I have generally sworn off thrillers/suspense type books lately but once in a blue moon a synopsis will appeal even when murder or suspected murder is involved. Add in a touch of the gothic and well, I just can’t seem to help myself and that is how I came to read House on the Forgotten Coast by Ruth Coe Chambers. A copy of the book was sent to me at no charge for my honest review by Poetic Book Tours.
About House on the Forgotten Coast:
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?
About the Author:
Ruth Coe Chambers received formal training in creative writing at the University of South Florida. Following years of writing as a journey to find her voice, she published in numerous anthologies, journals, and magazines, including Rosebud, Water’s Edge, and Chicken Soup for the Coffee Lover’s Soul. She was interviewed in Pittsburgh, PA, on the radio and on TV in Memphis, TN, both in connection with her initial novel, The Chinaberry Album. Her sequel, Heat Lightning, was a finalist at the Florida First Coast Writers’ Festival Contest.
This book starts with the tale of an old love triangle. Lies told, murders past, and a very sad ending to a wedding. Answers are sought but none are found and so no one’s spirit rests easy in the small town of Appalachicola. In the modern day a family looks for a new start by escaping their problems in the big city with a move to a small town.
Elise, her mother and stepfather are looking to begin anew so they are leaving all they know to move to what Mrs. Foster calls “a fishing village.” She comes down with all her city and I know better attitudes wrapped around her. The reader does not know what has led to the move but there are hints dropped. Elise had wanted to escape her parents and go to college but she is not going to get her wish. She is wary of the move but finds the town far more welcoming than she expected. In some ways. In others the town is getting under her skin and invading her dreams. What is real, what is fantasy and what is Elise creating out of the stories she hears around town?
Elise feels increasingly more comfortable in her new home town as she explores further about. She meets many of the inhabitants and learns more about the history of her unique home. She finds herself pursued by a nice young man but she is unsure of his intentions at first. Also she finds herself attracted to another young man but he is rebuffing her for reasons she cannot understand – yet.
There are many threads in this tale all weaving together to form a very enthralling tale. I will note that if I sat back and really thought about some of the threads with a literal brain the whole plot just fell apart. So I warn you to not do this. Just allow yourself the freedom to go with the flow of the book and ignore the pull of reality. Just let the story happen and you will find yourself enjoying the work overall. There are just a couple that bothered me but I’m deciding to let them go for the sake of an overall good ghost (?) story.