Sep 6, 2010

This Must Be The Place by Kate Racculia

A sudden death, a never-mailed postcard, and a longburied secret set the stage for a luminous and heartbreakingly real novel about lost souls finding one another

The Darby-Jones boardinghouse in Ruby Falls, New York, is home to Mona Jones and her daughter, Oneida, two loners and self-declared outcasts who have formed a perfectly insular family unit: the two of them and the four eclectic boarders living in their house. But their small, quiet life is upended when Arthur Rook shows up in the middle of a nervous breakdown, devastated by the death of his wife, carrying a pink shoe box containing all his wife’s mementos and keepsakes, and holding a postcard from sixteen years ago, addressed to Mona but never sent. Slowly the contents of the box begin to fit together to tell a story—one of a powerful friendship, a lost love, and a secret that, if revealed, could change everything that Mona, Oneida, and Arthur know to be true. Or maybe the stories the box tells and the truths it brings to life will teach everyone about love—how deeply it runs, how strong it makes us, and how even when all seems lost, how tightly it brings us together. With emotional accuracy and great energy, This Must Be the Place introduces memorable, charming characters that refuse to be forgotten.

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This Must Be the Place: A Novel
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.; 1 edition (July 6 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0805092307
ISBN-13: 978-0805092301


There are four main characters in this book - Arthur and his deceased wife Amy, Mona who was a childhood friend of Amy, and Mona's daughter Oneida.  There are also many other characters, but most specifically the other tenants of a rooming house which is operated by Mona.

Arthur is seeking answers about his wife's past and her final wishes, and the only clues are in a pink shoebox of keepsakes left behind by Amy.  The biggest puzzle of all is a postcard that Amy wrote to her childhood friend Mona many years earlier, but it was never mailed.  Huge secrets are revealed as Arthur gets to know Mona and her daughter, and the final truth shocks more than just Arthur.   

At times I found this book a bit difficult to continue, but fortunately I kept trying.  The characters were realistic, although a bit bizarre at times.  Overall, it was an enjoyable book, and one that made me think about the true meaning of love.

Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of This Must Be The Place from Henry Holt and Company Publishers, in exchange for my honest review.

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