by Mary Vensel White
When Betty Gardiner dies, leaving behind an unkempt country home, her grandson and his young wife take a break from city life to prepare the house for sale. Nowell Gardiner leaves first to begin work on his second mystery novel. By the time his wife Vivian joins him, a real mystery has begun: a local girl has been found dead in the woods behind the house. Even after the death is ruled an accident, Vivian can’t forget the girl, can’t ignore the strange behaviour of her neighbours, or her husband. As Vivian attempts to put the house in order, all around her things begin to fall apart.
Vivian Gardiner is a city girl at heart. When Vivian and her husband Nowell headed out to the sticks to clean up his grandparents home, she knew the country would take some getting used to. But when a young girl is found dead in the woods (practically in their own backyard), Vivian's instincts immediately perk up and she begins to notice everything and everyone around her.
The Qualities of Wood is an unsuspecting novel. What I mean is, the first thing that I noticed was the underlying tension between the characters. At first I thought I was completely over thinking it, but slowly but surely the relationship red flags began to raise. Mary Vensel White did a masterful job of displaying the complexities that exist within relationships, especially familial ones. It was really subtle at first, almost like looking at it peripherally, just a hint here and there. Then I got caught up thinking that this tension had to mean that someone was guilty, but of what? Don't worry I won't give it away.
This is a story about truth and what happens when secrets lie in wait. It's about the realization that things are almost never as they seem and the trouble with silence. I'm intentionally being vague here, because you'll have to read it for yourself to get the whole story!
I give this book:
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I received a free copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The views and opinions expressed are my own.