Twenty-five-year-old Cassie Danvers is holed up in her family’s crumbling mansion in rural St. Jude, Ohio, mourning the loss of the woman who raised her—her grandmother, June. But a knock on the door forces her out of isolation. Cassie has been named the sole heir to legendary matinee idol Jack Montgomery's vast fortune. How did Jack Montgomery know her name? Could he have crossed paths with her grandmother all those years ago? What other shocking secrets could June’s once-stately mansion hold?
Soon Jack’s famous daughters come knocking, determined to wrestle Cassie away from the inheritance they feel is their due. Together, they all come to discover the true reasons for June’s silence about that long-ago summer, when Hollywood came to town, and June and Jack’s lives were forever altered by murder, blackmail, and betrayal.
As this page-turner shifts deftly between the past and present, Cassie and her guests will be forced to reexamine their legacies, their definition of family, and what it truly means to love someone, steadfastly, across the ages. @goodreads
This book blew me away. I read the blurb for the book, I went to Amazon and read some of the pages where you can read inside. I thought about it. I looked at not so great reviews. I looked at great reviews. I thought it sounded pretty good to me but I wasn't sure I would like it. And then I thought, I'm just going to take a chance on this book because my tastes vary per book. I read pretty much every genre of book and I feel differently about each one. THEN, I finally made my choice to pick this book to read from my choices and I am SO glad I did!
This book is wonderful, I will keep it on my shelves to read again and again. The book goes back and forth from 2015 with Cassie's story and back to 1955 to June's story. Sometimes this can create problems or be a bore, but this was not the case in this book!
Cassie, who is 25-years-old, inherits her grandmothers old mansion called Two Oaks. It's falling apart and Cassie only inherited a little bit of money. Cassie seems to be falling apart along with the house. The house was built in 1895 by June's great uncle, Lemon Gray Neely, and over the years with things that have happened, it was never kept up. True Fact: The author states in the back of the book that Lemon Gray Neely was a real man that built this yellow colored brick mansion in Ohio. But everything else is fictional.
The author's writing style is beautiful. There were so many details about the book that were just perfect to me. The different things going on with the house. How the house seemed to have a mind of it's own. Even when she wrote about Cassie taking pictures (she's an artist) and how she would capture different things. I could picture each thing in my mind. I really loved the picture taking parts because I love the kind of pictures Cassie takes.
Houses that dream are built for the ages (one or two perhaps, in every small American town). Once revered as grand homes, they are now merely called "buildings." They're the columned fortresses stranded on the back streets you pass on the way to visit elderly aunties; sights to whistle at while snapping a cell phone picture, before motoring on. Constructed by ambitious dreamers (in the case of Two Oaks, an oilman named Lemon Gray Neely, who broke ground on the lot in the heart of St. Jude, Ohio, in 1895), such grand estates spend their infancies priding under the touch of skilled craftsmen, certain they'll provide shelter to everyone who steps across their oak thresholds for centuries to come.
As I have said, the house is falling down around Cassie. She has overdue bills coming in that she pays no attention to and phone calls she never answers. She has no family, as her parents died when she was 8 and her grandmother raised her. There are things with her grandmother that have her on this downward spiral as well.
Then one day there is someone incessantly ringing the doorbell and the phone. When she answers she finds a man named Nick on her doorstep. Nick drops a bombshell on Cassie, he tells her that the actor Jack Montgomery left her 37 million dollars, some property, an island. Yeah! Cassie thinks this man is off his rocker. This Jack is supposedly her grandfather. What? And she is apparently kin to his daughters one of which is Tate Montgomery and she's a famous actress. They want Cassie to leave town and and take a DNA test to prove she's not related. But Cassie is not having that, she says they all have to come to Two Oaks and help her try to find out if this is true by other means before she goes through with the DNA test.
So, Tate, Nick and Hank all come to live with Cassie for a bit of time. Hank is Tate's personal assistant and she's run ragged by Tate. Nate is also an assistant and they all seem like they are going to crack, but they find a place of peace with each other for a short amount of time. Cassie is finding out more things about her grandmother than she ever thought she would in their investigations. A little bit later Elda who is Tate's older sister comes to help out.
And while the story is emerging on Cassie's side, we get to read about all that happened with her grandmother June through her side of the story. There are people in both era's that I just love and others I don't like but all of the characters are well balanced and play pivotal parts to the story. During June's time you have her best friend, Lindie. They have a great relationship but there are some wow moments for them. The story of June takes place during the summer Jack and company come to town to film part of a movie. This is a very important time for this little town. But the main secret in both time periods keeps you guessing. Was June with Jack when she was engaged? If so, why did they not stay together? Cassie wonders if her father was the son of June and Jack. There are a few clues thrown in that I didn't get until the end. I felt kind of stupid but that's okay.
When I did come to the end I could not help but have tears in my eyes. There were so many things that happened, so many revelations, secrets, murder... the list goes on and it made for a perfect story. But this is my opinion, you need to read it for yourself. And I leave you with one extra excerpt of the dream people....
Could Elda not feel the house alive and breathing around her? In contrast, Nick was a send-up of a man in a state of shock--mouth open, eyes darting around to the same spots where Cassie could hear the whispers and scuttlings and speculation that seemed to fill the space--and Elda was cool as a cucumber.
The sensation of all the dream people filling the house ratcheted up, tighter and tighter. The whispers grew louder, the heat of curiosity and judgement and blame became more intense--and Cassie tried to wade through the ruckus to understand what had just been revealed
*I would like to thank Blogging For Books for a print copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.*
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