Katie’s house is just too big now that her mom has passed away and her genius dad is distant and more focused on the paintings that he restores. She’s also separated herself from many of her friends and has found herself very lonely.
The summer before her senior year of high school she decides that she needs a job. Katie soon finds herself working in the gardens of the local mystery woman, Miss Martine. Along with two handsome and goofy brothers, a chic librarian she becomes enthralled with the mystery behind Miss Martine and is determined to solve it.
There are secrets everywhere Katie turns. Behind locked doors, within old newspaper clippings, with the old man who works in the garden, and within old paintings. Beneath everything though, at the core of this mystery, is a love story. A love story within the mystery and one of Katie’s own. As Katie discovers more and more about Miss Martine, Katie also finds out more and more about herself and comes to turn with many of the ghosts in her life.
I have to start off by saying that Beth Kephart is one of my all-time favorite authors. That being said I always have high expectations when I sit down to read her books and this one was no exception. I loved how the author was able to subtly weave several different tiny stories into the general plot and had me so enchanted that it was impossible for me to close the book.
I loved how unique the plot was. It was a mystery, but was different than anything I had ever experienced. Like any mystery though it had all those heart pounding suspense moments and moments of despair. The characters came in an enhanced the story to no end. Katie was a great character who was extremely relatable and at time her curiosity created a sense of spontaneity that brought a smile to my face. The relationships that were created were very real and I just could not wait for them to unfold. All the characters were well developed and they were all so different that there was a great sense of diversity within the story.
Now this would not be a true Kephart novel if it did not have superior writing. Every sentence was truly brilliant and I loved the lyrical feel that was presented. All the grief and emotion within the story was so true, yet it was not overdone. She also created such an unexpected and amazing ending that perfectly suited the story that made me love her even more!
This was one of the best books of the year and was a spectacular prose that doesn’t easily leave the reader’s mind. I encourage you all to go and grab a copy and read it quickly, but not too quickly so that you don’t have time to savor every perfect word.