By Phaedra Parks
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Family secrets are at the heart of this novel – the things we convince ourselves it’s better to keep hidden, but better for who?
I generally enjoyed this novel from Phaedra Parks. It was a quick read, well paced, and I’m always a fan of a bit of mystery (though I lean more towards murder mystery, a la Agatha Christie if I’m being honest). Martha is a really well-thought out character and you truly get a sense of her inner-dialogue and understand why she behaves the way she does. Frankly, I think I identify with her more than I’d like to admit. Parks successfully used a trope common in historical fiction, the juxtaposition of switching in between timeframes to set the stage for what’s to come.
I did find it a little maudlin at times, and I think the characters were far too generous in regards to forgiveness than most people would be in real life.
I confess to liking my mysteries tied up in a neat little bow. I don’t want open-ended cliffhangers and ambiguous endings. There are a lot of threads in this novel and they tie together quite nicely. Overall, nothing groundbreaking, but it’s charming and enjoyable read nonetheless.