Publication Date: May 31, 2016
Date Read: May 10, 2016
Source: First to Read
From the New York Times bestselling author of Bittersweet comes a novel of suspense and passion about a terrible mistake made sixty years ago that threatens to change a modern family forever.
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.
This book was an okay read for me. It was the kind of book that was pretty good but I still found myself wanting more throughout the story. I knew going into this book that it was going to be told through dual timelines which doesn't always work for me because I usually enjoy one timeline more than the other. I really liked both of the timelines about equally in this book but I found both lacking in certain ways. I did enjoy the book enough that I am definitely glad that I picked it up.
Cassie has recently inherited her grandmother's elaborate home and a small sum of money. The house is falling apart very quickly and Cassie really has no plans on how to move forward. I had really high hopes as the book opened and the house took on a life of its own. Unfortunately, that aspect of the story wasn't explored nearly as much as I would have like to see. When she receives a visitor that informs her that she has just inherited the fortune of Jack Morgan, a very wealthy and famous Hollywood actor, she thinks that it has to be a mistake. Before she knows it, Jack Morgan's famous daughters along with their assistants have taken over her life and her home.
Sixty years ago, Jack Morgan was in St. Jude to film a movie. Did he know Cassie's grandmother, June, and how does this relate to Cassie? If I had to choose, I would say that I really liked the parts of the book set in 1955 just a little more than the present day but I still wanted more. I liked June and her friend Lindie was easily my favorite character in the book but I really didn't see as much chemistry between June and Jack as I expected.
I did have a few issues with this book. This story is filled with secrets but I wasn't surprised by any of them as they were revealed. If June had had an honest conversation with Cassie before her death, much of the story wouldn't have even needed to happen. I guess I kept waiting for that big moment or event to really blow me away in this book but I just didn't get it. I wanted an epic love story but this didn't feel like one to me. I really felt like the story dragged during much of the book and I had no trouble setting it aside. The last 20% or so was pretty exciting but I wish that there had been a little excitement sprinkled in other areas of the book.
I do think that most readers will like this one a little more than I did. I wouldn't hesitate to encourage others to pick it up if the summary sounds interesting to them at all. This is the first book by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore that I have read and I hope to check out some of her other titles in the future.
I received an advance reader edition of this book from Crown Publishing via First to Read for the purpose of providing an honest review.
About the Author
MIRANDA BEVERLY-WHITTEMORE is the author of four novels, including The Effects of Light and Set Me Free, which won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for the best book of fiction by an American woman published in 2007. A recipient of the Crazyhorse Fiction Prize, she lives and writes in Brooklyn and Vermont.