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July 11, 2014

A Stillness of Chimes

A review by Spencer

by Meg Moseley
"The world was holding its breath. No wind blew, not even enough breeze to move the chimes. She couldn't see them, hidden as they were by shrubs, but she imagined the silvery cylinders hanging motionless among the drenched leaves." ~A Stillness of Chimes
If you're searching for a heart-tugging story with demonstrative friendships, you've found the right book. If you're searching for an author with an extraordinary gift of creating comprehensive, varied characters and an atypical storyline, you've found the right book. A Stillness of Chimes, by Meg Moseley, is a rare treasure, a beautifully woven tapestry of love, lies, loyalty, betrayal, mystery, and revelation.

Laura Gantt returns to Prospect, Georgia, the close-nit nostalgic town of her childhood, to attend her mother's funeral. Her plans to settle her mother's household and return to Denver are upset with rumors that her father, Elliott, who suffered from PTSD and drowned in the lake twelve years prior, has been seen in various places around town. Are the rumors true? Is he alive? Had he faked his death? The painful rumors imply he'd abandoned her and her mother. But...if they're true, there's a possibility of being reunited and righting past wrongs.

Sean Halloran, Laura's childhood friend and former boyfriend, is emotionally awakened by her return to North Georgia. He's loved her and her family for as long as he can remember. Laura's mother, Jessamyn, was a maternal, caring neighbor, and her father, Elliott, had rescued Sean from the hands of his abusive father and mentored him in crafting musical instruments. Sean doubts the rumors of Elliott sneaking around his home place are true. The only ghosts in Prospect are distant memories, bruises from his drunkard father, and a wounded heart from unanswered love.

Almost immediately, I'm emotionally drawn into this story. This is definitely one of those can't-put-down books. Initially, the story is deliberate, but unhurried, then tensions build, questions arise, love awakens, and pages turn faster. There isn't a sluggish, unneeded plot-filler or character. Every scene, every item or conversation moves the story forward--even Mikey, the ugly, old rescue cat Laura inherits, directionless creeping Kudzu, and eccentric Granny Colfax, who walks about town carrying a parasol and wearing shoes with the toes cut out. There are many characters, but I was never confused about who was who. The author does a fabulous job of giving her main and secondary characters depth, with well-rounded personalities, secrets, and even vocations (teacher, luthier, real estate, etc.) that weave intricately and expertly throughout the story.

There isn't anything that I don't love about this story, but what I'm most partial to is the southern setting and the continuity of childhood friendships, promises, and wounds, into adulthood. I'm invested in each individual. I ache for their losses and failures, as well as applaud their loyalty, love, and triumphs. I'm familiar with the Blue Ridge Mountain area, where this story takes place, so I fell into the southern setting and lifestyle with clarity. The South's charm is evident, with covered dishes, gossiping neighbors, eccentric old ladies, church-going townsfolk, and nicknames like Tigger, Eeyore, Turbo, and Slinky.

A Stillness of Chimes is a full, satisfying story. The only longing I'm left with after completing this book is a sequel, revealing the complete resolution of Laura's uncertainty of faith and fear of the future.

Book Rating:

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Publisher: Multnomah Books
Page count: 354
Purchase link: Amazon

Disclosure of Material Connection in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Blogging for Books has provided me a copy of this book in exchange for a review.

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