This is my first book by this author and she didn't disappoint. I could clearly see the old cabin and wondered about the tales it could tell. The careworn items and souvenirs waiting to be packed up to be sold captured the imagination of what might have been. The stories of Jess, and her grandmother are deeply entwined with missing links of days gone by spent at the family cabin on Lake Charlevoix in Michigan. Richly steeped in history, Jess's inherits the cabin on the death of her grandmother and returns after seventeen years to dispose of the contents and sell the place. I could feel the leather of beaded moccasins, and see cobwebs left abandoned in a lonely unused 113 year old cabin.
Nora Carroll is an accomplished author who develops rich characters who stand alone or with each other as they each toggle the pages between past and present. The beauty of the lake bears a great sadness for her family. Her grandmother still dressed for dinner every night as though they still had their meals at the club. Jess is left to her devices during the day as long as she is ready for dinner. Forbidden love, loss and the constant beauty of the lake and the woods made this a wonderful book for my vacation reading list.
I was caught off guard a few times and this kept me coming back for more. Life at the lake in the 1920's was so different than walking the beach in flip flops and shorts. Bathing dresses, etiquette and carrying on with the right sort of people was the norm. As Jess sorts through the cabin, reading journals and looking at photographs, she discovers the truth of who she is. These glimpses into her grandmother's life as a girl and later a young woman put her on a collision with the life she knew.
I recommend this book if you like a mystery that keeps you thinking and begs the questions that often are swept under the rug. I could share so much more but you have to read the whole book to enjoy all of Jess' story.