Thursday, July 29, 2010

Review: This Must Be the Place by Kate Racculia

First line: Amy considered the postcard: a boardwalk scene.

From the back cover: 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 along with the three eclectic boarders who live 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 even when all seems lost, how it brings us together. with emotional accuracy and great energy, This Must Be the Place introduces memorable, charming characters who refuse to be forgotten.

My thoughts: This was an interesting story - part coming-of-age, part romance and part mystery.  The entire plot was intriguing - the rippling effect one unsent postcard could have on the lives of so many. Told from the perspective of the primary characters - Arthur, Amy, Mona and Oneida - the story unfolds slowly, revealing a multi-layered tale of connections. The interactions between the residents of the boarding house were fun to watch - I especially loved Bert, the oldest resident at the Darby-Jones, and how she had no problem speaking her mind. I enjoyed how Kate Racculia let out the secrets gradually, a piece here, a piece there. As they were revealed, it put everything into place, yet still there were some surprises along the way. A good debut novel for Kate Racculia - I will be watching to see what she writes next.

I received a complimentary copy of This Must Be the Place by Kate Racculia from Henry Holt and Company Publishers to review.

1 comment

  1. Hi Kristin,

    I loved this novel. Didn't you just love all the quirky characters? I especially loved Oneida and her group project members. They were all so distinct and engaging characters. I have to say that my favorite scene was with the bride drinking the beer. Really funny. What was your favorite character / scene?



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