A good friend recently told me that The Edge of Belonging is one of the best books she has ever read. I would have to agree and that is why I was eager to read the most recent novel by Amanda Cox, The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery. Although its title hints at possible mysteries, the secrets in this book are not of the spooky kind but personal ones that affect the lives of the keepers and their families.
As I read this book I was quickly pulled into the lives of three generations of women. Their stories are told through a dual time line with the earlier story doled out bit by bit through the present day narrative. Such secrets these women had! Sometimes their choices hadn’t been the best and some choices had even been forced upon them. Secrets were kept with the intention of protecting those they loved and other secrets had been buried for other reasons. But as most of us know, secrets have a way of coming to light and often the results are not what we expect.
I loved the fact that the book was set in a small town in my general area. I did not particularly recognize any details about the town but most descriptions were general and could have applied to any small town in west Tennessee. I have personally been in several family owned local groceries in my childhood and happily spent much of my small allowances in them. It is a shame that most of these stores have been replaced by large corporate groceries.
The plot held my attention throughout and I truly wanted to know how things turned out for these women. It was delightful to discover unexpected surprises along the way and I was quite pleased at how the story ended. This author has such a way with words and a talent for telling a great story interwoven with faith and truth. I highly recommend both of her books.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Present Day. Sarah Ashby returns to her childhood home, determined to finally follow her dream of running the family business alongside her mother and grandmother. So when her mother, Rosemary, announces to her that Old Depot Grocery is closing, Sarah and her grandmother, Glory Ann, make a plan to save the store. But Rosemary has worked her entire life to make sure her daughter never follows in her footsteps. She has her reasons–but she’ll certainly never reveal the real one.
1965. Glory Ann confesses to her family that she’s pregnant with her deceased fiancé’s baby. Pressured into a marriage of convenience with a shopkeeper to preserve her family’s reputation, Glory Ann vows never to love again. But some promises are not as easily kept as she imagined.
This dual-time story from Amanda Cox deftly explores the complexity of the mother-daughter relationship, the way the secrets we keep shape our lives and the lives of others, and the healing power of telling the truth.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Amanda Cox is the author of The Edge of Belonging. A blogger and a curriculum developer for a national nonprofit youth leadership organization, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Bible and theology and a master’s degree in professional counseling, but her first love is communicating through story. Her studies and her interactions with hurting families over a decade have allowed her to create multidimensional characters that connect emotionally with readers. She lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with her husband and their three children. Learn more at AmandaCoxWrites.com.