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Friday, November 12, 2010

Crestmont...Review

About the book:
“A dream, after all, needn’t be fueled by particulars, only by desire.”

So notes main character, Gracie Antes, in Crestmont, a historical fiction gem set in the 1920s.

Determined to take control of her life, sheltered Gracie Antes leaves her unhappy home in 1925 to pursue her dream of a singing career. On her way to the big city, she accepts a job as a housemaid at the bustling Crestmont Inn. Once there, Gracie finds a life-changing encounter with opera singer Rosa Ponselle, family she never imagined could be hers, and a man with a mysterious past. Relive the 1920s with a colorful cast of characters. Discover with Gracie that sometimes we must trade loss for happiness.

Set in Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania, the story is interwoven with details about the town, the rich history of the Crestmont Inn, and the family who passed ownership from one generation to the next. Many attempts have been made to explain how the mountaintop lake nestled in this tiny town came to be. Crestmont gives a new twist to an old Native American legend, setting the tone of grace around which the story is built.

Let the period of the Roaring Twenties spark your interest with its unique social mores, fashion, jazz, and yes, a little bootlegging thrown in for pizzazz.

I'm having a difficult time putting my thoughts to paper, or rather to virtual paper.  I enjoyed Crestmont, but reading the book, I kept wondering what the point/purpose/reason was for telling the story.  Oh, it is Gracie's story and how she finds herself and what is important in her life, but there is no true conflict, no real villains, and nothing dastardly or tragic happens.  It reads almost as if it's a memoir of the Crestmont Inn itself and the narration is just what happens to Gracie and those in and around the inn.  Perhaps that is what the author intended. 

I liked Gracie, although she was a little too good and there were many other endearing characters in the story. The narration moves in and out of several people's lives, without the reader ever really knowing the whole story.  I often wished for more detail and character development.  I was left with lots of unanswered questions.  The book does bring to mind a different time and era and is historically rich in its descriptions.  The author includes an extensive section at the end which is devoted to research and references.

It's an easy, smooth read.  I enjoyed it, I didn't adore it. In short, a sweet, mellow Christian novel. 

Thanks to First Wildcard and the author for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Holly Weiss here.  You can read the first chapter here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 11/10

* * *
3/5 Stars

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