We’ve finished ELEVEN months of a reading challenge, and as December is a pick your favorite time period month, I’m not going to put up a suggestions list. I’m also, obviously, a day late in getting the Challenge review up, so thank you for your grace. November focused on the contemporary period, and my choice of story was The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery by Amanda Cox. Once you read my review, don’t forget to comment to be entered for your chance to win a copy.
The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery
by Amanda Cox
Amanda Cox has a beautiful way of bringing hard situations and difficult family relationships out of the shadows and into light. This story of mother-daughter relationships and secrets kept is one that both breaks your heart and gives you hope. Three generations of women struggle through heart-wrenching personal an family problems in unhealthy ways, each growing individually and through the help of each other to face the secrets kept in a healthier way. Their reconciliation is a painful process, and as a reader, I grieved for each woman’s situation. I fell in love with the men of their lives who guided them, held them close, and loved them through it all. This story is one I highly recommend to fans of women’s fiction, women who struggle with mother-daughter relationships, and lovers of deep, rich fiction that sticks with you long after you’ve read the story. I’m not a huge fan of split-time stories, but Amanda Cox pulls it off in such a way that she is an auto-buy author for me.
Genre: Historical Romance, Dual-Time
Present Day. After tragedy plunges her into grief and unresolved anger, Sarah Ashby returns to her childhood home determined to finally follow her long-denied dream of running Old Depot Grocery alongside her mother and grandmother. But when she arrives, her mother, Rosemary, announces to her that the store is closing. Sarah and her grandmother, Glory Ann, make a pact to save the store, but Rosemary has worked her entire life to make sure her daughter never follows in her footsteps. She has her reasons–but she’ll certainly never reveal the real one.
1965. Glory Ann confesses to her family that she’s pregnant with her deceased fiancé’s baby. Pressured into a marriage of convenience with a shopkeeper to preserve the family reputation, Glory Ann vows never to love again. But some promises are not as easily kept as she imagined.
This dual-timeline story from Amanda Cox deftly explores the complexity of a mother-daughter dynamic, the way the secrets we keep shape our lives and the lives of others, and the healing power of telling the truth.
What I loved: The secrets these women held were so interwoven and understandable that their growth into reconciliation was powerful and something I will long remember.
Favorite Character and Why: Glory-Ann’s husband. He was one of the most upstanding men I’ve read in fiction. He was patient, kind, understanding, and just beyond words perfect. He had some flaws to, but as you see him through the eyes of both his wife and daughter, he’s pretty much a knight in shining armor.
Who would like this? This story is one I highly recommend to fans of women’s fiction, women who struggle with mother-daughter relationships, and lovers of deep, rich fiction that sticks with you long after you’ve read the story.
Rating and Why: FIve Stars. It is a powerful read with true-to-life messy families, struggles, and messy reconciliation.
For your chance to win a print copy, comment with what book YOU read for this month and you will also be entered into the year-end giveaway of all 12 books reviewed. Use the Rafflecopter below for extra entries and to mark that you left a comment. Entries end on December 7th at midnight EST, and the winner will be drawn sometime that week and notified by email. The winner will be announced don’t the Rafflecopter widget. *Open to all residents of the contiguous USA, legally able to enter, and an e-book format or Amazon Gift Card will be awarded to those outside that range who are legally able to enter.