The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

THE MILL RIVER REDEMPTION: A Novel By Darcie Chan

The Mill River Redemption by Darcie ChanPublisher:  Ballantine Books
Release Date:  August 26, 2014
Pages:  416
Genre:  Women's Fiction

About the Book:  New York Times bestselling author Darcie Chan returns to the enchanting town of Mill River in a heartwarming novel of family, self-discovery, and forgiveness. Perfect for fans of Maeve Binchy.

Josie DiSanti is starting over. Recently widowed, she has fled her New York City home with her two young daughters—spirited Rose and shy Emily—in tow. She takes refuge in Mill River, Vermont, to live with her only remaining relative, Ivy Collard, the local bookstore owner and a woman Josie barely knows. There, the young mother and her girls build a new life for themselves—until a shocking tragedy tears the sisters apart.

Years later, Josie’s still-estranged daughters return to the quiet town for the reading of their mother’s will, which stipulates that they must work together to locate a hidden key to a safe-deposit box containing their inheritance. Even from the great beyond, it seems Josie will do anything to bring about her daughters’ reconciliation. Having no choice but to go along with their mother’s final wishes, Rose and Emily move back to Mill River for the summer to begin the search—discovering that, in the close-knit community known for magic and miracles, an even greater treasure awaits them.

Wanda's Thoughts:  The Mill River Redemption is a simple story with a lot of depth, and has strong themes of family love and forgiveness. It is truly a heartwarming story.  And the cover is so appropriate, absolutely beautiful!

December 1983 – Josi DiSanti is starting over with her two daughters, 4-year-old Rose, and 2-year-old Emily. Her husband, Tony, had just died tragically in a fire, and she and her girls are on their way to live with her Aunt Ivy in Mill River, a quaint little town in Vermont. Josi doesn’t even know her Aunt Ivy, but she was the only family she had left. 

2013 – After the death of Josi, a letter is read to Rose and Emily, instructing them to repair their relationship with each other. They must locate a key that will open Josi’s safe deposit box, and they will then inherit a substantial amount from her estate. It was Josi's hope that Rose and Emily would come out of this experience as real sisters again, to overcome the unpleasantness between them, and share a bond they once knew as sisters. It was also Josi’s hope that Rose and Emily would uncover good memories to help take away the bad. However, there was a catch. They must uproot themselves and move back to Mill River, at least temporarily, to begin this treasure hunt for their inheritance. 

And the story unfolds as the past mingles with the present and the author uses many layers to weave this tale of two estranged sisters, who have lost that strong bond they once knew. 

The complex characters or Rose and Emily were strongly portrayed. The author did a marvelous job getting into the hearts and minds of all the characters, even the minor ones. Aunt Ivy was an endearing character that captured my heart, and certainly brought life to the story. The story had a few twists and turns, and an ending that totally took me by surprise. 

One negative comment – The middle of the story seemed to stall a bit, and my interest declined somewhat, but the last part of the story did pick up and I became fully engaged again.

The Mill River Redemption is a light and easy read. My rating is 4 stars and I’ll be watching for more books by this author. Truly well done!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Ballantine Books through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions shared are solely my own. 

Darcie ChanAbout the Author:  Darcie Chan is the author of THE MILL RIVER RECLUSE, an originally self-published debut novel that became a word-of-mouth e-book sensation. With more than 700,000 copies sold, THE MILL RIVER RECLUSE appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists for more than 30 weeks and became a heartwarming favorite of readers across the country.

Ballantine Books will release THE MILL RIVER RECLUSE in print for the first time in the United States and Canada on June 17, 2014, and an updated e-book version of the novel will go on sale on that same date. 

Only two short months later, on August 26, 2014, Darcie's second novel, entitled THE MILL RIVER REDEMPTION, will be published in both print and electronic formats. Like her first novel, THE MILL RIVER REDEMPTION is set in the fictional town of Mill River, Vermont, and will be released by Ballantine Books. 

Currently, Darcie lives just north of New York City with her husband and son. She is hard at work on the third novel in the Mill River series.