CURL UP WITH INTROS/TEASERS – “LACY EYE”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s feature is an ARC from Amazon Vine:  Lacy Eye, by Jessica Treadway, a haunting, evocative novel about a woman who might have to face the disturbing truth about her own daughter.

 

 

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Intro:  (Are You Looking at Me or Not?)

The detective was waiting for me when I arrived home from work.  He sat in his own Civic, rather than an official police car, on the side of the driveway where Joe used to park.  He might have been doing a crossword; I saw him lay down a folded section of the newspaper when I pulled in beside him.

I swore, not at the sight of Thornburgh, but because reporters from TV news vans were also waiting for me, on the street in front of the house.  They ran up the driveway with cameras as I parked in the garage and stepped out of my car, but when I held my hand over my face and said that I was sorry but I couldn’t talk to them, the detective moved forward and told them in his reasonable but no-nonsense voice that they needed to get off my property.

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Teaser:  Thornburgh was one of the few people who could look at my face without wincing.  The surgeons had done their best, but the scars were obvious, and my features looked as if they’d been pulled apart and rearranged, like a Picasso painting.  (p. 3).

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Blurb:  Hanna and Joe send their awkward daughter Dawn off to college hoping that she will finally “come into her own.” When she brings her new boyfriend, Rud, to her sister’s wedding, her parents try to suppress their troubling impressions of him for Dawn’s sake. Not long after, Hanna and Joe suffer a savage attack at home, resulting in Joe’s death and Hanna’s severe injury and memory loss.

Rud is convicted of the crime, and the community speculates that Dawn may also have been involved. When Rud wins an appeal and Dawn returns to live in the family home, Hanna resolves to recall that traumatic night so she can testify in the retrial, exonerate her daughter, and keep her husband’s murderer in jail.

But as those memories resurface, Hanna faces the question of whether she knows her own daughter-and whether she ever did.

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What do you think?  Would you read more?  Does it pique your interest?

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LUMINOUS, HAUNTING, & MAGICAL — A REVIEW

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A luminous and haunting world unfolds in The Red Garden, revealing the historic moments of small town life in Blackwell, Massachusetts (previously named Bearsville), from its beginnings in the 1700s to a time near the end of the Twentieth Century.

A constant theme in the story centers around the aptly named garden with red soil, where only red plants grow, and where secrets are buried beneath the soil. Townsfolk have said that “where blood has fallen, the ground aches but the fruit is sweet….”

The garden is like a central character, along with many of the descendants of the founding families, Hallie and William Brady and the Partridges.

The story is narrated through the years, showcasing various descendants, as well as new folks who have made their home there. There is a Founders Day Festival each year, and the town’s folklore is woven into the production. Each time period spotlights a particular character who then becomes central. And when the era moves forward, the previous tales are loosely connected like a thread that has tentatively woven itself into the spirit of the town.

Events like the child who drowned at six, but has been seen around the river in a blue dress. Or the dog that would not leave the gravesite of his mistress until he died there. Then there is the “monster” in the woods, with whom one resident developed a very special and secret relationship. But then something tragic happened….and the monster disappeared.

Many of the mysterious and sometimes magical events signify how special the town is…but in the end, who can say for sure what is real and what is the imagining of those who choose to believe?

The first chapter did not fully engage me, but then I became captivated by each new character featured in the ensuing chapters. As the connections seemingly threaded their way through the ages, a unique continuity seemed to suggest that the magical and mystical might not be so imaginary after all.

A delightful and memorable read that I will think about often. I would have enjoyed learning more about the characters that seemingly disappeared after their featured chapters. Some of them reappeared in later chapters, without any explanations about the intervening years, while others simply vanished. There was something illusory about how these stories played out. 4.5 stars.