Thursday, May 21, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Let Me Die In His Footsteps by Lori Roy

This is a book review for Let Me Die In His Footsteps by Lori Roy. I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The scheduled publication date for this book is June 2, 2015.

On a dark Kentucky night in 1952 exactly halfway between her fifteenth and sixteenth birthdays, Annie Holleran crosses into forbidden territory. Everyone knows Hollerans don’t go near Baines, not since Joseph Carl was buried two decades before. It was 1936, and there were seven Baine boys. That year, Annie’s aunt, Juna Crowley, with her black eyes and her long blond hair, came of age. Before Juna, Joseph Carl had been the best of all the Baine brothers. But then he looked into Juna’s eyes and they made him do things that cost innocent people their lives. Sheriff Irlene Fulkerson saw justice served—or did she? As the lavender harvest approaches and she comes of age as Aunt Juna did in her own time, Annie’s dread mounts. Juna will come home now, to finish what she started. If Annie is to save herself, her family, and this small Kentucky town, she must prepare for Juna’s return, and the revelation of what really happened all those years ago

First of all, I will freely admit that I requested this book solely because of its cover. Yes, I judge books by their cover and I don't even care. But isn't the lavender on the cover gorgeous?? The descriptions of the lavender fields in the book are just as breathtaking. I loved hearing Annie describe the vibrant colors and the smells. The author did such a great job that I swear I could smell the loaves of Annie's grandmother's lavender bread. The setting of Kentucky was also brilliant. I grew up in a small Southern town and I swear everything was accurate, even the belief in evil spirits and curses and of course all the gossip and secrets that come from living in a small town.

Every year, halfway between a girl's fifteenth and sixteenth birthdays, girls dress up and go to the well in the Baines' yard. There is a legend that girls will be able to see the face of the man they are supposed to marry. This is called a girl's ascension. During the summer of 1952, when Annie reaches her ascension, going into the Baines' yard is forbidden because of a tragedy between Annie's Aunt Juna and one of the Baine boys in 1936. Despite the fact that her parents warn her not to go and despite the fact that Mrs. Baine is often on her porch with a shotgun, Annie goes to the well anyway. In the process, she discovers a body. This discovery reminds the town of the tragedy from 1936. The book bounces from Annie and her sister Caroline in 1956 to Juna and Sarah (Juna's sister) in 1936. There are very similar mysteries in both time periods.

It did take me a while to learn all the characters in the story. Going back and forth, I was sometimes confused as to everyone's relationship. When it changed from past to future, it would take me a minute to adjust and figure out who everyone was and who everyone was married to or who was dead etc. There were just so many people in the story. I do think that the buildup to the resolution of both mysteries was very slow and a bit drawn out. Nevertheless, I was quite engaged with both Sarah and Annie. There was a twist at the end with both mysteries that had me reeling. I know that I am usually clueless anyway, but I didn't see it coming. 

Buy/Borrow/Skip: Borrow. The mystery took a while to build up to, but the setting and the resolution were worth it. 

6 comments :

  1. I knew nothing about this one, but it sounds pretty amazing. And, yes, the cover would've convinced me buy it without further information also! :D

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    1. Oh I know Ramona, isn't it gorgeous??

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  2. This is new to me and I might have some issues getting to know characters at first as well, but does intrigue me

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    1. Yes Brandi, it was a good mystery. Just slow at times.

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  3. I'm intrigued. I like the myth and legends that spur the tradition of ascension. Really cool concept.

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    1. Joy, I think you might like this one. Other than it going a little slow at times, it was pretty good.

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