Friday, September 20, 2013

My take on: Moonrise

Helen Honeycutt fell in love with Emmet Justice. They both have jobs in television. The newlyweds are off to spend their summer at Moonrise, a stately home in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sounds beautiful and romantic doesn't? For most couples it would be, but Helen and Emmet aren't most couples. Why? No matter how hard she tries, Helen will always be living in the shadow of Emmet's first wife Rosalyn. And......someone or something is trying to push Helen out of the picture.

If you've read Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, then you will totally get all of the references in Cassandra King's new book Moonrise. I have not read Rebecca, but I don't think you need to.

Emmet and Rosalyn had a close-knit group of friends -- Tansy and Noel, Linc and Myna, and Kit. To some, especially Tansy, Helen is an outsider. Or as Tansy put it, Helen is "The Bride." Sounds soooooooooooooo rude. But Emmet's marriage was rather sudden and rather soon after Rosalyn's death. The book is told from three different perspectives, Helen, Tansy, and Willa, a caretaker for many of the homes in town. I felt like Helen is who we are supposed to root for. Willa comes across a little more neutral. From Willa's perspective, you learn about everyone. Unlike Tansy, Willa isn't quick to judge Helen. Tansy is a villian, and I don't normally like villians. But in this case, I found Tansy to be more interesting than Helen. Tansy turns into a little spy whenever Helen is around. She spies on Moonrise from her cabin. She looks for fault in every little thing that Helen does. In her mind, no one can measure up to Rosalyn.

Although Helen's character is supposed to be in her mid-forties, she comes off as a little naive. Helen sees Moonrise as an idyllic vacation home, but for Emmet it is a grim reminder of the past. Rosalyn loved that house, but he didn't. He's only keeping it so their daughter, Annie, can have a piece of her mother's past. Why can't Helen see that? Or why can't Emmet tell her that outright? Helen wants so badly to fit in, that she can't see when others are trying to manipulate her. It's a characteristic I wouldn't question in a younger character, but I wanted Helen to have just a little more backbone.

When one member of a very close group dies, how are the rest supposed to go on? That question is at the heart of the book. What do you do with the outsider? Do you tell the outsider your secrets? And in this case, will Helen be able to form new alliances and at what cost? Although I felt the book dragged in some spots, it's a very entertaining read.

Rating: Give it a try

Note: I received a copy of the book from Maiden Lane Press as part of a blog tour with Authors on the Web

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