My most recent read was A Stillness of Chimes by Meg Moseley. It’s an alluring contemporary drama with elements of mystery and romance. One my favorite things about it was its subtle “Southern charm”. Growing up in a small Ozarks town myself, I appreciate the familiarity, closeness, and quirkiness of the characters that grew up in the Appalachians.
Laura Gantt has returned to her hometown of Prospect, Georgia, in the heart of the Appalachians, to sort through her recently deceased mother’s belongings. Her father, Elliot Gantt, was believed to have drowned when Laura was still a teenager. Now facing her future with no parents, she feels starkly alone. Mysteriously, rumors of sightings of her father Elliot begin to circulate. Now revisiting childhood memories of both happiness and possible desertion, Laura must sort through her doubts while cultivating this new possibility of hope.
Sean Halloran, Laura’s best friend from childhood and her high-school sweetheart, reenters her life with perfect timing. Growing up in an abusive home, Sean looked up to Elliot Gantt as a father figure and mentor. With haunting memories of his own surrounding the disappearance and supposed drowning of Elliot Gantt, he has his own reasons for reconnecting with and protecting Laura. They work together to dispel rumors and discover long-buried secrets of the Gantt family. The new information they learn shatters their expectations and threatens to change all they believed to be true. In the midst of it all, Sean and Laura confront their feelings for one another and the reasons their romantic relationship ended years ago.
Meg skillfully maintains a thread of suspense and mystery throughout the story as the characters cope with secrets and uncover new dangers. Meg’s prose paints a beautiful backdrop for this story. A picturesque town, mountain living, bluegrass, blackberries, friendship, kudzu, and little old ladies all make A Stillness of Chimes a unique and charming story of love and sacrifice.
Meg deals with some tough issues within this story, including abuse, abandonment, and even the PTSD-like problems of a Vietnam veteran. She confronts these problems realistically and carefully, showing their effects and influence on the characters.
The characters face questions of faith and sacrifice during the course of the story. Love and honor motivate the characters as they learn valuable lessons in forgiveness and the importance of love. Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and would recommend it to anyone looking to read a family drama with unexpected twists and a little romance – just make sure you have plenty of time to read, because you might want to read it straight through!
Note: Thank you to the publisher for a complimentary copy in exchange for a review! I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review.
What is your favorite thing about your hometown? Your comments are always welcome!