. Caroline is skeptical of his return and does not welcome him; however, Daisy is happy and open to forgive her father. Caroline fell in love passionately with her ex, Jack Keegan, when she was quite young. Jack was sexy, charismatic and made her swoon. Her parents were against the marriage, but Caroline married him only to have her heart-broken within five years. Can she trust him? Can she trust herself?
Meanwhile, Daisy has fallen hard for Bad Boy, Will, and her mother is warning her against it. She doesn’t want Daisy to make the same mistakes she made. Will has a past of his own and has never been in love….will Daisy be able to change his life or will she end up hurt and alone….just like her mother?
A very quick, fast-paced read….I am a sucker for a sweet romance and this was a perfect end of the summer read for me.
* The final book in this trilogy has not been released yet.
This is the first novel by Sarah Creech, and I was impressed. I had this book sitting on my shelf for a little while and kept putting off reading it. The description did not grab my full attention: family perfume business run by women…blah blah blah…why did I want to read about perfume? Let me tell you, I assumed quite incorrectly. The story is sensual, heartwarming, painful, full of magic and mystery and there are a few attractive men thrown in and they seem to know their way around a woman. Wink-wink.
The story follows the Lenore women of the Blue Ridge Mountains who have had an unusual and extremely successful business making perfume from a rare gardenia. They only sell the perfume to a select few who are willing to pay millions for it. They have been able to keep their perfume a secret for over three generations, but now something has changed. The flowers are dying. Willow and her two daughters, Mya and Lucia, must find a way to save the business without giving up their secret as well as find a way to love each other and find love themselves.
I loved the characters….the men were adorable…Ben, Luke and James. The women were all unique with their own distinct voices….I read this in a rushed frenzy drinking in the lives of these characters in the picturesque town of Quartz Hollow.