Category Archives: Historical (70s)

Review: Setting Free the Kites by Alex George

Title: Setting Free the Kites by Alex George
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Historical (70s), Fiction
Length: 334 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Penguin’s First to Read Program

Summary:

From the author of the “lyrical and compelling” (USA Today) novel A Good American comes a powerful story of two friends and the unintended consequences of friendship, loss, and hope.

For Robert Carter, life in his coastal Maine hometown is comfortably predictable. But in 1976, on his first day of eighth grade, he meets Nathan Tilly, who changes everything. Nathan is confident, fearless, impetuous—and fascinated by kites and flying. Robert and Nathan’s budding friendship is forged in the crucible of two family tragedies, and as the boys struggle to come to terms with loss, they take summer jobs at the local rundown amusement park. It’s there that Nathan’s boundless capacity for optimism threatens to overwhelm them both, and where they learn some harsh truths about family, desire, and revenge.

Unforgettable and heart-breaking, Setting Free the Kites is a poignant and moving exploration of the pain, joy, and glories of young friendship.

Review:

Setting Free the Kites by Alex George is a nostalgic yet poignant coming of age novel which takes place on the coast of Maine during the mid seventies.

In 2016, the demolition of a long vacant paper mill is the catalyst for Robert Carter’s recollections of his long ago friendship with Nathan Tilly.  The two boys meet in 1976 after Nathan’s family relocates to Haverford from Texas.  Thirteen year old Robert notices Nathan right away, but he is more concerned about bully Hollis Calhoun than making new friends. Just as Hollis is visiting a new torture on his poor, beleaguered victim, bold and brash Nathan steps in to rescue Robert.  Nathan’s adventurous spirit and indomitable zest for life is the perfect foil for Robert’s more cautious approach to life and the two boys enjoy many fun-filled exploits over the course of their friendship.

The youngest of the Carter sons, Robert is often eclipsed by his older brother Liam who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy.  Their parents dote on Liam while his health deteriorate as his disease worsens.  Robert adores Liam yet he is ever mindful of the very different relationships the two boys have with their parents.  Not one to rock the boat (or break the rules), Robert tries to keep out of trouble and the limelight since his parents have enough to worry about with Liam’s illness.

Robert’s unexpected friendship with Nathan is one escapade after another as the two boys run free and embark on fun-filled days out of the sight of their parents.  Nathan’s unbridled optimism is a stark contrast to Robert’s fears and concerns yet Robert is always quick to overcome his doubts about whatever exploit Nathan proposes.  Even in the midst of heartbreaking losses, they manage to find a way to step outside their grief and find happiness in each other’s company.  Not even the mundane jobs they undertake at Robert’s family amusement park can put a damper on their exploits but even the strongest bonds can be tested when one of the boys discovers his first love.

While the overall story is incredibly heartfelt and enjoyable, there are a few things that occur toward the end of the novel that need mentioning.  Without giving away any spoilers, here are a few observations about the most notable revelations and plot twists.  Late in the story, one of the characters does something that is so out of character that is impossible to believe.  Heavy foreshadowing from the first chapter hints at one of the events that occurs so it should not come as a surprise to readers once it finally happens.  And the final plot twist is an absolute delight and explains an awful lot about one of the secondary characters.

Setting Free the Kites is a very moving novel of friendship that is quite compelling. The coastal setting is harsh yet beautiful Alex George brings it vibrantly to life. Robert and Nathan are wonderfully developed characters that are multi-dimensional and so life-like it is difficult to believe they are fictional.  The storyline is engaging and although each family experiences devastating losses, the boys’ adventures and natural resiliency prevent the novel from becoming bogged down in grief.  Readers will appreciate the touching epilogue that completely wraps up any loose ends.  An extremely heartwarming and engaging story that will appeal to readers of all ages.

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Filed under Alex George, Fiction, GP Putnams Sons, Historical, Historical (70s), Rated B+, Review, Setting Free the Kites

Review: Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt

Title: Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Genre: Historical (60s, 70s), Fiction
Length: 369 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

Caroline Leavitt is at her mesmerizing best in this haunting, nuanced portrait of love, sisters, and the impossible legacy of family.

It’s 1969, and sixteen-year-old Lucy is about to run away with a much older man to live off the grid in rural Pennsylvania, a rash act that will have vicious repercussions for both her and her older sister, Charlotte. As Lucy’s default caretaker for most of their lives, Charlotte’s youth has been marked by the burden of responsibility, but never more so than when Lucy’s dream of a rural paradise turns into a nightmare.

Cruel Beautiful World examines the intricate, infinitesimal distance between seduction and love, loyalty and duty, and explores what happens when you’re responsible for things you cannot make right.

Review:

Set against the backdrop of the Vietnam  War, free love and the Manson murders, Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt is a bittersweet novel about two sisters who discover that life very rarely lives up the their dreams.

After their parents’ death when they were young, Charlotte and Lucy moved in with their much older, distant relative Iris.  At one time extremely close, the sisters began drifting apart as teens and by the time Lucy disappears, Charlotte has no idea what is going on her sister’s life.  At the urging of Iris, she goes to college as planned but she is soon struggling to keep up academically with her fellow students.  Meanwhile, Lucy’s life with her thirty year old teacher boyfriend William Lallo is slowly falling apart as she grows increasingly unhappy at their remote home in rural Pennsylvania.  Iris is trying to come to terms with her empty nest while at the same time dealing with the realities of growing older. After Lucy’s life with William completely unravels, Charlotte tries to make sense of what happened to her sister in the year since she and Iris last saw her.

Oldest sister Charlotte is rather shy and serious but she is fiercely protective of Lucy.  Determined to get into a good college, she is focused on getting stellar grades and acing her SAT. Completely consumed by thoughts of her future, Charlotte does not even notice when she and Lucy begin to drift apart. After Lucy runs away, she realizes she knows absolutely nothing about her sister’s life in the months leading up to her disappearance but this does not stop her from trying to find Lucy. After her hard work in school leads to an academic scholarship to a prestigious college, Iris insists she follow her dream instead of remaining at home with her.  Charlotte is stunned by the reality of life on campus as her hopes of finally fitting in are quickly shattered and worse, she is struggling in all of her classes.  An out of the blue phone call from Lucy resurrects old resentments, but Charlotte puts aside her feelings to try to rescue her sister.

Lucy is a bit of free spirit who struggles to live up to her teacher’s expectations.  When popular teacher William Lallo takes a special interest in her, she is excited and thrilled to finally have a class she excels in.  When their relationship takes a romantic turn, Lucy sees nothing wrong with a thirty year old man loving her but she knows society will not turn a blind eye to their romance.  As the school year draws to a close, she eagerly looks forward to them leaving and starting a new life together in Pennsylvania.  Dismayed to find herself living in isolation with no friends and plenty of empty hours to fill while William is at work, Lucy soon falls out of love but with no money or job skills, she feels trapped by her impetuous decision.  Trying to find some measure of independence from William, she begins roaming the countryside where she befriends the owner of vegetable stand, Patrick.  Convincing him to let her work for him, Lucy’s yearning to escape William continues to grow but will she find a way to escape her controlling boyfriend?

Taking place during the tumultuous late 60s and early 70s, Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt is a compelling character driven novel that is beautifully written.  While heavy foreshadowing leaves little doubt how Lucy’s story will end, Charlotte’s story arc is less defined but just as intriguing. The storyline is somewhat poignant yet ultimately uplifting as it wends its way to a satisfying conclusion.

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Filed under Algonquin Books, Caroline Leavitt, Cruel Beautiful World, Fiction, Historical, Historical (60s), Historical (70s), Rated B, Review

Review: All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

Title: All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Genre: Historical (70s, 80s), Fiction
Length: 353 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

A beautiful and provocative love story between two unlikely people and the hard-won relationship that elevates them above the Midwestern meth lab backdrop of their lives.

As the daughter of a drug dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. It’s safer to keep her mouth shut and stay out of sight. Struggling to raise her little brother, Donal, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible adult around. Obsessed with the constellations, she finds peace in the starry night sky above the fields behind her house, until one night her star gazing causes an accident. After witnessing his motorcycle wreck, she forms an unusual friendship with one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold.

By the time Wavy is a teenager, her relationship with Kellen is the only tender thing in a brutal world of addicts and debauchery. When tragedy rips Wavy’s family apart, a well-meaning aunt steps in, and what is beautiful to Wavy looks ugly under the scrutiny of the outside world. A powerful novel you won’t soon forget, Bryn Greenwood’s All the Ugly and Wonderful Things challenges all we know and believe about love.

Review:

Set against a bleak and desolate landscape of dysfunction, abuse and neglect, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is nevertheless a captivating, albeit occasionally uncomfortable, novel that culminates in forbidden love.  Although this story may not appeal to all readers, it is a testament to Bryn Greenwood’s incredible skill as an author that she manages to turn  a relationship  that is considered unpalatable and unacceptable into a powerful and riveting love story.

Wavonna “Wavy” Quinn is the daughter of a meth cooker and a drug addicted mom suffering from mental illness who have both spent time in jail.  During her mother Val’s incarceration when Wavy is five years old, she experiences a “normal” life for the first time, but unfortunately, as soon as Val is paroled, she regains custody of her daughter and her baby son, Donal.  While life with Val is much improved as she adheres to her treatment plan, when Wavy’s father Liam re-enters the picture, the family moves to the isolated farm where Liam runs his drug lab. Life continues to go downhill for Wavy as she cares for baby Donal while her mom gives into her addiction and continues to experience the highs, lows and delusional thoughts from her untreated mental illness(es). Liam uses his good looks to charm the women who work for him and although he is spends little time with his family, when he is around, he is both physically and emotionally abusive to both Val and Wavy. Life becomes more bearable for Wavy when she is eight years old and she meets much older Jesse Joe Kellen. The bond between them is unshakable and by the time she enters her early teen years, their feelings for one another have begun to cross into romantic territory.

Forced to grow up entirely way too fast, Wavy is heartbreakingly sympathetic character who takes her mother’s wild rants to heart.  With a host of inexplicable habits that horrify and confound the people around her, she says little and puts up with abuse and neglect that no one, let alone a child, should ever have to endure.  Therefore, it is not at all surprising when she becomes completely enamored by Kellen.  Although Kellen is an ex-con and a low-level criminal, he is the only person in Wavy’s life to show  any kindness, care or concern for her well-being.  In the midst of chaos, Kellen is a stabilizing force who ensures Wavy continues her education and provides many of the basics she needs in order to care for herself and her brother.  Entirely enrapt with the one person who provides her unconditional love and comfort , Wavy’s innocent affection  for Kellen gradually blossoms into love as she enters her early teen years.

Kellen’s past is almost as tragic as Wavy’s yet he remains kind-hearted and caring despite his abusive childhood and his criminal background.  He is immediately drawn to Wavy and his interest in her is completely innocent and above reproach for the first several years of their relationship.  Although he is a high school dropout, he is a skilled mechanic who easily recognizes Wavy’s above average intelligence. Taking her under his wing, Kellen takes his role as her protector seriously as he makes sure she attends school and steps in to assist her wherever she needs his help.

Spanning fifteen years, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is written from multiple points of view, including Wavy’s and Kellen’s.  While it seems impossible to believe, the evolution of Wavy and Kellen’s relationship into a taboo romance is natural and believable, albeit somewhat disturbing to outsiders looking in (and readers).  Although somewhat uncomfortable once the story moves into sexual territory, the scenes between Wavy and Kellen are non-gratuitous and tastefully written.  Wavy is rather precocious and since her world is full of inappropriate relationships, she sees absolutely no reason she should not love or desire Kellen.  Older yet damaged and emotionally stunted, Kellen is taken off guard by his shifting emotions for Wavy and in his defense, he does try hard to keep their relationship platonic.  Just as his plan for their future begins to come together, Wavy’s parents careen toward a disastrous end that threatens to tear Kellen and Wavy apart permanently.

Raw, gritty and dark, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is one of those novels that grabs a reader by the heart and never lets go. Bryn Greenwood is a phenomenally gifted storyteller who does not hesitate to delve into controversial or difficult subject matter.  An amazingly gusty risk that I am so glad she decided to take because Wavy and Kellen’s story is an incredible journey that is heartrending yet unexpectedly uplifting.  An enthralling novel that might be considered taboo, but ultimately speaks to power of love.

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Filed under All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, Bryn Greenwood, Fiction, Historical, Historical (70s), Historical (80s), Rated B+, Review, Thomas Dunne Books

Review: Age of Consent by Marti Leimbach

Title: Age of Consent by Marti Leimbach
Publisher: Nan A. Talese
Genre: Contemporary, Historical (70s), Fiction
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: C

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

From the author of Daniel Isn’t Talking and Dying Young comes a shattering new novel, a page-turner about a sexual relationship between a grown man and a newly teenaged girl.

June was a young widow with a hopeless crush on Craig Kirtz, a disc jockey at a local rock station. To her surprise, the two struck up a friendship that seemed headed for something more. But it was June’s thirteen-year-old daughter, Bobbie, whom Craig had wanted all along. Bobbie thought her secret life—the sex, the drugs, the illicit relationship itself—could remain safely buried in the past. But thirty years later, when Bobbie discovers Craig’s attentions to her had been repeated with any number of girls, she returns home with one purpose in mind: to bring Craig to trial.

Her decision is greeted with mixed feelings. Some people think that bringing charges against someone for a crime committed so many years ago is unjustified. She’s called a “middle-aged woman with a vendetta.” She’s accused of waging war against her own family. But the past has a way of revealing itself, and some relationships lie dormant through the years, ready to stir to life at the
slightest provocation.

June remembers things differently from the way Bobbie does. Craig insists he has done nothing wrong. As their traumatic history is relived in the courtroom, Bobbie and June must come to terms with the choices they made and face the truth they have long refused to acknowledge. Told with warmth and compassion, this is a moving, deeply absorbing story of a family in crisis.

Review:

Age of Consent by Marti Leimbach is an unflinchingly honest novel about a woman who was sexually abused when she was a teenager who finally tries to get justice thirty years later.  The subject matter is dark and disturbing yet the rambling, disjointed narrative does not do the topic justice.

In the late 70s, Bobbie became the victim of a sexual predator whom her mom later married.  In 2008, Bobbie brings charges against him for the long ago crime.  What should be a compelling court case in the present becomes muddled by extraneous details and a meandering storyline that flashes back and forth between past and present.  The present day narrative is concise yet contains a few troubling coincidences that diminish the impact of the court case.  There is evidence that could corroborate key facts in the case, yet somehow the prosecutor fails to see it.  The courtroom scenes fall flat and the lack of clear resolution is a bit of a disappointment when taking into consideration the fact that a key witness has an epiphany that could turn the entire case around.

The flashbacks contain horrifying details of fifteen year old Bobbie’s abuse at the hands of twenty-eight year old disc jockey Craig Kirtz yet these details are often lost in tedious passages that do little to explain why Bobbie was drawn to a man with absolutely no charm or redeeming qualities.  Bobbie’s scenes with Craig are harrowing and her fear and disgust are palpable.  The fact she kept the relationship a secret from her mother is easy to understand since teenagers often remain silent in these types of situations.  Bobbie’s shame later in life is realistic as is her underlying belief she is somehow responsible for what happened to her as a teenager.  Bobbie’s explanation for the series of event that led up to her involvement with Craig occurs so late in the story that it almost feels like an afterthought.

However, what is most perplexing is why Bobbie’s mother, June, was so thoroughly enthralled with Craig in the first place.  Yes, his job as a disc jockey made him a “celebrity” of sorts, but his behavior is so appalling that is impossible to understand what she found so appealing about him.  And the fact that June was able to overlook and explain away certain details that should have been major red flags is mindboggling.

Age of Consent by Marti Leimbach does manage to end on positive note but overall, the novel is a bit of a disappointing read.  While some parts of the story are unsatisfying, it is a gritty and realistic portrayal of how sexual predators groom their victims and coerce them into keeping silent about the inappropriate relationship.

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Filed under Contemporary, Fiction, Historical, Historical (70s), Rated C, Review

Review: A Saint in Graceland by Deborah Hining

saint gracelandTitle: A Saint in Graceland by Deborah Hining
Publisher: Light Messages Publishing
Genre: Historical (70s), Christian, Fiction
Length: 364 pages
Book Rating: C+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

Grieving her mother’s death and yearning to see more of the world beyond her mountain home, Sally Beth sets out on a journey that leads her across the American Southwest and ultimately to a remote mission station in Tanzania, where she finds a new kind of freedom in the African plains and the people who dwell there. But when war comes to the mission gates, its horrors shatter her world. She must find a way to rebuild her life and choose whether or not to serve the people she’s grown to love—a choice that will shake the simple faith of her childhood and ignite her passion for a wounded man.

Review:

Set in the late 1970s, A Saint in Graceland by Deborah Hining combines fact with fiction and the resulting storyline is quite interesting.  Although labeled Christian fiction, I consider it a non-traditional faith-based novel due to some of the subject matter.

Following the death of her beloved mother, Sally Beth Lenoir is thrilled that her younger sister Lilly is ready to move back to their small WV town after living in Las Vegas for several months.  The sisters decide to take some detours on the their drive home to visit a few famous landmarks (the Grand Canyon, etc).  Joining  them on their journey is Lilly’s neighbor Tiffany aka Edna Mae and the trio enjoy a raucous fun-filled trip that puts Sally Beth in some very uncomfortable situations.  Gambling, drinking and dancing in honkytonks are not exactly Sally Beth’s usual pursuits but despite some serious reservations, she decides to throw caution to the wind and tag along on Lilly and Edna Mae’s adventures.  Soon after their return to WV, Lilly makes a surprising decision about her future and Sally Beth accepts an offer to join their family doctor on a mission to Tanzania.

Although Sally Beth is a woman of strong faith and convictions, she is also quite kind-hearted and compassionate.  Somewhat naive and rather innocent, she is definitely out of her depth when she gets to Las Vegas, but she easily gives in to Lilly’s suggestions to experience all the town has to offer.  Sally Beth finds it impossible to say no to either Lilly or Edna Mae on their road trip and while she is initially uncomfortable with some of their activities, she is surprised by how much fun she is having.  Trying to remain true to her beliefs, she continues to pray for guidance and strength but Lilly and Edna Mae effortlessly override her objections time and again.

Certain that God is guiding her, Sally Beth eagerly agrees to join Dr. Sams on his upcoming mission to Tanzania.  The experience is a dream come true for Sally Beth and the first few months of the trip are rather idyllic.  She is blessed with new friendships as she volunteers at the mission clinic and she is fascinated by African culture and customs.  But Sally Beth is soon shocked and appalled by the widespread practice of female circumcision and she is cautioned by several acquaintances to refrain from trying to preach against the procedure.  Still reeling from this discovery, she suffers a crisis of faith when war breaks out between the Tanzanians and neighboring Ugandans.  Stunned by the violence and unable to understand why God is allowing such atrocities to occur, Sally Beth turns to John Smith, a friend from back home, for comfort.

A Saint in Graceland feels like two completely different novels.  The first half of the story is light-hearted with over the top antics and ridiculous predicaments.  The second half starts off innocuous enough with Sally Beth easily settling into life at the mission, making friends and exploring the countryside. The plot gradually becomes more serious as Sally Beth learns about female circumcision and the situation in Uganda heats up then spills over into civil war. With the circumstances at the mission becoming more perilous by the minute, Sally Beth’s stubborn refusal to leave puts herself and others in danger.  Just when it appears the key players are finally safe, Sally Beth and her loved ones find themselves in harm’s way yet again. While this aspect of the novel is well researched, the long descriptive passages eventually become a little tedious and the “people in peril” situations become repetitive.

Despite these few issues, A Saint in Graceland is an engaging faith-based novel.  The characters are realistic and the fact that they are imperfect and make questionable decisions make them easy for readers to relate to.  The incorporation of real life events provides depth and substance to the storyline and Deborah Hining’s research is impeccable.  Her descriptive prose brings the various settings vividly to life and readers will have no difficulty visualizing the alarming events in Tanzania. There is also a slight romantic element to the storyline that is quite understated but it plays an important role in Sally Beth’s crisis of faith.

Although A Saint in Graceland is a sequel to Sinners in Paradise, it can be read as a standalone.

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Filed under A Saint in Graceland, Christian, Deborah Hining, Fiction, Historical, Historical (70s), Light Messages Publishing, Rated C+, Review

Review: Written on My Heart by Morgan Callan Rogers

written on myTitle: Written on My Heart by Morgan Callan Rogers
Florine Series Book Two
Publisher: Plume
Genre: Historical (70s), Women’s Fiction, Suspense
Length: 378 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Penguin’s First to Read Program

Summary:

The marriage of Florine Gilham and Bud Warner is a cause for celebration down on The Point, the Maine fishing village where they grew up. Yet even as the newlyweds begin their lives together, Florine is drawn back into the memory of her mother, Carlie, who vanished when Florine was twelve. As unexpected clues regarding her fate begin to surface, Florine and Bud face the challenges of trying to solve an old mystery while building a new marriage and raising a family. Morgan Callan Rogers’s Written on My Heart will delight readers who love feisty, poignant characters and the beautiful, unforgettable Maine coast.

Review:

Written on My Heart by Morgan Callan Rogers is the delightful follow up to Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea (reviewed HERE). Starring the same cast of characters, this newest release follows Florine Gilham through the first few (somewhat) turbulent years of marriage to Bud Warner. Equally compelling are the shocking revelations when the mystery of her mother Carlie’s longtime disappearance is finally solved.

Florine’s teen years were tumultuous following the disappearance of her mother and the heartbreaking deaths of her beloved grandmother and father but she has mostly made peace with her past. While Bud’s childhood was less painful, his father’s alcoholism left an indelible mark on him. With Bud’s help, Florine has come to terms with her mistakes and just as they are about to be first time parents, they say their wedding vows in front of their friends and family at their home on the coast of Maine.  Settling easily into married life, Florine is stunned when Bud announces he would like to take a job in a town about two hours from their friends and family. Although unhappy with his decision, Florine reluctantly agrees to move but their once happy marriage begins to falter as an unexpected pregnancy takes its toll on her health and Bud begins to cope with his problems in unhealthy way.

Florine is still a no nonsense, outspoken young woman who hides her vulnerability behind her tough as nails exterior. She is deeply in love with Bud but she is also determined to make the best life possible for herself and her children. She harbors a few regrets about some of her past decisions and while she would like to take steps to fix her biggest mistake, Florine is overwhelmed with taking care of her small family. Despite their longtime friendship, she comes to realize that Bud has hidden dreams and desires that leave her doubting his commitment to her and their children. Florine is a strong woman and although she loves Bud, she refuses to allow his problems to hurt her or their children.

Bud is deeply in love with Florine but his growing restlessness soon puts them at odds. They arrive at a compromise for his need to move, but neither of them are prepared for the demands of parenthood or the health issues she encounters during her second pregnancy. Their problems begin in earnest once Bud changes his mind about their compromise and Florine meets a long lost family member. Instead of communicating his growing dissatisfaction with Florine, Bud withdraws and turns to unhealthy means of dealing with his frustration. The divide between them grows wider when Florine takes steps to protect herself and their children, but will Bud take her concerns seriously?

The mystery surrounding Carlie’s disappearance simmers in the background for a large portion of the story. With few clues to go on, it was impossible for police to determine whether she was the victim of foul play or if she left of her own accord. When Florine begins receiving mysterious letters in the mail that seem to be somehow related to her mother, the local police begin looking into the case with fresh eyes. When letters from a romance from Carlie’s past surface, a new suspect emerges but there is not enough evidence for an arrest. After another set of letters is uncovered, the case takes a shocking turn and Florine learns the devastating truth about what happened to her mother.

Set in the early 1970s, Written on My Heart is a captivating novel of love and family. The characters are beautifully developed with faults and imperfections that are realistic and relatable. Morgan Callan Rogers brilliantly incorporates issues of the time into the storyline and this provides added depth to the overall plot. A dazzling follow up to Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea that can easily be read as a standalone although I highly recommend both novels.

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Filed under Florine Series, Historical, Historical (70s), Morgan Callan Rogers, Mystery, Plume, Rated B+, Review, Women's Fiction, Written on My Heart