Title: The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond
Author: Jaime Jo Wright
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
This story is set in Gossamer Grove, with two stories running simultaneously, one in the present and one in 1907. In the present, Annalise Forsythe owns a coffee shop and is trying to purchase land to open a food pantry facility as well as offer other services for the homeless. Her competition wants to use the land to build a sports complex and resort to bring rock climbing enthusiasts to Gossamer Grove. A big-name draw to help in bringing the rock climbers to the town is Garrett Greenwood, Annalise’s former boyfriend. They haven’t seen each other in twelve years, and there are definitely old wounds and hard feelings between the two. Now, they are on opposing sides of this land purchase issue. An old man in the community dies suddenly, leaving Annalise his property, which amounts to a small amount of land and an old trailer filled with pictures of Annalise at various times in her life, an obituary from 1907, a revival poster from 1907 and pictures of Garrett’s family from the turn of the century. Why was this man obsessed with Annalise? She is creeped out but determines to find out who this man was and what information he had uncovered that could possibly link her to the past. Garrett says he will help her find out what is happening. Can they get past their wounded hearts and solve the mystery?
In 1907, Libby Sheffield works for and with her father at the local newspaper in Gossamer Grove. She feels duty-bound to obey her father, even though he sensationalizes the news to sell papers. She receives an anonymous obituary for a local town member before he dies so she thinks. She makes a grisly discovery and tries to tell the police about receiving the obituary, but they think she and her father have made that up to sell more newspapers. She tells Elijah Greenwood, a childhood friend, about her suspicions. Before they can act, another obituary is dropped off at the newspaper. This time, they go immediately to the police. Again, they are rebuffed. Meanwhile, twin revivalists have staked a tent near Gossamer Pond and are preaching about the dangers of eternity in Hell in a fire and brimstone fashion. Libby finds one of the twins scary and the other intense, but strangely attractive. Who is sending these obituaries to her and why? Do they have anything to do with the revival?
Each story has a mystery, death, secrets and much more. The characters and the plot will keep readers engaged in the story from beginning to end. I was drawn in to the story from page one and found myself rapidly turning the pages to see the progress of each story as it built to the apex. The author writes in the creepy feeling very well, and the mystery element was interesting and captivating. I couldn’t put it down!