By Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
Rating 4/5 Stairs
When I first started this book, the beginning was interesting, but not necessarily a page turner. I was content to read a chapter or two and then put the book down. But by the end, I found myself reading late into the night to see what happened next.
Cassie has been living in her Two Oaks home for several months, ever since her grandmother June passed away and left the house to her. Living isn’t the right word – more like existing, mostly sleeping. Cassie has lost her way in life. The house is full of memories, and shares memories of 18 year old June with Cassie while she sleeps.
A knock on the door is the first step to pulling Cassie out of this existence – The famous movie star Jack Montgomery has recently died, and left his entire fortune to Cassie, who he claims is his granddaughter. Cassie is quite shocked, sure that June always loved her grandfather. With the help of Jack’s two daughters, she begins to dig into her family’s past, and that fateful summer in June 1955 when Jack crossed paths with June.
The book flips back and forth between June 2015 and June 1955, weaving June’s story with Cassie’s discoveries. Cassie begins digging into that summer, longing to know the whole story of Jack and June. The house guides her with dreams, and Cassie starts to connect with people in the town who knew her grandmother to try and find her answers. And Cassie realizes that there were many things she didn’t know about her grandmother, and wishes she had asked when she had the chance.
The house as a character was the only piece that didn’t quite work for me. I think I was expecting a little more from the house, since Ms. Beverly-Whittemore did make it somewhat of a living character. Also, it seemed that a lot of the action took place away from the house, so the house really would not have understood the whole story.
There are many different layers going on throughout this book. Yes, it is about Cassie discovering if she is indeed Jack’s granddaughter. It’s also the story of Cassie discovering a June she never knew, and one of Cassie finding herself again. It’s about family, and love, and commitment, and loyalty. And I found it to be a lovely summer read.
Many thanks to First to Read for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.