I feel like I’ve been waiting for this novel for three years. That’s when I read my first Marisa de los Santos novel (The Precious One) and followed it with Belong To Me, which swiftly took its place in my Top Ten Books Of All Time (and if you haven’t read that novel please stop what you are doing and head to the closest bookstore or library.) So when I heard that there would be a new book, featuring some of the characters from Belong To Me, I counted the days until I could buy my very own copy.
Please bear with me as I gush. First, the cover is gorgeous and perfect. I adore butterflies and flowers and all pretty-blue-sky things. The pages are raw-cut and add to the texture and experience. But when I started reading, that’s when the magic hit. Within a couple pages I had tears in my eyes, because NO ONE writes like Marisa de los Santos and I desperately missed her voice.
The story follows Clare, the girl from Love Walked In and Belong To Me, now a young woman on the verge of marrying the wrong man. The weekend of her wedding she meets an elderly woman named Edith, and their short conversation is enough to help Clare realize she can’t go through with the marriage. A few weeks later, Clare discovers that Edith has passed away and left her a house on the Delaware coast.
The narrative alternates between Clare in the present and Edith in the 1950s. What follows is a beautifully-drawn exploration of love and belonging, intertwined with a bit of a mystery.
After reading countless domestic suspense novels and thrillers recently, this felt like…well, like a blue sky after a long, dark winter. I loved the characters, the writing, and most of all, the LOVE that shone through on every page. I felt it to my bones. .
If you haven’t read the other books featuring Clare, don’t worry, this one stands alone. But it certainly wouldn’t hurt if you DID read them—just saying.