Book Review: The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond

18 Jul

For over a century, the town of Gossamer Grove has thrived on its charm and midwestern values, but Annalise Forsythe knows painful secrets, including her own, hover just beneath the pleasant faade. When a man is found dead in his run-down trailer home, Annalise inherits the trailer, along with the pictures, vintage obituaries, and old revival posters covering its walls. As she sorts through the collection, she’s wholly unprepared for the ramifications of the dark and deadly secrets she’ll uncover.

A century earlier, Gossamer Grove has been stirred into chaos by the arrival of controversial and charismatic twin revivalists. The chaos takes a murderous turn when Libby Sheffield, working at her father’s newspaper, receives an obituary for a reputable church deacon hours before his death. As she works with the deacon’s son to unravel the mystery behind the crime, it becomes undeniably clear that a reckoning has come to town–but it isn’t until another obituary arrives that they realize the true depths of the danger they’ve waded into.

Two women, separated by a hundred years, must uncover the secrets within the borders of their own town before it’s too late and they lose their future — or their very souls.

Professional coffee drinker & ECPA/Publisher’s Weekly best-selling author, Jaime Jo Wright resides in the hills of Wisconsin writing spirited turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Coffee fuels her snarky personality. She lives in Neverland with her Cap’n Hook who stole her heart and will not give it back, their little fairy TinkerBell, and a very mischievous Peter Pan. The foursome embark on scores of adventure that only make her fall more wildly in love with romance and intrigue.

Jaime lives in dreamland, exists in reality, and invites you to join her adventures at!


My Impressions:

Have you ever read a book that captured your imagination through its beautiful prose while immersing you in a twisting turning story of secrets and mysteries, and filled you with the certainty of a profound message of God’s truth? I’m not certain I have until now. The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond, Jaime Jo Wright’s sophomore novel, has done just that. I really liked her debut, The House on Foster Hill, as did my book club. But this second novel exceeded my expectations. All I can say is wow! This one deserves a very highly recommended rating.

The midwestern town of Gossamer Grove is a place of welcoming people with long held and deeply buried secrets. I loved the small town vibe/creepy setting that Wright achieved. Told in dual storylines — present day and 1907 — the novel explores the impact of shame and guilt. Both the contemporary and historical stories are right on in their cultural feel. The reader never once mistakes the two. But the mystery of 1907 brought about by a tent revival bleeds into the present day bringing with it threats and danger. There are two very strong female characters — Libby and Annalise. Both have hidden guilt that they strive to make up for with good deeds and right-living. But secrets aren’t really secret at all in the small town of Gossamer Grove. The various male characters they interact with are intriguing and are a bit mysterious in their own rights. I loved how Wright kept this reader off-balance with the relationships that develop. As stated above there is a strong spiritual thread that runs in both stories. Grace, undeserved and freely and lovingly offered, is often difficult to accept. Many feel that this gift can’t actually be available, even as they profess to believe in the love of Jesus. Early in the story the seemingly all-knowing revivalist Jacobus Corbin states: “No amount of mystery in one’s soul can escape the ever-watchful eye of God. One may carry guilt and shame with them for years, only to discover that while they attempted to dodge God’s judgment, they instead cheated themselves of His forgiveness.” I read that line over and over. It spoke healing and love to my soul.

While the spiritual lessons are strong, The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond really is a very entertaining mystery. I puzzled and theorized and was totally blown away by the endings of each story. If you are a mystery fan you are going to love how this novel unfolds. And for fans of Poe, well, this one is a special treat. All I can say is run, don’t walk, to your nearest bookstore or computer to buy this book. You will not regret it! I am passing my copy on to my fellow book clubbers because I cannot wait to hear what they think. Grab a couple of books to hand out so you won’t be alone in this reading experience.

Very Highly Recommended.

Great for Book Clubs.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Bethany House for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)


3 Responses to “Book Review: The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond”

  1. Paula Shreckhise July 18, 2018 at 9:05 pm #

    Phenomenal book! I loved it. One of my Top Reads of the year!

    • rbclibrary July 18, 2018 at 9:09 pm #

      It will definitely be on my best of the best list!


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