Have you ever had a book that you weren’t really sure how to write the review? Not because it was bad, but because it was wonderfully intense? I finished reading The Reckoning At Gossamer Pond weeks ago, and have just had a hard time putting words to a review. My mind is swirling all over the place with things I liked, scratch that, loved about this book. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, 2018 is a good year for Christian fiction. Oh my word the stories have been good! I had thoughts about doing a top ten post at the end of the year, but there is no way I would be able to do that. I think it needs to be a top fifty!! Anyway, here I am, trying to pull my thoughts together to describe how I felt about this novel that has blown me away!
About the Book
For over a century, the town of Gossamer Grove has thrived on its charm and midwestern values, but Annalise Forsythe knows painful secrets, including her own, hover just beneath the pleasant faade. When a man is found dead in his run-down trailer home, Annalise inherits the trailer, along with the pictures, vintage obituaries, and old revival posters covering its walls. As she sorts through the collection, she’s wholly unprepared for the ramifications of the dark and deadly secrets she’ll uncover.
A century earlier, Gossamer Grove has been stirred into chaos by the arrival of controversial and charismatic twin revivalists. The chaos takes a murderous turn when Libby Sheffield, working at her father’s newspaper, receives an obituary for a reputable church deacon hours before his death. As she works with the deacon’s son to unravel the mystery behind the crime, it becomes undeniably clear that a reckoning has come to town–but it isn’t until another obituary arrives that they realize the true depths of the danger they’ve waded into.
Two women, separated by a hundred years, must uncover the secrets within the borders of their own town before it’s too late and they lose their future–or their very souls.
Jaime Jo Wright not only transports you to historic Gossamer Grove, but present day Gossamer Grove in a way that you never want to leave. Her ability to pull you into not one time period, but two, is uncanny. The stories might be decades apart, but they flow perfectly together, and collide in a way that surprises you. I thought I had this story pegged after the first few chapters. I knew the “whodunnit”, how the characters were all going to come together, and what was going to happen in the end. Or so I thought – I was wrong. I may have had a few high points, but that’s about it. Wright has a way of leading you down a path of thoughts, only to branch off the road a little bit and jumble your thoughts. She may come back to the same path, or branch off even more. This is the great thing about her story – you are left with surprises, excitement, mystery, and the unknown until the very end.
I’m not going to lie, there were parts of this book that were a bit creepy, in a good way. Sure, I looked over my shoulder a time or two. You can’t help but do that, especially if reading this at night. This just heightened the suspense and my need to keep reading until my eyelids fell off. Elements like this are what made the book different. I’ve read a few dual timelines before, but this book is in a class of its own. Libby and Annalise are such strong heroines, and have similar traits that are warm and inviting. You want to be their friend. You want to help them solve their cases. Frankly, you just want to spend time with them. I actually thought the two of them would have had a really cool meeting if one of them decided to time hop – but maybe that’s for another story 😉
Historic Gossamer Grove really grabbed my attention. The Corbin brothers in particular really struck me. They were very dynamic in how they presented their message. I could only imagine if that was how they presented the message today, what would happen to them. But even so they spoke truths that we all need to hear about our own sinful lives. Reading their scenes really makes you ponder how your own life is being lived. Now, I’m not saying that we all need to get out there and yell our sins to the world, however maybe we just need to stop and look into the mirror and reflect on how we can move past those sins that have us stuck in a rut. There are other moments and characters that brought this to my attention as well, and I have to say it moved me in a way I was not at all expecting.
I was equally enamored with present day Gossamer Grove. The storyline of the creepy/stalker guy in the run-down trailer really blew my socks off. I almost felt like I was watching on episode of CSI or Criminal Minds when reading some of these parts. Like any good reader, I made up stories in my mind about his past, and then allowed the novel to change my thoughts on him, chapter after chapter. It was actually fun this way because the way I made him up in my mind was totally wrong and I loved the surprise of his true story. It’s kind of like when we instantly judge someone based on their appearance or circumstances. If we take the time to get to know them and their story, we just might find ourselves surprised and with a new friend. (for the record, I’m not saying he would ever be my friend)
It blows my mind that this is only Wright’s second novel. She has such an artistic writing style that makes me feel as if I have been reading her books for years. It’s like grabbing that comforting blanket that you’ll never get rid of, or talking with your best friend since kindergarten. You love it, always want it/her around you, and never want to let it go. I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next. This is an author to keep an eye on, and if you haven’t read her novels, I highly suggest you do so now. She easily has made her way to my favorites list, and I can see her remaining there for years to come.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author
Professional coffee drinker & ECPA/Publisher’s Weekly best-selling author, Jaime Jo Wright resides in the hills of Wisconsin writing spirited romantic suspense stained with the shadows of history. Coffee fuels her snarky personality. She lives in Neverland with her Cap’n Hook who stole her heart and will not give it back, their little fairy Tinkerbell, and a very mischievous Peter Pan. The foursome embark on scores of adventure that only make her fall more wildly in love with romance and intrigue. Jaime lives in dreamland, exists in reality, and invites you to join her adventures at jaimejowright.com.
Connect with Jaime Jo Wright:
Web site: www.jaimejowright.com