Twenty-five-year-old Cassie Danvers is holed up in her family’s crumbling mansion in rural St. Jude, Ohio, mourning the loss of the woman who raised her—her grandmother, June. But a knock on the door forces her out of isolation. Cassie has been named the sole heir to legendary matinee idol Jack Montgomery’s vast fortune. How did Jack Montgomery know her name? Could he have crossed paths with her grandmother all those years ago? What other shocking secrets could June’s once-stately mansion hold?
Soon Jack’s famous daughters come knocking, determined to wrestle Cassie away from the inheritance they feel is their due. Together, they all come to discover the true reasons for June’s silence about that long-ago summer, when Hollywood came to town, and June and Jack’s lives were forever altered by murder, blackmail, and betrayal.
As this page-turner shifts deftly between the past and present, Cassie and her guests will be forced to reexamine their legacies, their definition of family, and what it truly means to love someone, steadfastly, across the ages.
I’ve honestly sat here, for what feels like ages, trying to figure out how to write this review. It’s not that it’s a hard book to review, though it is so much more complex than you can begin to summarize. It’s not that it’s a less than glowing review, I honestly can’t find one actual negative about this book. It’s not… you know I think that’s my hangup. I’m so used to always starting with my synopsis of the book, what I took away as vital to the story. I just can’t do that here. This story is involved, and engaging, and no ‘summary’ can begin to do that justice. If I can’t summarize where do I begin? How do you make Cassie, and Tate, and Hank (girl – go figure) and Nick into a summary? How do you blend June (the month) 1955 and June (again, the month) 2015 and Hollywood (in both timelines) and small town middle America Ohio (again both decades) and summarize that? There is love and intrigue and even the mystery which sneaks up on you in just the perfect way that you don’t feel stupid that you missed it but don’t feel shocked that it happened. Seriously, this book has wormed it’s delightful way onto my favorites book shelf. And that it was a ‘oh why not’ choice from Blogging for Books tells me that I know I’m going to have to ‘oh why not’ entirely more often.
See, now this paragraph is hard too. This is normally where I share with you things that I believe could or should be better. I got nothing. Perhaps I’m viewing this book through rose colored glasses, perhaps I was so drawn in by the story that I truly read for pleasure and completely glossed any critical reading observations or drawbacks that may be present in this book. Do you feel like this review, so far, is really just a walk through about how I review? I do. But seriously, I got nothing! So let’s move to the good paragraph, you know where I tell you all the good stuff.
But then I get down here and realize that once again, how do you take all the good stuff and not create a whole new novel to review a novel? I’ll start with bare essentials. Characters – developed, engaging and completely bond-able. Even the characters I was intended not to like, or just couldn’t stand did their job but drawing me to their personalities. Plot – engaged. Even transition being the two timelines was seamless and enhanced each part of the story instead of creating a distraction. I was so drawn in that I forgot to read critically (remember?). Story-line – amazing. The story line took the perfect plot and married the amazing characters into something that was difficult to put down, drew me into their worlds and made me regret that I pushed through it so fast. I needed more and as any amazing (favorite shelved) books should do, you mourn the finishing of the story. I’m so glad I ‘oh why not’-ed this book and I want more from this author.
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Blogging for Books. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
About Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
I write novels. So far, each one has been about searching for one’s place in the world, which, when I think about it, is what I’ve been doing for most of my life.