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Still Waters Paperback – September 8, 2017
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"A family saga that has it all: struggles, secrets, reunions and forgiveness. The characters are on a mission to help members of the family learn to let go of the past and begin to live again, using any method that works, and they are all well-rounded and three-dimensional. Brackett is a talented author who writes about complicated family issues with humor and love. 4 stars." --Romantic Times
About the Author
Lindsey P. Brackett just writes life blogs, columns, articles, and stories in the midst of motherhood. Still Waters, influenced by her family ties to the South Carolina Lowcountry, is her debut novel. A Georgia native, Lindsey makes her home at the foothills of Appalachia with her patient husband and their four rowdy children. Connect with her at lindseypbrackett.com.
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I really like how all the relationships unfolded: Cora Ann and her mother, her father, her grandmother, her cousin Hannah, and most of all her relationship with Tennessee. Grandmother Nan was a wonderful character who just wanted to bring her family back to a place that she loved and was filled at one time with happy memories. Keeping secrets of her own and knowing time is short, Nan wants to see her struggling children and grandchildren find happiness, love, and most of all joy.
Tennessee was such a hero and I really enjoyed his pursuit of Cora Ann and trying his best to love her through everything. This is an emotional book. The central themes are familial love and restoration, new love with newfound hope and joy, and learning to forgive oneself. I hope that there is a second planned after this story. I would like to have more of a resolution and more time with these characters. Have the tissues nearby.
I received an e-copy of the book for free and I purchased a paperback for my own reading pleasure. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
The story centers on Cora Anne, who is reluctantly coming to stay for the summer on Edisto Island with her Nan. Cora Anne hasn't spent much time on Edisto since a tragic event when she was around 10 years old turned it from a fun summer vacation spot to a place of guilt and fear. But Edisto and Nan, along with Cora's childhood friend Tennessee, conspire to make her reconsider her opinion of the island. The characters and their struggles are believable, and the story (as well as the setting) draw the reader in until you just HAVE to know what happens next. I seriously had trouble putting it down, and I really did care what was going to happen to these fictional people. Also, I want to meet Cora Anne's Nan and eat at Ben's restaurant, even though I don't like seafood.
This book is so well-written it's hard to believe it's Ms. Brackett's debut novel. Some of the characters in Still Waters have definite sequel potential. I'd love to see a series exploring Hannah's life as a wedding coordinator, for instance, or learning more about Ben's story, because clearly there is one. Or Lou's life as a young girl. (hint, hint)
Cora Anne is buried under layers of guilt, fear, and hurt. As the tide ebbs away the shore, the beauty of Edisto Beach and the love she finds there wash away the pain and help her learn to live again.
There is romance in the form of Tennessee Watson, a man you'll fall for as quickly as Cora Anne does. He is the perfect anecdote for her troubled soul, as Cora Anne's grandmother "Nan" knows for a fact. But that's not all this story entails, as Nan herself has her own secrets to keep. And there's Cora Anne's relationship with her mother - another situation that needs much healing.
The characters are well-developed and burst with life, just like the flowers in Nan's garden. I felt like I had spent a summer vacation on this beautiful island with these wonderful characters, and I learned something important about the power of forgiveness, especially learning to forgive yourself.