After a painful divorce, Casey returns to the haven of her childhood, great grandmother Weesie's tiny log cabin. Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains of North Georgia, the cabin rekindles memories of her happiest years as a young child enjoying Granny Weesie's tales of treasure. Casey seeks a peaceful refuge she will share only with her cat, Smokey. However, much more than early memories await Casey in Bluejay, Georgia. Weesie's childhood diary turns up in the cabin. The scrawled pages transport Casey back into the late nineteenth century. Far from finding the peaceful time she expects there, she uncovers a web of adultery, murder and intrigue that threatens to entangle Casey's twenty first century life. That life threatens to become more complex when her new neighbor turns out to be a handsome victim of his own marital disaster.
Velma Lou seldom does anything altruistic. Hiring her cousin, Casey, as a reporter for her newspaper, The Bluejay Bugle, is no exception. Like the voracious vine, Velma Lou has learned the hard way to use her beauty to trap and ensnare. As Casey is drawn deeper into Weesie's life and times, her "real" life becomes more complicated by her growing attraction to Lee. Some strange occurrences happen in the cabin mirrored by tales of ghostly sightings in her family history. As she travels back to 1879, she meets an intriguing cast of characters. Donald Stuart, Lillith's faithful lover, David, his evil hearted twin brother, Ma and Da Garrett, Louisa's parents and her own direct ancestors, Louisa's brothers and the inhabitants of early Bluejay. When Casey becomes involved with a battered wife as she followers the case for the paper, she incurs the ire of an abusive husband, Zeke. Zeke believes he has every right to chastise his own wife and child. Casey begins to take his irate threats seriously when her car is sabotaged. Even Casey has to believe the number of life threatening happenings is no coincidence.
©2003 Kathleen Walls (P)2013 Kathleen Walls
We read to know, we are not alone ~ C.S. Lewis
There is a particular flavor to stories that feature small towns in the south, and Kudzu is no different. Told from the perspective of Casey, who moved into her grandmother’s old house to lick wounds, she discovers an old diary and is transported to live her grandmother’s life.
Far from being a smoothly comfortable trip, Casey finds murder; intrigue and a mystery to solve that may actually help her to modify events to make her time better. .Beautifully written with description that drips with southern sense and charm, events quickly start to take off in unintended directions, not unlike the Kudzu that the story is named for.
Narration for this audiobook was provided by Lee Ann Howlett, I’ve previously listened to one of her narrations of an F. Scott Fitzgerald short, and again she did not disappoint. Her diction, simple inflection and tonal changes and subtle delineation from one character to the next are perfectly suited to the text and are a great enhancement.
With the integration of the past ills and secrets, and discoveries that Casey makes about her family, their history and the resulting events that were generations in the making, this is an easy and interesting escape listen, with a gently developing romantic attachment between Casey and Lee that brings a smile. Sounding very honest and genuine, with a touch of meandering, this is a good listen for an afternoon’s quiet entertainment.
I received an AudioBook copy from the author via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review for the Heard Word. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
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