House on the Forgotten Coast by Ruth Coe Chambers published by She Writes Press in September 2017.
Like a monarch surveying her domain, the house has stood for over a hundred years in the fishing village of Apalachicola on Florida’s northwest coast. She has known life. She has known passionate love. She has known brutal death. But she has guarded her secrets well . . .
Then eighteen-year-old Elise Foster and her parents arrive from Atlanta in their silver Jaguar, bringing with them their own secrets and desires. Seeking friendship in their new community, they find instead that the townspeople resent their intrusion. But this intrusion on the house’s privacy also provides a pathway for the past and the present to merge—and for the truth behind an unsolved murder to finally be brought to light. As you strive to solve the mystery, you and the Fosters are forced to address two critical questions: What is real? What is delusion?
When eighteen-year-old Elise's parents decide to move from their comfortable lives in Atlanta to a small fishing village in Apalachicola, Florida, Elise becomes anxious. Her mother has asked Elise to put off going to college for a year in order to help them settle in. Elise has always been an outsider, even to her parents, she decides that the move may mean a new start for her as well. When Elise first sets eyes on their new home, something inside her clicks. Finally, Elise feels like she belongs, the townspeople adore her and the boat shaped house feels like home. Then, the dreams intensify, Elise dreams of another young woman, Annelise, who never got the chance to live in the boat shaped house that was built for her in 1897. Elise keeps getting clues to Annelise's life and how the man she loved died. Elise feels she might be burdened with living out Annelise's dream but those around her are worried that Elise is living in a fantasy world.
House on the Forgotten Coast pulled me in with the intense atmosphere and air of mystery. I was grabbed by the snippet from Annelise's demise and then caught up in Elise's story and wondered how the two women connected. I was effortlessly drawn to Elise, she has been an outsider all of her life, not even understood by her parents, but determined to make her own way. I was pleased that she was generously taken in by the inhabitants of Apalachicola. The residents of the town were also very well developed, I loved getting to know Peyton, Dallas, the Myers, the Aunts and Ty. They all added to the mystique of the town. Through the entire story, the writing presents a very gradual build up of something being not quite right. The mystery lies in whether or not the town is cursed due to Annelise's demise or if Elise herself is the only one being haunted by Elise's memory. Overall, a mysterious and haunting story that I absolutely devoured.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
She is indebted to the creative writing classes at the University of South Florida where she found her “voice” and began writing literary fiction. Listed in the Who’s Who of American Women. She has recently republished one novel, and published it’s sequel, and has written two award-winning plays. She is currently working on the third novel in her Bay Harbor Trilogy. She has two daughters and lives with her husband and one very spoiled Cairn terrier in Neptune Beach, Florida.
Her two earlier novels include The Chinaberry Album and Heat Lightening
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