Last year I read and reviewed this author’s first book, The Widows. I thought it was a fantastic book, one that seemed very much the work of a seasoned author. I was very, very excited to receive this second novel in the series from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press; thank you!! I adored this book although I do acknowledge that it covers some very difficult topics.
The plot has much to do with events that happened in this small, mountain, Ohio community during the Civil War. Those occurrences have haunted lives and are re-awakened in the present. The past and present intertwine as, during both time periods, there were many strains, struggles and injustices centered on race and discrimination. Kudos to the author for making the time period vivid and memorable, if not easy. Readers will learn something about the WKKK, an organization that I wish had never existed and about women who could be placed in asylums by the men in their lives. Mysteries will be solved but not in a merry, we can all be happy sort of way.
The characters are so well portrayed. They are complex, struggling, some honorable, some not. The main protagonist, Lily, a female sheriff, is beautifully brought to life as are her close friends Marvena and a struggling Hildy. I was so happy to meet up with them again.
This new novel can be read as a standalone. However, you may be so caught up in the lives of these people and their time, that you will read both novels in some order.
I give this book five stars, something that I do not do lightly or often. If you enjoy this one, I would also highly recommend that you read the books by Julia Keller.