Author: T.M Brown
Genre: Suspense, Mystery
Note: I received a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis: Theo is a retired publisher, and together with his wife Liddy, the couple decides to leave their fast pace life in Atlanta and move to the quiet small town of Shiloh. This is a new beginning for the retired couple.
The couple are newbies in this small town, they do not know anyone when they first arrive, however their presence soon changes the course of many of the locals in Shiloh. Some of the townsfolk think it is due to providence. Is it God’s work at hand that brings Theo and Liddy to this new town or simply coincidence?
When Theo ends up taking up a part time writing job at the local paper he begins to unravel a story that has been laid to reset for year now. Theo soon discovers that an innocent man’s life might be involved, and so he works even harder at winning over the town and discovering the truth that underlies what he originally set out to write about.
Some of the locals are happy to have the truth revealed while others, work against Theo and his attempt at what could be more than just a magnificent story.
Review: I liked the book. The plot for the story was well thought out. This book is heavily based on characters, and the author did a great job with character development and interaction with one another. At the beginning I was worried as there were a lot of characters introduced quickly, but as I read on, and got to know them, it was easy to keep them all straight, this was due to the development progression that was done well. The book deals with themes of: community, and friendship.
There were two key aspects about this book that I really liked and related to well. The small town feel of Shiloh reminded me very much of my own small town. This is in part due to the small church, the sense of community, the overall small town feeling and acceptance of the neighbours. When Theo and his wife first move out to Shiloh, I found their experience to be somewhat similar to my own. At times I felt like that the author was writing about my small home town and this familiarity was nice while reading this book.
There was also the connection I made to Theo himself, and this is in part because Theo is a writer, and he sets out to write a certain story about the town. He then begins to interview Marie and everyone else in the town in hopes to gain enough material for a story to materialize. The character mentions taking his pen and notepad along with him. I connected to this immediately as I too am writing a story of my Grandmother’s life and I know all too well what it is like to interview individuals for a story you hope that will some take fruition. I could really see myself in Theo’s shoes while he interviewed all his new neighbours, eagerly getting the stories he needed to help him with his own story.
My favourite character other than Theo of course, as we did form a connection immediately was Megan. I liked her story, and how it evolved. I feel that Megan is representative of someone who is not perfect but can still be a wonderful human being. Megan has made mistakes in the past, but then has lived years with the guilt and trying to do right by her past. She handles everything that she has endured with grace.
I did however find the story itself to be a bit long considering the plot line. I feel like it could have wrapped up sooner than it had. There were many chapters that I felt were added that were not necessary as they provided no additional input into the story or plot. Nor did these chapters/passages help to solve any of the problems. This added some repetitiveness throughout specifically in some of the dialogue.
There were moments of the story that I felt the book was preaching a bit too much. I do understand that the faith, religion and church setting is a vital part of the community in Shiloh, and that it was necessary to paint a certain picture of what the town is like, however I just feel that at times it was overdone.
Closing Thoughts: In summary, I enjoyed the book overall, I give it a 3-star rating out of 5 starts. I am looking forward to reading the next installment, Testament.