From Goodreads: Thirty years ago, Martin Owenby came to New York City with dreams of becoming a writer. Now his existence revolves around cheap Scotch and weekend flings with equally damaged men. When he learns that his older brother, Leon, has gone missing, he must return to the Owenby farm in Solace Fork, North Carolina, to assist in the search. But that means facing a past filled with regrets, the family that never understood him, the girl whose heart he broke, and the best friend who has faithfully kept the home fires burning. As the mystery surrounding Leon’s disappearance deepens, so too does the weight of decades-long unresolved differences and unspoken feelings—forcing Martin to deal with the hardest lessons about home, duty, and love.
I had a hard time starting this one. I think it had to do with reading it on the Nook. I’m still not the best e-reader reader out there. And I found myself having to page back and forth rereading to get into this. But make no mistake get into it I did. Once I made it past the first couple of chapters I couldn’t put it down. Then a received a traditional print copy for Book Club Girl and I was in love.
The story is told from the perspective of four characters. There’s Martin, who has come home in the wake of the disappearance of his brother. Martin is not always the most likable character. But I always felt he was sympathetic. His story was a reminder at how hard it is to go home again but in the end learns to make peace with his past and starts to have hope for his future. Then there’s Liza-Martin’s High School girlfriend-who’s heart was broken by Martin. Liza never fully recovered from riff with Martin but now that he is home again they are able to put their past to rest. Bertie is Martin’s sister-in-law. Married to Martin and Leon’s brother James, Bertie has carried a terrible secret with the power the tear the family apart. Bertie has become a frightened and timid woman and now, Leon’s disappearance threatens to bring the past smack dab into the present. Finally, we hear from Ivy, Martin, James, and Leon’s sister. Ivy has always been different. She can see ghosts of family members who have passed and babies yet to be born. Her own sad history gives her insights others have missed. She also holds the key to what really happened to Leon.
This is a beautifully written story and I’m so glad I’ll get a chance to discuss it with the author. On March 1st Book Club Girl is hosting Heather Newton on Blog Talk Radio. I just can’t wait. One of the things that I found most fascinating how she chose to write this book; Martin, Liza, and Bertie’s portions of the story are all told in the third person where as Ivy’s is told in the first person. I don’t remember reading a book where this style was used. I have my own idea on why she may have done this but I can’t wait to get to talk to her myself. If you’ve read it or are even thinking of it head over the Book Club Girl‘s blog on the first and have a listen. I’m sure in will be great.