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Monday, February 18, 2013

Gentle Family Drama Sprinkled With Pure Magic

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

There are many things 39-year-old Abby Brink doesn't know about her father—like where he's been for the last 40 years and why he left in the first place.  She's heard stories about him all her life.  Some of them can only be myths, made-up tales to explain the great emptiness her mother's felt ever since Sam Winston disappeared.  Because, surely, the skies don't weep over human folly and walnut trees don't stop producing fruit when their favorite son vanishes, never to return.  These things can't be true, but Abby believes them because she, too, has a Sam-shaped hole in her heart.

When Abby finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she doesn't know how to feel.  It's not that she doesn't want a child, it's only that she thought her time had passed.  Like her relationship with the baby's father.  Not knowing what else to do, she heads home to Missouri.  She craves the quiet and calm she can only find at Walnut Ridge, the land once owned by the Winston Family, now cared for by Abby's mother, Gretchen.  

But, a mysterious tornado blows in just ahead of Abby, leaving something odd in its wake:  a man.  The stranger can't remember who he is or how he arrived in Walnut Ridge.  Abby, Gretchen and Gretchen's blind  aunts are all convinced he's Sam Winston.  Others believe he's a con man, out to steal Gretchen's heart, along with her land.  Is the man really Sam, or are the women just seeing what they want to see?  And if it is Sam, will he reveal the damning secret Gretchen's been keeping all this time?  What will happen if the truth comes out?  Can Gretchen survive having her heart ripped apart again?  Can Abby?  

There's much to praise about Susan McBride's newest novel, The Truth About Love and Lightning.  First, there are the complex, but relatable characters; then, the vivid, atmospheric setting; also the story's gentle, engaging tone; and, of course, the mysticism that lends an otherworldly magic to this compelling family drama.  I pretty much adored everything about the book.  It kept me reading, it kept me hoping, it kept me smiling, it kept me believing.  If you enjoy uplifting stories that renew your faith in the powers of family, forgiveness and love, then this is most certainly the book for you.  Give it a whirl and you'll see what I mean.    

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can really think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:  B+

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  PG-13 for language (no F-bombs) and mild sexual content/innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of The Truth About Love and Lightning from the generous folks at Harper Collins.  Thank you! 


1 comment:

  1. Oooo, this one sounds very intriguing. Different from what I usually read but good.


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