Tory Bodeen returns to her hometown of Prospect in the southern United States to open an art and craft gallery, sixteen years after her childhood friend, Hope Lavelle, whose wealthy background contrasted sharply with Tory's, was brutally murdered at the age of eight. The crime, which remains unsolved, has scarred Tory deeply, as have the brutal experiences of her own upbringing at the hands of her aggressive, domineering father, Hannibal Bodeen. She is further tortured by her own clairvoyant powers, which allow her to identify incidents in the life of certain objects she comes across. Back in Prospect, she re-encounters family and friends of her childhood and adjusts to the changes that have taken place in her absence. Her comfortable, reliable grandmother has a new boyfriend; her cousin, Wade, is the local vet; Hope's twin, Faith, twice married already, has turned into a spoilt southern belle. Meanwhile, Tory realises that her previously sisterly feelings for Cade Lavelle, Hope's brother, have turned into something much deeper. She must also come to terms with her complicated relationship with her mother, the downtrodden Sarabeth. As evidence unfolds that Hope's murderer has killed again, on the anniversary of her death, Tory finds herself in danger...
This is a really great book, Tory is a very well written character, I felt so sorry for the girl who was beaten by her father, and then had to 'witness' her friends murder. The only joy in this girl's life was taken away, one terrible night. Upon her return she is treated terribly by Hope's mother, who blames Tory for the death of her daughter. Tory has always worried that her father may have killed Hope, and as the story plays out it looks more and more likely that she was right.
Faith, Hope's twin, is damaged from the loss of her sister, and the collapse of her family. She is searching for someone to love her for herself, but she is also scared that if she lets someone love her she won't measure up. She fears the inevitable comparison to her 'good' sister. Faith tends to provide some of the humour in the book because she is so silly and vain at times, you just find her amusing.
She and Tory are thrown together, time and again, and slowly begin to heal each other, aided by their respective beaus.
This is not a standard romance novel, and I would think that anyone who enjoys a good thriller would enjoy this novel, as the murder mystery aspect is very well thought out. The book reminds me a lot of 'Lovely Bones' even though it was written sometime before that, as you get to see the effect the tragic loss of a daughter has on a family. Tory's clairvoyant powers are interesting but are not the main focus of the story which is good; they are just an additional layer in this complex story.
Read and enjoy.