Pocket Books 2007
Genre: Women's Fiction
Source: Own book
Ave Maria Mulligan is still single at thirty-five and she's as well known for being the town spinster as for being the town pharmacist. Not that it matters. Ave Maria has her work, her best friend Theo and her loving Mama. So she isn't lonesome. Not a bit. Not even a place like Stone Gap where most people are married by eighteen and you can't park outside a man's house with out rumours flying.
But now Ave Maria's Mama has died, and if that isn't enough, a letter has arrived with a secret from beyond the grave. A secret that raises as many questions as it answers.
Nothing stays private in a small town and before long Ave has a whole host of things to worry about. Boys she knew in school have a new look in their eyes, even reliable Theo is asking unsettling questions, and feelings long buried are working their way to the surface. Is Ave Maria ready for her comfortable life to change?
This book has long been on my wish list to read and finally I chose to pick it up off the shelf where it had only been sitting for a short while and read it. I have the next two waiting on the shelf so fortunately I very much liked this first book in the series.
At first I wasn't sure that I liked it but by the end of chapter two I was hooked in, the second half of the novel was then read in one morning. I found that in this book there were always little surprises that popped up, just when I was thinking that everything was settling down, along comes another startling revelation. It certainly kept the whole story ticking along.
Ave Maria was an engaging character. At times I thought how can she be so blind, but in fact she was to my mind a very realistic character. She was a very kind, caring person who is waking up to the fact that she hasn't been really in touch with herself - who she really is and what makes her really happy. She is a bit of a mystery to herself and the others. As she takes more control of her life, I like the way she doesn't become a perfect person. She still worries and sees all the possible negative outcomes for the future. I can identify with that. I also like the way Jack Mac is able to accept her as she is, and to some extent counter balance that worrisome approach to live that Ave has.
The town and its characters, Ave Maria's family and Ave Maria herself bring an emotional bond to this story. As a reader I found myself caught up in this array of people, all so different and with such human stories. I look forward to reading more and finding out what is next around the bend for Ave and her family and friends.