Top positive review
Absolutely stunning story!
Reviewed in the United States on March 15, 2012
Hot-tempered Beth Kincaid lost her mother in a car crash and has never been able to forgive her father, the driver, who went to prison. Following his incarceration, Beth and her brother Daniel were taken in by Maude Henry. Later, Daniel was killed, and Beth left the small Virginia town of Preston to escape emotionalism she couldn't handle.
The story opens with beth, recently fired from her professional management job, having second thoughts about her relationship with her fiancé Stephen. She needs time to evaluate her next step and decides to visit Maude, not knowing that her guardian has just passed away. A visit from Maude's attorney tells her she has inherited Maude's old house and its contents, including Teddy, Maude's cat. She is not prepared to meet Michael, Daniel's friend and the boy she fell in love with all those years ago. Nor is she prepared to confront her feelings for Michael when she sees him.
As Beth sorts out her life, she must uncover secrets that threaten to wear away the veneer of self control she has striven to maintain. Then she discovers a threat to her safety and she must fight to save not only her house and land but her life.
Kincaid's Hope is my second Grace Greene book and it's likely not to be my last. Ms. Greene writes in a fresh and polished style that instantly engages the reader. I started this book while on a treadmill at my gym and was so intrigued to learn what happened next that, once home, I settled in a chair and read through until I had finished. The story did not disappoint. Both protagonists are well-developed characters who exhibit growth and preserve the magic. Scenery descriptions are vivid but not intrusive, and the plot is well-paced and not entirely predictable. Even the secondary characters are three-dimensional. I became so intrigued with Maude Henry's house that I looked it up on the Internet. I did not know that Sears sold a line of homes with everything needed to build the structure shipped on two boxcars. From 1908 to 1940, they sold 100,000 Honor-Built homes. I suspect a number of the Craftsman and Jazz Age homes in my local town are such creations. Thank you, Ms. Greene for educating me.
I also loved the author's way of helping Beth to learn to trust own instincts and overcome a damaged past by reading Maude's books and discovering how the heroines find their happily ever afters. In the acknowledgments, Ms. Greene lists some of the Gothic and saga authors who inspired her. These same authors inspired me as well. (I still have the complete collection of Catherine Cookson books.)
Brava Ms. Greene. Two thumbs up for Kincaid's Hope.