"A love triangle and you gave it 4 stars?" But there is a reason for it, so for all of you who are weary of reading this book because of the dreaded love triangle, please don't be!
Verity was sent away from Catawissa to live with relatives when she was a little girl, after her mother passed away. Now that she's seventeen she's started corresponding with a young man from her old town. It would be an advantageous marriage - he helped keep her father's farm during the war, and she's her father's only child. But it's not all business! Verity is a romantic and Nate seems perfect in the letters he's sent her. Why, he even sent her a book of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poems, how much romantic could the whole thing be?
The thing is, once they meet, it's soon revealed that Nate let his sisters pick the gifts he was sending her. So who is this man? He's not the one with whom Verity has been trading love letters, that's for sure, he's so serious, and pragmatic, and all he cares about is farming...
Add to this the fact that her own father seems to care very little for her, and Beulah, the housekeeper, can't seem to even stand her presence, and Verity is starting to think her decision to come back to Catawissa was a big mistake.
But trouble is only starting, once she stumbles upon the graves of her mother and aunt she finds them in unhallowed ground and placed within iron cages.
Wherever she turns Verity is faced with evasions, half truths, malicious rumours and outright lies as to what made the townsfolk inter her relatives like this.
Was it witchcraft? Was it a fabled treasure buried with one of the women? Or was it because, as they say,
“In Catawissa sometimes the dead don’t stay where you put them.”?
Whatever the truth, Verity is determined to find it, and in the midst of all this the only one who is kind to her from the beginning is the new doctor's apprentice, Hadley, who makes it very plain that he doesn't care for her arranged marriage and he has feelings for her.
Now, the love triangle is presented, I won't spoil it for you, but to reveal that it didn't bother me. One of the "angles" was never a serious contender and in a town where everyone is a suspect, and Verity's life seems, at times, threatened, the love triangle had reason to be. If not only to highlight how right the steady and true kind of love is by comparison.
The book also gains points for the progression of the non-romantic relationships portrayed between Verity, her father, Beulah, and Nate's sisters.
So if you love a good gothic mystery, realistic characters, and a lovely romance, this is the book for you!
Dianne K. Salerni's official site
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