On the surface Junie Olson's life looks idyllic, from her handsome husband and beautiful daughter to her successful business, the bakery she'd always dreamed of opening. But in the past few months her world has slowly unraveled. Her precocious child is withdrawing, showing unexplainable signs of emotional regression, a condition that frays the bonds of Junie's once impenetrable marriage. When her father dies suddenly of a heart attack, Junie packs up her daughter and goes home to help her mother. Her homecoming stirs up memories of the nightmare she thought she had put behind her, the disappearance of her childhood friend, Ellen. Haunted by recurring memories of what happened on that fateful day, Junie must gather the courage to revisit her past and untangle the secrets surrounding her missing friend, and the trauma that has caused her little girl to climb back into herself. As the pieces come together on the event that shook her small town, and at the risk of losing everyone she loves, Junie will question everything she thought she could rely on and everyone she thought she knew.
WHERE PETALS FALL is a gripping and emotional novel with an undercurrent of suspense, featuring a determined mother whose world slowly comes apart around her. Readers will root for Junie as they follow her transition into an indomitable heroine who must reconcile what she discovers about her husband and family's tragic past, and find a way to put the pieces of her family back together and carry on.
The characters in this emotional story captured my attention from page one and held onto it right until the very end. I became totally engrossed, turning every page waiting to see what was going to be discovered, I ended up reading this in only three days, which for me is quite a feat!
The story follows Junie, a mother to Sarah and wife to Brian. Junie's childhood best friend, neighbour and also Brian's younger sister, Ellen, disappeared without a trace when they were very young, now 24 years ago, and still have no trace to where she is or what happened to her. Such a trauma has weighed heavily on Junie and she has buried so much of it within herself to stop herself feeling the pain. Junie and Brian became man and wife and had their daughter Sarah.
Suddenly, completely out the blue, Sarah withdraws from everyone, she stops talking, starts wetting the bed during the night and her character changes without reason. A wedge between Junie and Brian starts to build with so many unanswered questions and worry for their daughter. Not only that but Junie's dad dies suddenly and they have to return where they both dread to go, back home where Ellen disappeared.
Now back home Ellen becomes the forefront in Junie's mind, thoughts and images come back to her shocking her very being. She is left with more questions than answers. Her marriage to Brian worsens and Sarah's withdrawal intensifies. You share her fears, confusion, emptiness, her want for answers. What did really happen to Ellen? What has happened to Sarah to make her so unresponsive? What is it that Junie fears, that she is keeping buried deep inside?
My heart was pounding at times as there were different avenues of truth the story could take, it could have gone any way and I felt like I was holding my breath to find out what was going to be discovered.
An emotive and enthralling read that will have you turning pages as you cannot help become connected to the characters. In fact as I am writing this it is making me want to read it all over again!
About the author
Melissa has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Her interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.
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