*** ————– Review by Rox Burkey
Ms. Lilley delivers a coming-of-age mystery that delves into challenging issues from Maisie’s point of view. The Patterson family moved from England to France in 2010 for Dad to secure employment. Moving away from friends and connections as teens, present challenges for Maisie, nearly 16, and Dan, pushing 18. The house in France needs significant repairs, but high costs mean additional work by family members. Mr. Patterson provides general maintenance for the quaint community with distinctive yet needy neighbors.
The Patterson family faces significant issues that stem from anger at the move, lack of friends, and limited financial resources. When Dan goes missing, the family begins to fall apart in earnest. Later Dan’s body is discovered, and the speculation on his killer shifts the story’s pace into gear. Maisie finds her dreams of university study and independence at risk when her Mum is institutionalized for alcoholism. Elements of this dysfunctional family highlight excessive drinking, mental illness, and unresolved anger.
Fans of YA fiction could relate to Maisie’s future choices as she tries to become assertive. Several unanswered questions may get delivered in a subsequent sequel. I must admit I liked the cover, which caused me to purchase this book, but I wish it mapped closer to the story. Overall, the story uses complex characters who are memorable, but need additional dimension to further engage readers. I would be interested in your thoughts.
About the Author
Hello, my name is Joy Gerken, pen name Joy M. Lilley I write/blog[joymlilley.blogspot.ca] and was a trained nurse, all my working life, until I retired in 2015.
My first novel is ‘Figs, Vines and Roses’ a tale of love and loss at the turn of the nineteenth century.
My second novel is called ‘The Liberty Bodice’. This is a completely different genre to the first novel and follows the trials and tribulations of a young girl working for the Special Operations Executive [S.O.E.]in W.W.2.
You can also find my short story ‘Lost and Found’ published in Liphar short stories Vol 1.[Liphar short stories}by Liphar magazine.
In 2016 my novella ‘Times pendulum swings again’ was published. This tells of a hospital romance that starts well, until the truth about the surgical registrar admitting to his nurse girlfriend that he is married with two sons back home in Nepal.
Check out and Follow Joy’s Authors Page on Amazon.