By: Barbara Davis
Published Year: 2016
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I received a copy of this book in exchange for review. This in no way shape or form influenced my opinion.
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): A year ago, Dovie Larkin’s life was shattered when her fiancé committed suicide just weeks before their wedding. Now, plagued by guilt, she has become a fixture at the cemetery where William is buried, visiting his grave daily, waiting for answers she knows will never come.
Then one day, she sees an old woman whose grief mirrors her own. Fascinated, she watches the woman leave a letter on a nearby grave. Dovie ignores her conscience and reads the letter—a mother’s plea for forgiveness to her dead daughter—and immediately needs to know the rest of the story.
As she delves deeper, a collection of letters from the cemetery’s lost and found begins to unravel a decades-old mystery involving one of Charleston’s wealthiest families. But even as Dovie seeks to answer questions about another woman’s past—questions filled with deception, betrayal, and heartbreaking loss—she starts to discover the keys to love, forgiveness, and finally embracing the future…
The cover is pretty and I would definitely pick it up off the shelf. The summary held my interest as it sounded like a unique love story. I enjoy stories where the past and the present intertwine in similar ways so I was excited to read this book.
What I thought
I wanted o like this book more but it was a little too predictable.
Alice is a young woman from Cornwall England in the 1960s that is pregnant with a dead man’s baby. Her mother doesn’t want her to deal with the stigma of being an unwed mother and ships her off to a convent where she will have the baby and then the baby will be taken away. Dovie is a woman in 2005 who is grieving the loss of her fiancé who killed himself a few weeks before their wedding. While mourning him at the cemetery, she notices an old woman putting a letter down at a grave. She decides to pick up the letter and read it, and from there becomes involved in Alice’s story.
The journey of Dovie was definitely the strongest aspect of this book. The person who she is at the beginning is vastly different from the person she is at the end and it was done in a very natural way. At the beginning of the story she is broken. Her fiancé William killed himself two weeks before their wedding and left no note. Now it’s a year later and she is still broken and asking herself why he did what he did. As her journey moves, she does eventually get her answer. I think this book does a nice job of showing someone who is grieving and showing that it’s ok to grieve to a certain point. The nuances of her grief and the grief of the other characters was well written and had some very interesting perspectives.
For me, the weakest part of this book was what was supposed to be a love story. It’s obvious from the beginning that Austin and Dovie are meant to get together. However, the only thing that they seem to have in common is that they think the other one is attractive. There is no connection between them and I honestly couldn’t understand what made them be in love. They have maybe one conversation that is deep and meaningful, but immediately they then try to be a couple and then Austin blows up and decides he can’t or else he’ll wreck her. This happens multiple times. It was very hard to get behind a couple who seemed so wrong for each other.
While the ending to Alice’s tory was obvious, it was the most enjoyable storyline. I liked learning about Alice’s journey even though it reminded me of the movie Philomena. She gives up her baby who is then adopted by a rich couple in America and then eventually follows to America in hopes of finding her baby. It was heartbreaking to hear what she went through at the convent and I wished that she had found a happy ending.
By: Barbara Davis