White Picket Fences by Susan Meissner
A summary from Random House Inc.
ABOUT THIS BOOK
When her black sheep brother disappears, Amanda Janvier eagerly takes in her sixteen year-old niece Tally. The girl is practically an orphan: motherless, and living with a father who raises Tally wherever he lands– in a Buick, a pizza joint, a horse farm–and regularly takes off on wild schemes. Amanda envisions that she, her husband Neil, and their two teenagers can offer the girl stability and a shot at a “normal” life, even though their own storybook lives are about to crumble.
Seventeen-year-old Chase Janvier hasn’t seen his cousin in years, and other than a vague curiosity about her strange life, he doesn’t expect her arrival will affect him much–or interfere with his growing, disturbing interest in a long-ago house fire that plagues his dreams unbeknownst to anyone else.
Tally and Chase bond as they interview two Holocaust survivors for a sociology project, and become startlingly aware that the whole family is grappling with hidden secrets, with the echoes of the past, and with the realization that ignoring tragic situations won’t make them go away.
Will Tally’s presence blow apart their carefully-constructed world, knocking down the illusion of the white picket fence and reveal a hidden past that could destroy them all–or can she help them find the truth without losing each other?
My review for the blog tour:
Susan Meissner is now an author that I will strongly recommend
and put on my must be read list. The story of the Janvier family
unfolded when Tally went to live with her Aunt and Uncle after the
death of her Grandmother. Her father had left her to go on a hunt for
family ancestors among other things. Teenage Tally befriends her cousin Chase
who is keeping secrets of his own from his parents. Chase survived a
fire when he was a small child while staying with a babysitter. He remembers
bits and pieces of that tragic day but wants to remember everything no matter
how painful. As Tally, Chase and his friend begin interviewing a couple of
seniors at a local nursing home for a school project more of their family
history is unraveled. The two men lived in the same Warsaw Ghetto as
Chase and Tally's Grandfather during the Holocaust. To hear their
stories was heartbreaking and very moving for the teens. Dealing with
both her sons secret, a troubled marriage and an abandoned niece Amanda
finds herself turning to a male coworker for support.
This book reminds me that a lot goes on behind closed doors of people
who often appear to have it all and that you never know what is truly
happening at the house next store.
White Picket Fences would be a great read for a library or neighborhood
book club and it even includes an interview with the author. Plus, there
is a reader’s guide available on Random House, Inc.
I give this novel 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Buy a copy or get more info at Random House,Inc.
Review copy provided by Random House,Inc.