Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Muir House

The Muir House by Mary DeMuth
Reviewed by Melissa J. MacDonald
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Zondervan
Date: 2011

The thing about secrets is they don’t provide any clarity. They keep things murky, give reason for mistaken assumptions, and can hold you hostage. Willa Muir understands the damage of secrets better than anyone. She desires to move past her past but it proves to be more challenging then she originally thought. She’s met the man of her dreams and with his proposal of marriage she knows she must first find answers to her past so she can move forward. Finding answers means she must leave the Pacific Northwest and head “home” to Texas.

The Muir House is the home Willa grew up in. During her growing up years it was a funeral home, now it is being remodeled to become a bed and breakfast. It is an iconic center point for the little town of Rockwall, Texas. Snatches of memories and fleeting dreams make up the sum total of a missing year of her childhood. Willa’s dying mother, the house’s caretaker, and town records provide confusing partial answers and even the Muir House hides its own share of secrets.

In Texas Willa faces considerable opposition as she searches for answers. An old flame may threaten her relationship with her distant boyfriend/almost fiancé. Turbulent emotions and ever developing secrets will keep you guessing in this book. DeMuth writes with rare transparency and she dives into troubling subjects head on. Willa is a wonderful mixture of strong, independent, lonely, and hurting. The depth of her character is stunning.

This was not one of my favorite books. It is written like a secret and with that comes a bit of a cold feeling. It’s not a warm and cozy book and the characters are not either. That makes it hard to relate and to really want to dig in and immerse yourself. DeMuth is an excellent storyteller and the conclusion of the book is really quite beautiful. If you wrap yourself in a warm blanket you may be able to ward off the chill of the initial start of the book and be able to persevere to the warmer ending.

Rated PG-13 for adult content

Thank you to Zondervan for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my review.

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