Saturday, December 23, 2017

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

The House on Foster Hill

Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather's Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house's dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide. 

A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy's search leads her into dangerous waters and, even as she works together with a man from her past, can she unravel the mystery before any other lives--
including her own--are lost?

Wow, Wow, Wow! 
Considering this is Jaime Wright's first foray into the world of solo novels (she has published before in romance collections)  she has quickly shot her way into one of my favourite books of the year.
This woman is a skilled storyteller. First off, the plot. I  was on the edge of my seat (okay technically pillow but still) the whole time. Wright masterfully brings readers back and forth in  time between Ivy and Joel's turn of the century mystery and Kaine and Grant's modern day suspense. Honestly, most dual timeline stories leave me dazed and confused with  transitions that seem jarring. Wright manages to make her transitions feel natural and free flowing allowing the story to maintain its flow throughout.

This was absolutely necessary to maintain the suspense and drama of her plot and she packs in a lot of both. 
Wright is not one to shy away from serious topics.
 I was impressed with the honest approach she took in weaving in topics such  as human trafficking, abuse, death, grief.  I love novels that take the time to shine light on topics that can be uncomfortable but necessary. Given the sensitivity with which Wright explores such big topics I was curious to see how she would incorporate a faith element into her plot and was pleased to see that she maintains the same quality and realism that she brings to her other subjects. Kaine and Ivy's individual struggles with faith given their losses as well as Gabriella's steadfast faith in light of her trials were believable and thought provoking without coming across as a sermon surrounded by a novel.

Of course, the bulk of the story relies on it's characters and Wright has given some amazing characters. Ivy was an early favourite of mine but Grant and Joy soon became favourites as well.
Wright doesn't give picture perfect characters, they come scarred and with walls and I appreciate how Wright  allows readers to discover their secrets over time rather than reading right through them.

4.5 stars out of 5


Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc