The last thing Ruby McGavin thought she would be doing after her husband, Cole, died was meeting his family. He had claimed his relatives were all dead, and she didn't know him long enough - they were only married one year - to think otherwise. But it turns out that members of Cole's family, from a small ranch town in California, are very much alive, and they show up on Ruby's doorstep with the news that she has inherited some land from her husband. Ruby knows something about family turmoil, but she's hardly prepared for the turbulence surrounding the McGavin clan. As she attempts to sell the land back to the McGavins, she teams up with Lucas, one of Cole's brothers, to try to get to the core of the secret that is eating away at the family. With each step toward the answer, Ruby musters the courage to face her own familial demons.
©2006 Earlene Fowler (P)2013 Recorded Books
This is not an easy-listening story. While probably placed in the mystery genre, it is as much about facing grief as it is about who-did-what-to-whom. Flawed? yes - each character is working through (or not working through or about to work through) so much, and hiding so much, that the story sometimes seems to slog through the emotions and secrets. Worth the listening? yes, if you are willing to listen at the story's pace and not fall victim to expectations of what the book "should be" about. Could it have benefited from editing? yes, but so could most books I am willing to read, and it is less self-indulgent than many I've read. It does seem to set up a series, or at least the sequel.
I did find the reading well-done, so the telling/acting of the story did not get in the way of my listening, which is crucial for me (it is a bonus if the reader has the ability to really act different parts, but I don't need that skill to enjoy a book).
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