Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Review: "This Must Be The Place" by Kate Racculia

Arthur Rook is devastated when his wife, Amy, dies following a freak accident at her work. Suddenly nothing makes sense to him anymore- Amy was his rock in the ever-changing waters of Los Angeles. Overwhelmed with grief, he finds a pink shoebox hidden at the bottom of her closet that's practically calling his name. Inside he finds a collection of objects and items from her past, some of which he doesn't recognize, some of which he does. He finds a postcard from Amy addressed to her friend Mona, unsent after all of these years, and he blindly makes his way towards Mona's boarding house in Ruby Falls, New York.

Mona and her teenage daughter Oneida are outcasts in their little town. They are content with the company of the long-term boarders that they house, despite the fact that they are a strange and sometimes volatile mix. When Arthur Rook stumbles through their door, everything is about to change for the mother and her daughter, although they have no idea how much things will change. Arthur tries to piece together the mystery that is his late wife, Mona tries to keep pieces of Amy a secret, and Oneida navigates the treacherous waters of adolescence, and together they move towards the truth.

Kate Racculia has written an ambitious novel, part mystery, part romance, and part coming of age. She tells is from three different points of view, that of Arthur, Mona, and Oneida. One moment we're in the head of a man overwhelmed with grief, another moment we are in the head of a woman who became a mother too soon. I enjoyed Oneida's part of the story, as it's not often that an author can write so convincingly about the things going on in the head of a teenager. The three points of view blended effortlessly, creating stories that was enjoyable both separately and in combination. The pieces of the mystery were revealed tantalizingly slowly, and although I guessed early on what the twist would be, it made it no less satisfying.

It did take me about 75 pages to get into this one, as there were three different main characters to introduce, as well as the late Amy. There was a lot of back story needed to make the whole thing credible, but once I got past all of that, the story moved more quickly and was entirely enjoyable.

The ending was particularly satisfying, subtle and not overdone, yet happy. It left me with a good feeling, and This Must Be The Place will make an enjoyable read for any fiction fan.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Recommended to: Fiction fans
Challenges: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge, New Author Challenge 2010

Thank-you to Henry Holt & Company for this review copy, which was sent in exchange for my honest opinion.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you enjoyed this one -- I'll be picking it up soon! I love the cover.