This is the story of Laura Gantt. She is returning to the small Georgia town she ran from twelve years earlier when she was eighteen. At that time, her father had recently drowned, her relationship with her mom, Jess, was rocky, and her boyfriend Sean was pushing her to marry him. She decided to escape it all, and go to Colorado to get her teaching degree. After receiving a teaching job there, she has rarely been back home. However, her mother’s sudden death causes her to come back after school ends to clean out her old house.
Laura’s return brings her back in touch with her mom, her dad and Sean. Her mom had kept journals for years, and Laura begins to read them, hoping to get closer to her, even though Jess has passed away. Sean has been waiting for Laura all this time, loving her, and still wanting to be married. Although she does love him, she wants the two of them to be really good friends. Laura wants things to be the way they were as kids, before romance was part of their relationship. Laura also finds that rumors are running wild through the town. People claim they have seen her dad traipsing through the woods, and sometimes on the edges of town. Her heart hopes this could really be true, but Sean and those close to her tell her this is impossible.
This story has lots of twists and turns. Before it is all over, discoveries are made that involve murder and a marital affair. A shadowy figure sometimes lurks around Laura’s house at night. Woven in and out of the story is Sean’s alcoholic father. He is a vicious child abuser, who spent time in jail because of it, and now wants revenge toward the person who turned him in.
There is also a side story that involves Cassie, a childhood friend, that happens to be in town at the same time Laura is. That story did not seem to be developed enough. There needed to either be more depth to Cassie’s story, or not develop her story at all.
Throughout the book, the author often uses the acronym PTSD without explaining what that stands for. I don’t think post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is part of the general vocabulary of most readers. The author needed to explain those initials, and define them.
This book is classified as Christian fiction, and there are some Christian references. However, most of the main characters are questioning God, and this tale never gets them beyond that to a firmer foundation of faith. It felt like they were left in spiritual limbo.
I have read other works by this author, and think she writes well. I love mysteries, and even a good love story, but this book didn’t work for me, something about it was off-key. I really don’t have an objection to the individual parts of this story, but it is similar to when a puzzle is being put together, and the pieces just don’t fit. That is the way this book felt to me as a whole, so give this tale three stars.
The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner.
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Author Bio: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/author-spotlight.php?authorid=123046