Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Lilac Bouquet, by Carolyn Brown (author), Brittany Pressley (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, March 2017

With a family history that includes three generations of Massey women having children out of wedlock, Emmy Jo Massey is determined to have a big, formal wedding with as much as possible of the town of Hickory, Texas in attendance. Raising the money for the big wedding includes taking a two-month job as a home health aide to town recluse Seth Thomas.

Her great-grandmother, Tandy, is absolutely opposed. She wants the child she raised when her granddaughter died going nowhere near Seth Thomas. Of course, she's also dead set against Emmy Jo marrying Logan Grady, too, and that's not stopping Emmy Jo. But Tandy won't tell her why she's so opposed. The only answer she'll give is that she refuses to talk about the past--an answer that quite reasonably doesn't sway Emmy Jo to her point of view.

Logan's grandfather, Jesse, is equally opposed, and equally close-mouthed on why.

Nor is Seth Thomas any more willing to say why these three octogenarians hate each other so much. He'd refuse to have Emmy Jo in his house because of her kinship to Tandy if he could work out a way to do it, but with his broken hip still healing, his sister Nora has managed to take the decision out of his hands.

Gradually, Seth and Emmy Jo start to talk to each other.

Emmy Jo also starts digging into the town newspapers.

The cause of the feud amongst the three goes back more than sixty years, and the whole truth can't come out until each of the three starts talking. Seth, regarded by the entire town as weird and strange, turns out to be the one most willing to both listen and talk. Jesse, a preacher and most respected of the three in the town, is the least willing.

There were times when I thought, oh, this is just going to get unbearably foolish--but it didn't. This is a gentle but determined look at some interesting and complex characters who have a lot to answer for in their lives. It was a very satisfying read, or rather, listen.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.