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Monday, May 11, 2015

The Sound of Glass by Karen White



Release Date - May 12, 2015

Karen White
NAL

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

I feel completely honored to have gotten to read a copy of The Sound of Glass prior to its release. Summed up in just a few words - what a delightful, emotional story. It's a real gem.

Merritt Heyward's husband died two years ago. She blames herself and has been living a pretty lonely life since his death. When she learns that his grandmother died and left him her South Carolina home, Merritt takes this as a chance to start again. Merritt packs up and leaves her home in Maine and heads to South Carolina, where the humidity is the only thing that is messing with her plans. She never expects to discover that in addition to his grandmother, her late husband also had a brother who is very much alive and just as surprised to learn his brother had married.

That's only the start of the changes Merritt is going to face. Her very young stepmother also shows up on her doorstep, with a 10-year-old son that Merritt does not know. It's clear from the start that her stepmother is not leaving. The last thing Merritt wants is to be surrounded by anyone, but it's clear that her new life is going to mean facing her demons and figuring out what her past, present, and future have in store.

From the start, the characters grab you. There's Edith Heyward who in 1955 lives near where a plane crashes. A suitcase that falls from the sky into her yard may hold the clues to this mystery. Merritt is distance, but as you learn more about her, it makes sense. There is Gibbes, the brother-in-law Merritt never knew, a man who is nothing like his brother. There is the very precocious Owen, Merritt's younger brother. Finally, Loralee who is the stepmother Merritt does not want to get to know. First, Loralee is pretty close to Merritt's age, second she's as Southern Belle-sweet as one could possibly get and she keeps trying to teach Merritt southern ways.

Much of the story is told from a third-person point of view. Merritt's chapters, however, are first person and at first that was a little jarring. I found myself getting into the flow quickly and couldn't put the story down. It had me laughing, crying, and knowing that The Sound of Glass was a story for the keeper shelf.

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