Category Archives: T Greenwood

Review: Where I Lost Her by T. Greenwood

Title: Where I Lost Her by T. Greenwood
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Literary Fiction
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

In her page-turning new novel, T. Greenwood follows one woman’s journey through heartbreak and loss to courage and resolve, as she searches for the truth about a missing child.

Eight years ago, Tess and Jake were considered a power couple of the New York publishing world–happy, in love, planning a family. Failed fertility treatments and a heartbreaking attempt at adoption have fractured their marriage and left Tess edgy and adrift. A visit to friends in rural Vermont throws Tess’s world into further chaos when she sees a young, half-dressed child in the middle of the road, who then runs into the woods like a frightened deer.

The entire town begins searching for the little girl. But there are no sightings, no other witnesses, no reports of missing children. As local police and Jake point out, Tess’s imagination has played her false before. And yet Tess is compelled to keep looking, not only to save the little girl she can’t forget but to salvage her broken heart as well.

Blending her trademark lyrical prose with a superbly crafted and suspenseful narrative, Where I Lost Her is a gripping, haunting novel from a remarkable storyteller.

Review:

With a possibly unreliable narrator, Where I Lost Her by T. Greenwood is an intriguing mystery that keeps readers on the edge of their seats as Tess Waters tries to locate a missing young girl.

Tess and her husband Jake are visiting friends in rural Vermont when, returning from a late night run to the store, she sees a young girl in the middle of the road. Although the police are little slow to respond to her emergency call, they put together an extensive search that slowly tapers off within a few days. Convinced Tess is either mistaken or outright lying, the local police remain unreceptive to her pleas to continue looking for the missing girl. When the cops threaten to charge her for filing a false report, she hires attorney Ryan Hughes, who pleads with her to stay out of the case. Unable to stop worrying about the little girl, she continues her search and although she does not locate her, Tess stumbles onto evidence that supports her claim but will the police reopen their investigation?

Tess’s marriage never quite recovered from the couple’s infertility treatments and a botched adoption attempt eight years earlier. Their relationship is quite strained during their visit with their friends and Tess’s excessive drinking exacerbates the tension between them. At first supportive of Tess, Jake’s doubts continue to grow especially considering what happened after their adoption attempt went horribly wrong. The fact that she had been drinking the evening she spotted the young girl is another strike against her and Jake eventually returns to New York without her.

Tess’s main priority is continuing her efforts to find the missing girl but she is also quite reflective as she tries to decide what to do about her troubled marriage. Her longtime friend Effie not only believes Tess saw the little girl, but after Tess confides recently discovered information about Jake, she is outraged on Tess’s behalf. Despite Effie’s fears for her safety, Tess continues taking unnecessary risks as she makes impulsive decisions that are dangerous and oftentimes, foolhardy.

The events from eight years earlier are slowly revealed through a series of flashbacks. What begins as a happy occasion becomes emotionally charged after Jake joins Tess in Guatemala where she has been spending time with the little girl they are planning to adopt. These flashbacks slowly reveal the cracks in their marriage as Tess begins to realize that she was much more invested in having children than Jake and she starts wondering what other important information she might have overlooked about her husband. She remains ambivalent about their marriage for a good portion of the novel, but a family emergency puts things in perspective for her and Tess finally arrives at a decision about her future.

With a unique twist on the unreliable narrator plot device, Where I Lost Her is a well-written and engaging novel that is initially a little slow paced. The characters are three-dimensional with true to life flaws and imperfections. The storyline is wonderfully developed and the suspense builds as Tess continues trying to piece together the puzzling clues she uncovers. Overall, it is a very clever mystery/psychological thriller that old and new fans of T. Greenwood are sure to enjoy.

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Filed under Contemporary, Kensington, Literary Fiction, Mystery, Rated B, Review, T Greenwood, Where I Lost Her

Review: The Forever Bridge by T. Greenwood

forever bridgeTitle: The Forever Bridge by T. Greenwood
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Length: 369 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

With eloquent prose and lush imagery, T. Greenwood creates a heartfelt story of reconciliation and forgiveness, and of the deep, often unexpected connections that can bring you home.

Sylvie can hardly bear to remember how normal her family was two years ago. All of that changed on the night an oncoming vehicle forced their car over the edge of a covered bridge into the river. With horrible swiftness, Sylvie’s young son was gone, her husband lost his legs, and she was left with shattering blame and grief.

Eleven-year-old Ruby misses her little brother, too. But she also misses the mother who has become a recluse in their old home while Ruby and her dad try to piece themselves back together. Amid all the uncertainty in her life, Ruby becomes obsessed with bridges, drawing inspiration from the strength and purpose that underlies their grace. During one momentous week, as Hurricane Irene bears down on their small Vermont town and a pregnant teenager with a devastating secret gradually draws Sylvie back into the world, Ruby and her mother will have a chance to span the gap between them again.

The Review:

The Forever Bridge by T. Greenwood is an utterly heartbreaking and poignant novel that is also uplifting and hopeful. It is a beautifully written story of forgiveness, redemption and healing that is incredibly moving and full of deep emotions.

Two years after the accident that took the life of her seven year old son, Jess and left her husband Robert in a wheelchair, Sylvie Dupont is emotionally fragile and struggling to put the pieces of her life back together. Suffering from PTDS, agoraphobia and depression, she has isolated herself from friends and family and lives by herself in the family home on the outskirts of town. Barely capable of taking care of herself, Robert and their eleven year old daughter Ruby have moved in with Robert’s brother, but when the men need to take an out of town trip, Sylvie has little choice but to care for her daughter. Their reunion is uneasy and full of tension as they tiptoe around the memories that haunt both mother and daughter.

Sylvie is crippled with anxiety and it is very frustrating watching her refuse to get the help she needs to cope with her fears.   While at first it is incomprehensible that she has so completely checked out from her life and her loved ones, once some of her history is revealed, some of her actions become a little more understandable. But what Sylvie does not realize is her control and safety are only an illusion. It it is impossible to protect herself from further pain and that despite her best efforts, disaster can still strike despite all the safeguards she has tried to put into place.

Ruby is very mature for her age but no matter how wise she is, she still longs for the mother Sylvie used to be. Ruby closely monitors her mother’s erratic behavior and she takes every opportunity to escape the tense and unhappy household. Unfortunately her best friend seems to be replacing her with another girl their age so Ruby spends a lot of her time exploring the woods surrounding her home. When she discovers a pregnant teenager hiding in an abandoned shack, Ruby keeps her presence a secret and helps her as much as she possibly can. But when the young girl needs more help than Ruby can provide, will Sylvie step out of her self-imposed prison and overcome her fears long enough to give them the assistance they need?

Pregnant teenager Nessa is a runaway who has not spoken a word for two years. Disappointed but not really surprised to discover her mom has moved on, she takes shelter in the rundown shack and forages in Sylvie’s garden for food. Nessa has experienced little kindness in her young life and she is profoundly grateful for Ruby’s generosity.

The Forever Bridge slowly winds its way to a dramatic but immensely satisfying conclusion. The characters are three-dimensional and although flawed, they are sympathetic and likable. T. Greenwood’s writing style is quite captivating and she brings the setting vibrantly to life. The storyline is complex, and while some of the plot is a little predictable, there are quite a few unanticipated twists that make it impossible to guess how all of the various storylines will come together. Overall, it is a heartfelt novel of healing that I highly recommend.

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Filed under Contemporary, Fiction, Kensington, Rated B+, Review, T Greenwood, The Forever Bridge