mary's book basket ~ things left unspoken

Author Eva Marie Everson takes us on a southern adventure in her newest release Things Left Unspoken. Weaving together a family mystery, a strained marriage and a mid-life crisis using first person narrative and cleverly placed flashbacks, Ms. Everson draws you into the heroine's inner life with ease and grace. It is a wonderful read that's takes you on a woman's journey of discovery to figure out who she is and what home is all about.

The heroine, interior designer Jo-Lynn Hunter, returns to her ancestral home in Cottonwood, Georgia to restore the family mansion after the death of a favorite uncle. Her marriage is on the rocks and she is unsure of her future feeling like her life is passing her by. As she digs in to her new project, strange things begin to happen around her. Break-ins and vandalism do not deter her from investigating her families history leading her to discover long held secrets that dramatically impact those she loves. In between the mysterious happenings, Jo-Lynn begins to repair her strained marriage with her husband Evan,who eventually learns to appreciate the treasure he has in her.

What I love about Ms. Everson's work are her character's and the fabulous southern setting. Her secondary characters bring Cottonwood alive. Jo-Lynn's Aunt Stella is a hoot! She is feisty and honorable. She made decisions in her past that are revealed through touching flashbacks. She is one strong southern woman! Ms. Everson paints a lovely portrait of Main Street with graceful old buildings just aching for someone to breath life back into them. She is extremely delicate with some sensitive historical facts, revealing a more positive side of the past. The town of Cottonwood becomes a metaphor for the reawakening that Jo-Lynn is experiencing.

And the food! Southern cuisine is all about family and bringing everyone to the table. It comforts the grieving and is the centerpiece of any celebration. There were scenes where I just wanted to crawl into the pages and join the table. Oh my goodness!

I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful escape. Congratulations, Ms. Everson! Now pass the fried chicken and let's have some caramel cake!