Publication Date: Available now from Sphere – Paperback or Ebook.
Source: Publisher review copy
Having unexpectedly lost her husband and lacking the means to support herself, Josie DiSanti and her two daughters take refuge in the small town of Mill River, to live with Josie’s aunt, Ivy. The sisters, Rose and Emily, are inseparable growing up – until a shocking tragedy tears them apart.
Years later, Rose and Emily return to Mill River for the reading of their mother’s will, where they learn that Josie would do anything to force their reconciliation: the sisters must move into neighbouring houses for the summer and work together to locate the key to Josie’s safe deposit box, which contains their inheritance. And so, left with no choice, Rose and Emily reluctantly begin their search. But in a place known for its magic and miracles, little do they know that an even greater treasure awaits them . .
A beautifully written and emotional family drama with a hint of mystery to it, I absolutely loved this story, character driven and intriguing with a wonderful sense of place and time.
It was easy to immerse myself in this world as the story ebbed and flowed backwards and forwards in time to give a picture of a family – Josie brings her children to Mill River, escaping from something, we are not sure what and over the course of time settles in and becomes an integral part of the community. Sisters Rose and Emily are inseperable but something goes horribly wrong and when we meet them at their mothers funeral, they have not been together for many years. Forced into communication by the terms of Josie’s will, a voyage of discovery begins for these two girls, one that is fascinating and emotive and will keep you turning the pages desperate to know the outcome.
There is a beautiful depth and complexity to the characters here, a story of forgiveness and redemption – neither of which are easy – and Ms Chan does not offer simple straightforward solutions but rather allows her characters to speak, to learn, to develop and accept over the course of events and the passing of time.
The best things about this book for me were firstly the true sense of community within this town that the author conveys – a place I would love to live and is now as real to me as anywhere I’ve experienced in real life. Added to that were some eclectic and wonderful supporting characters – who I believe get more of a story in Ms Chan’s first novel, The Mill River Recluse, which I must go back and read. Overall this gave a realism and quirky edge to a really graceful story.
Captivating throughout, often charming, always emotional, this was a heartfelt tale elegantly told. Highly Recommended.
Find out more here: http://www.darciechan.com/
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