An enjoyable read [with] doses of magical realism and romance.
At 30, Willa Jackson returns to her small Southern hometown, Walls of Water, N.C., in the wake of a failed marriage to her college sweetheart. She's determined now to lead the quiet life she believes her father wants her to have, but is soon derailed by the wealthy and powerful Osgoods, the family that shaped her high school experience. The Jacksons were also wealthy once, until the logging industry failed, and Willa's teenage grandmother went to work as a maid for the Osgoods. Paxton Osgood, Willa's counterpart, has everything Willa envies—wealth, beauty and a sense of belonging—but Paxton hides a deep loneliness and discontent. To further complicate Willa's unrest, Paxton's brother, Colin, fled town years before but has returned and become an irresistible force in Willa's life. When a skeleton that holds the secret to both the Osgood and Jackson family fortunes is discovered at the Jackson family's old estate, long-held beliefs are likely to be overturned. Allen (The Girl Who Chased the Moon) juggles smalltown history and mystical thriller, character development and eerie magical realism in a fine Southern gothic drama. The underlying tension will please and unnerve readers, as well as leave them eager for Allen's next.
Her marriage a shambles, Willa Jackson returns home to Walls of Water, the town where she grew up, and tries to fit in. There she discovers an extraordinary feud that has divided two sisters for decades. Hmm, Allen's standard small-town charm, maybe not the usual flights of fantasy—but then I haven't read it yet. Lots of promotion, including to libraries and cooking/foodie websites.
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