I really loved her first two books (The Sugar Queen and Garden Spells)and couldn’t wait to read this latest offering, knowing that it would be a good story tinged with a tiny bit of magic. Once again this is set in a Southern town with characters, history, secrets, and a little magic. Emily is a teenager whose mother has recently died. She’s never been to her mother’s hometown, nor met her grandfather, but she has no one left so that is where she must now live. Julia grew up in the town, moved away and had to return when her own father died, but she set a strict two year maximum deadline in place and can’t wait to leave. Emily has always known her mother to be strong, independent, moral, and an activist. But she finds that no one in town remembers her that way, and furthermore they hold her (and by extension, her daughter) responsible for a tragedy.
Julia also has to contend with her past in the town being very different with her life as it is now. Julia knew Emily’s mother and so takes Emily under her wing. There are some romantic storylines tangled up with mysterious secrets from the past. I liked this very much, though I have to say not quite as much as the other two novels. There is quite a bit of build up for a family’s secret that, when revealed, I just didn’t think was that shocking. But I can overlook that because I liked the storytelling.