Describe the plot without giving anything away.Piper Mills thought herself immune to further tragedy after the deaths of her parents. But, then a terrible horse-riding accident nearly killed her and left her with pain and wounds that were more than skin deep. Six years on, her life is bland and unchanging as she works doing geneological research and continues to limp through life. Then, the death of her grandfather starts her on a new quest to uncover the long-buried secrets of her grandmother's past and the woman Annabelle O'Hare was long before Alzheimer's Disease claimed her memories.
A key, some scrapbook pages and a charm lead her to the home of her grandmother's childhood best friend, Lily. But, will Lily be willing to reveal their painful history, or will their stories be lost forever?
Describe a favorite scene.I liked finding out what that key opened up.
What did you think about the characters?Helen, Lily's blind granddaughter, was my absolute favorite; she was a real spitfire. I liked Piper, but I found she and most of the other characters were lacking something. I'm not sure if the timing was wrong for me or they're genuinely bland, but I particularly had trouble caring about Annabelle's past and even found the timeline of Annabelle's descent into Alzheimer's and the early years Piper spent with her grandparents rather confusing. I did want Piper's life to improve. She seemed like a person who had at one time had tremendous inner strength and I was rooting for her to find new meaning in her life.
What did you like most about the book?I think I was most fond of the metamorphosis in Piper and the potential for romance to eventually develop with Lily's son.
Was there anything you didn't like about the book?In my opinion, it was extremely predictable. I had almost everything figured out before it was explained and that may account from my feeling that the book was a bit bland. There was one surprise at the end -- not enough to rock my boat, but enough to make the ending a little better than expected. I liked the author's writing enough that I still am very anxious to read The House on Tradd Street
Recommended?Yes. While I didn't think the book was brilliant and I thought the writing was a tad on the cliché side, it was still good and I enjoyed it. I'm also leaning toward the thought that the timing was bad for me -- you should probably take that into account. I began reading this book on the plane at the end of a tiring vacation and I'm still a bit sapped of my youthful energy. I think it's a pleasant read and that hint of mystery might be more enjoyable to others than it was to me.
Cover thoughts:I love the cover. Gardening figures heavily into the characterization and the flowers and background fit nicely. The pretty floral dress appears at some point -- I can't remember when, but I remember the "Aha!" moment when I realized the description of a particular dress fit the cover image. I think that floral skirt also somehow symbolizes youth and hope to me.
Up next:I'm going to back-track and write brief reviews of the two books I finished in Costa Rica: Real Solutions for Busy Moms by Kathy Ireland and Spiced by Dalia Jurgensen. However, I'll have to squeeze those in between blog tour posts. I'm currently reading one of this week's tour books, So Not Happening by Jenny B. Jones, and finding it absolutely hilarious.
My sidebar is completely out of date.Pardon me while I catch up with myself. I hope to amend that, soon.
My latest Poppet acquisition is nameless and only posed once on the trip to Costa Rica. Here you see Poor Nameless Dr. Poppet gazing out at the beautiful green landscape from our balcony in Monteverde. Lucky Poppet, eh?