Mystic Creek, Book #1
By Catherine Anderson
Author’s Website: http://www.catherineanderson.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Jerjen
Silver Thaw: A Mystic Creek Novel by Catherine Anderson is a fantastic book. It is a story of abuse, second chances, hope and new beginnings. It is the perfect blend of all these things. I cannot say enough positive things about this book.
Amanda Banning and her daughter Chloe have escaped to Mystic Creek, Oregon, to be free of her abusive husband. She is barely making enough to make ends meet but she is determined to keep her daughter away from the monster that she married. She begins to write notes on pieces of pink paper that contain her innermost thoughts, worries and desires. After writing the notes, she releases them into the wind, letting them float away. She is sure no one will find them, and even if they did they would not know that she wrote them. But releasing them helps her find some hope and peace. The place that she lives in is a dump and her and her daughter have no luxuries in their lives, but at least they have their freedom. But she knows that her husband will come after them, he will not rest until he finds them and makes Amanda pay for leaving him. She can never let her guard down.
Jeb Sterling also lives in Mystic Creek, just a street or two away from where Amanda lives. He has found many of the notes that Amanda released and he wishes he could find the note writer and help her. But he has no idea how to do that. When a severe winter storm hits Mystic Creek, he goes around the neighborhood trying to help those who are without power or heat. When he arrives at Amanda’s house, he is pretty sure it is an abandoned house, but something tells him to check it out anyway. When he finds Amanda and Chloe living there, his heart goes out to them and he wants to help them in any way that he can. And when he eventually realizes that Amanda is the note writer, he also realizes he has met his soulmate. Now he just has to convince Amanda, who is not capable of trusting men.
The core of this book revolves around spousal and child abuse. The author seems to be very knowledgeable about the subject and that shows in her writing. Although this book is fiction much of the abusive descriptions are very realistic. I am sure that many women have lived through the same things that Amanda and her daughter lived through, and some lived through worse. And some did not live through it at all. Abuse is a very serious problem in society and the author handled it realistically, truthfully and powerfully. I applaud her for that.
The characters are well developed, well round and three dimensional. It is impossible to not fall in love with all of them, except the husband. The small town setting was a perfect backdrop for this book because everyone could rally around Amanda and Chloe. Amanda now has others in her corner and has help in protecting Chloe.
The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read. The writer is very descriptive and is able to create suspense with just her words. The book is very suspenseful and had me turning the pages to see if anything bad was going to happen to any of the characters. At times I was afraid to keep reading because I was so worried for them. But the book is also humorous and heartwarming. I think that is a difficult thing to achieve, finding the right balance between humor, suspense and seriousness. The author did this beautifully.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys well crafted contemporary romance reads. Although there is plenty of friendship and romance, it is not a steamy sexual read. It is heartwarming and heart wrenching at times, and well worth reading. I have not read any other books by this author but I plan to read them all. She is a fantastic writer and I cannot wait to read more of her work.