Synopsis: Laurel Gray Hawthorne wasn't seen a ghost in the thirteen years she and her husband have lived in their beautiful gated community. Then, in the dog days of a Florida August, she wakes to find Molly, her duaghter's best friend, standing by her bed, who then leads her to her own small body floating lifelessly in the Hawthornes' pool. Laurel's carefully constructed existence cracks, and the past seeps through ...
Laurel and her sister, Thalia, grew up in what looked like a typical blue-collar home. But the Grays have been hiding a skeleton in their closet. While Laurel built her "perfect" life, Thalia became an actress with a capital A, a woman who doesn't fit in Laurel's tidy world. Now Molly can't rest until someone learns her secrets. Laurel turns to her sister, and together they begin a journey that will unearth their family's history, the true state of Laurel's marriage, and what really happened to the girl who stopped swimming.
First Line: "Until the drowned girl came to Laurel's bedroom, ghosts had never walked in Victorianna,"
Random Quote: "They had left behind America, even the disposable Wal-Mart culture of regular American poverty. In DeLop, nothing was disposable, because nothing was ever replaced. Everything was saved and stored and kept in decaying heaps."
Review: This is not a book I would normally have picked up, but I got a copy to review on my blog from Hatchette Group publishers so I read it & I'm glad I did.
Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr
This was a really fun read! The story of the two sisters trying to come to terms with their pasts & their differences amidst a murder mystery that came floating up to the more conventional sister's door is compelling, funny, & very human.
The author has said that this is a book about poverty &, although only the last quarter of the book is spent in DeLop, AL, the grandmother's hometown & the site of bone-crushing phyical poverty, there is poverty of one kind or another throughout this book - poverty of language, poverty of understanding, poverty of attention & caring.
So many of us live shut off in gated communities going from cookie cutter house to picture perfect office rarely truly seeing a world around us that doesn't look just like us. By the same token, an equal number of us go from our groovy lofts to our political meeting to the alternative art space run by our friend's lover's hairdresser & we tend to hold others in contempt, as well. In the end, perhaps a reconciliation is in order between all of us - that & a bit more tolerance might just make the world turn a little more peacefully.
Don't forget to visit my giveaway for a chance to win this book! I have 5 copies to give & you have until 5/13 to enter!
Feeding America - the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief charity, with network members supplying food to more than 25 million Americans each year. Their network of more than 200 food banks serves all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.The Feeding America network secures and distributes more than 2 billion pounds of donated food and grocery products annually.
Kiva - Kiva’s mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty. Kiva is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world.
The Meals on Wheels Association of America - The Meals On Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) is the oldest and largest organization in the United States representing those who provide meal services to people in need. MOWAA’s mission is to provide visionary leadership and professional training and to develop partnerships that will ensure the provision of quality nutrition services to seniors in need.