On a dark Kentucky night in 1952 exactly halfway between her fifteenth and sixteenth birthdays, Annie Holleran crosses into forbidden territory. Read more...
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On a dark Kentucky night in 1952 exactly halfway between her fifteenth and sixteenth birthdays, Annie Holleran crosses into forbidden territory. Everyone knows Hollerans don t go near Baines, not since Joseph Carl was buried two decades before, but, armed with a silver-handled flashlight, Annie runs through her family s lavender fields toward the well on the Baines place. At the stroke of midnight, she gazes into the water in search of her future. Not finding what she had hoped for, she turns from the well and when the body she sees there in the moonlight is discovered come morning, Annie will have much to explain and a past to account for.
It was 1936, and there were seven Baine boys. That year, Annie s aunt, Juna Crowley, with her black eyes and her long blond hair, came of age. Before Juna, Joseph Carl had been the best of all the Baine brothers. But then he looked into Juna s eyes and they made him do things that cost innocent people their lives. Sheriff Irlene Fulkerson saw justice served or did she?
As the lavender harvest approaches and she comes of age as Aunt Juna did in her own time, Annie s dread mounts. Juna will come home now, to finish what she started. If Annie is to save herself, her family, and this small Kentucky town, she must prepare for Juna s return, and the revelation of what really happened all those years ago"
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-04-13
- Reviewer: Staff
The scents of Lavender and regret are heavy in this suspenseful coming-of-age novel centering on two generations of rural Kentucky women—and those unlucky enough to become enmeshed in their lives—from Edgar-winner Roy (Bent Road). The devastating tale alternates between chapters set in 1936 narrated by Sarah Crowley and chapters set in 1952 from the third-person perspective of teenage Annie Holleran, whom Sarah has been raising as her daughter. But the key figure, never heard from directly, is Juna, Sarah’s younger sister (and Annie’s birth mother), a seductive, sinister force responsible for sending one man to the gallows and a boy to his death. Gifted (or cursed) with Juna’s startling black eyes and a sixth sense country folk call “the know-how,” the spirited Annie has been making nearly everyone uneasy for as long as she can remember. Annie’s discovery of a dead body on a neighboring farm leads to the unearthing of long-buried, still-dangerous secrets. This powerful story inspired by the last legal public hanging in the U.S. should transfix readers right up to its stunning final twist. Agent: Jenny Bent, Bent Agency. (June)