Monday, May 4, 2009


Katie misses her mother who recently died of cancer. She tries to find things around the house that help her feel close to her mother's spirit. As summer begins, Katie knows she will need something to keep her busy while her father, an art/painting restorer, works obsessively in his studio.

The answer comes in the form of a landscaping job at the Everlast estate.Working with the full-time groundskeeper and caretakers of the estate, Katie spends her daytime hours with her hands dirty and her brow sweaty. The work is tiring but strangely satisfying.

As she works, she begins to wonder about the strange stories told of Miss Martine Everlast and her reclusive lifestyle. The woman has been dead for some time, but the mansion is still cared for by a man known as Old Olson and a couple who have been employed there for years. When Katie and the others are assigned to excavate a hole in the garden, it seems some of the long buried secrets of Miss Martine might finally be uncovered.

The detective work that results helps give Katie yet another purpose during that long summer. Her frequent trips to the library to sift through boxes of what the librarian calls "local lore" occupies her scattered thoughts and gives her conversational material to distract her and her father as they deal with their grief. Understanding another family's secrets might make understanding her own family easier.

Beth Kephart, an accomplished author, takes readers into the lives of people who have suffered loss and are struggling to deal with the changes it brings to their lives. It is evident through Kephart's story that no two people grieve in the same way, yet dealing with loss is a universal issue. Using the backdrop of the local mystery adds a suspenseful twist to Katie's search to hold onto the memory of her mother.

1 comment:

Beth Kephart said...

Well, it's funny how things are — I went to thank Ed for his wonderful review of UNDERCOVER, and here discover a wonderful review by you for a book that still waits, trembling, in the wings.

Many, many thanks to you,