When Laura Gantt returns to Georgia to handle her late mother's estate, she hears a startling rumor---that her father staged his drowning years ago and has recently been spotted roaming the mountains. With the help of her former high school sweetheart, Laura searches for the truth. But will what they find destroy their rekindled feelings? 352 pages, softcover from Multnomah.
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(8 Reviews) 8
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8 out of 8100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Eighteen years ago, best friends Laura, Seth, and Cassie pledged to be there for each other no matter what. Not long afterward, Laura's father drowned in a nearby lake. Life has taken them in different directions but when Laura returns to their hometown to go through her mother's belongings after her death, all three find themselves together again. Rumors are beginning to circulate throughout town about Laura's father. Is his body really at the bottom of the lake or are the rumors that he has hidden out all these years and been spotted around town really true?
A Stillness of Chimes by Meg Moseley is set in small town Prospect, Georgia where everyone knows everyone else and life seems simpler. The story is one of mystery, secrets, friendships, lost love, and second chances. The characters live a life easy to relate to as a reader but I finished the book with some unanswered questions about some of them, specifically Cassie. Perhaps the author is considering another book to follow with some of the same characters that might clear up some of those questions.
I must be drawn to books about "ghosts". The last two I have read open up with suggesting there are ghosts which takes me back a bit in Christian fiction. All that to say, I really did enjoy the story. It is a quick read and each chapter leaves you hesitant to put the book down. It isn't all that predictable either which adds to its appeal. A Reader's Guide is included in the back of the book for book discussions.
I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way obligated to write a positive review. Check out another of Meg Moseley's books, Gone South.
This book introduces the characters Laura, Sean, and Cassie as twelve-year-olds picking blackberries in Prospect, Georgia. They are great friends and promise to protect each other forever. The next chapter is 18 years later. A lot has happened in the intervening years. At 14, Sean was rescued by Laura and Cassie's dads from his abusive father. When Laura was 18, her father, a Vietnam veteran who had "spells" of darkness in his life, was presumed drowned, though his body was never found. Laura and Sean, who were childhood sweethearts, broke up their relationship in the pain of losing Laura's dad. Laura went to college in Colorado and became a teacher there. Cassie has married and moved to California where she and her husband are struggling to make ends meet.
The three have met up again in the hometown because Laura has come home to settle her mother's affairs after her sudden death. Cassie has come home to help her father figure out what is wrong with her mother, who seems to be losing her mind. Sean has stayed in Prospect and is still single. He wants Laura to know from him before she hears the town gossip, that people are claiming to have seen her dad alive! Laura doesn't know whether to hope her beloved daddy is still alive or not. The implications of him having staged his drowning and abandoning her and her mother is too staggering to consider. Had he loved them, despite his PTSD, or not?
Sean and Laura have to figure this out: find out if he is alive, and support Cassie as she deals with the strange things her mom is doing. Is there a connection in the strangeness?
Questions I asked: Will Sean and Laura rediscover their love for each other? Will Laura's father be found? Why is Cassie's mother 'losing it'? What are the secrets that their parents have hidden from them? And what kind of trouble will Sean's alcoholic, hateful father cause to all of them? Will Laura be able to recover her faith in God that she lost when she lost her daddy?
This book was a page turner for me. It is a pretty fast read, and very enjoyable. The title was cleverly chosen, as the night the wind chimes were stilled, the mysteries began to be solved.
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.
This is the story of Laura Gantt. She is returning to the small Georgia town she ran from twelve years earlier when she was eighteen. At that time, her father had recently drowned, her relationship with her mom, Jess, was rocky, and her boyfriend Sean was pushing her to marry him. She decided to escape it all, and to go to Colorado get her teaching degree. After receiving a teaching job there, she has rarely been back home. However, her mother’s sudden death causes her to come back after school ends to clean out her old house.
Laura’s return brings her back in touch with her mom, her dad and Sean. Her mom had kept journals for years, and Laura begins to read them, hoping to get closer to her, even though Jess has passed away. Sean has been waiting for Laura all this time, loving her, and still wanting to be married. Although she does love him, she wants the two of them to be really good friends. Laura wants things to be the way they were as kids, before romance was part of their relationship. Laura also finds that rumors are running wild through the town. People claim they have seen her dad traipsing through the woods, and sometimes on the edges of town. Her heart hopes this could really be true, but Sean and those close to her tell her this is impossible.
This story has lots of twists and turns. Before it is all over, discoveries are made that involve murder and a marital affair. A shadowy figure sometimes lurks around Laura’s house at night. Woven in and out of the story is Sean’s alcoholic father. He is a vicious child abuser, who spent time in jail because of it, and now wants revenge toward the person who turned him in.
There is also a side story that involves Cassie, a childhood friend, that happens to be in town at the same time Laura is. That story did not seem to be developed enough. There needed to either be more depth to Cassie’s story, or not develop her story at all.
Throughout the book, the author often uses the acronym PTSD without explaining what that stands for. I don’t think post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is part of the general vocabulary of most readers. The author needed to explain those initials, and define them.
This book is classified as Christian fiction, and there are some Christian references. However, most of the main characters are questioning God, and this tale never gets them beyond that to a firmer foundation of faith. It felt like they were left in spiritual limbo.
I have read other works by this author, and think she writes well. I love mysteries, and even a good love story, but this book didn’t work for me, something about it was off-key. I really don’t have an objection to the individual parts of this story, but it is similar to when a puzzle is being put together, and the pieces just don’t fit. That is the way this book felt to me as a whole, so give this tale three stars.
The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner.
In Meg Moseley's Appalachian tale, Laura Gantt returns to her hometown to take care of her recently deceased mother's house and belongings. Not long after she arrives, her old beau and friend Sean Halloran informs her of the rumors spread throughout town - that her father, who drowned in a fishing accident years ago, has supposedly been seen on multiple occasions since her mother's death. With the gang all home again - Laura, her best friend Cassie, and Sean - they start looking back into secrets from the past while trying to balance the problems and heartaches of the present.
While I would not necessarily categorize this as a suspense, there were certainly moments of suspense to the mystery. One scene especially, though it did not seem particularly ominous at the time, becomes spine-chilling in retrospect. Until the very end when All Is Revealed, I spent the story waffling over whether to believe Laura's father was alive or not. Moseley does a good job leaving clues so that either conclusion could be possible.
I had found the story a bit slow at first - the search for Laura's dad was not getting anywhere, and to Sean's distress neither was the romance - but when the clues started adding up, it fully captured my attention. Like in any good mystery, things that did not seem so important at first gain significance, and seemingly random scattered events prove to have a purpose.
As children, unless our parents have major issues (like Laura's dad's PTSD or Sean's dad's abuse), we tend to think of them as close to perfect, a perception that lasts into adulthood. Then one day we discover they were not saints - they made mistakes too. Through the story, Laura and Cassie discover more about their parents' imperfections. It hurts, to see health go rapidly downhill or to think one may have been abandoned by choice instead of death, and a myriad of other problems they discover - but in spite of the pain, they lose no love for their parents. Instead, they become all the more precious for their frailty. I thought it was a good message that in spite of the imperfections of their parents, the children still chose to honor them.
While the main points of view belong to Laura and Sean, Cassie also plays a part, and I would not have minded if her story had been a little more prevalent, though it is enjoyable as it is. The three all share some traits in common, but each brings a unique perspective to the story, with different personalities and circumstances backing their point of view, and I found different aspects of each easy to relate to. It is a solid, reflective novel. 4 out of 5 stars!
Thank you Blogging for Books for providing a free copy of the novel for the purpose of review; I was not required to make it positive, and all opinions are my own.
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Review 5 for A Stillness of Chimes
An Intriguing Mystery/Romance
Date:March 4, 2014
A Stillness of Chimes is another exciting new book by Meg Moseley. This book is a page-turning mystery/romance. It shows how past events can cast long shadows and greatly affect a person’s present. The author has a wonderful gift of storytelling and draws you into the world of her characters. Beautifully written, it’s difficult to put it down until you reach the end. Great read!
Laura Gantt lost her father, broke up with her boyfriend, and decided to move thousands of miles away, all the week that she turned 18. Now, she's back in her hometown, after her mother's death, sorting through her things and hearing rumors that she's not sure what to do with. Additionally, her high-school sweetheart is the one helping her sort through the rumors, her best friend is back in town dealing with her own familial issues, and Laura doesn't know what to make of her life at the moment.
This may be one of the least cohesive reviews I've ever written. Something about this book drew me in immediately - besides that fantastic cover, but I can't pinpoint what made me immersed in the story. The plot itself was a little strange, and there were definitely clunky points along the way. Yet, my overall impression of this book was that I was *in* the story, all the way. I felt the characters' confusion and emotions, I felt the need to know the secrets that were hidden, and I wanted good things for all of them. I think my first pull to the story was that it started with three 12-year-olds, swearing to be there for each other their whole lives, and then brought those three kids back together as adults, who were still willing to be there for each other. Their relationships had grown and changed over time, but they felt honest and realistic; their grown-up friendships held true to their relationships as kids.
I give this book 4-stars, with no tangible reasons other than, I liked it.
I received a copy of this book from the Waterbrook Multnomah as part of their Blogging for Books program, in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 7 for A Stillness of Chimes
An Excellent Read
Date:February 21, 2014
Juanita Wier Nobles
In Ms. Moseley’s third novel, the reader is drawn in deftly until it is impossible to turn the pages fast enough. Then, when all the pages have been turned, the reader wishes for more. Moseley is a true story teller. In A Stillness of Chimes, which in itself is a title worthy of thought and curiosity, we meet three main characters: Laura, Sean, and Cassie. Their stories begin when they were children in the little town of Prospect, Georgia. As time progresses, Laura moves away, but must return to her home town when her mother dies, to finalize her household. Sean and Cassie are still there, and their lives interact again, as they did when they were young. The reader watches as Laura tries to distance herself from Sean, her first love, and finds it extremely difficult. While Laura is adjusting to the loss of her mother, she begins to hear reports that her father, who was thought to have drowned when she was a teen-ager, has been seen around town. Of course, this is difficult for her to believe. Why would her father have deserted her and her mother? Laura cannot come up with a reason. Throughout the story, Laura tries to discover whether or not her father is still alive. Relationships between the characters lead the reader to understand their personalities. The beautiful relationship between Laura and Sean, and between Laura and her friend Cassie develop as the book progresses. The ending is explosive and well worth the read to get there. As usual in Ms. Moseley’s books, we meet well-developed, quirky characters. Her use of dialogue to tell a story is impeccable, as is her character development. Hers is definitely a “show, don’t tell” approach to writing, and she can really tell a story. If you enjoy reading about real people, with a twist of mystery here and there, you will enjoy this new novel by Meg Moseley.
When I finished reading the final page of this lyrical novel, I sighed with contentment and said aloud, "Now, THAT is a good book!" Simply put, I liked this tale, and I strongly recommend it. Pour yourself a glass of sweet tea and settle down for an enjoyable read.
I connected with history teacher Laura, who has come home to straighten out the affairs of her deceased mother. Thinking she's now all alone--without any family, Laura hears rumors that her volatile father may not have drowned years ago, but still wanders around the Kudzu-covered countryside. She's torn with indecision. Which would be better: To have her father return, but as a dramatically changed man? Or to settle once and for all the question of his death?
Set in a small southern town that's filled with gossipers, long-kept family secrets, and things that go bump in the night, mysteries are revealed bit by bit until the surprise ending.
Childhood love matures into everlasting love at just the right pace. Romance is not rushed but treated tenderly and with respect.
Readers Guide is included, making this a good pick for a book club.
Thank you to Margaret Clay at WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my copy.