Chelsea Enright inherits a lakeside cottage from her beloved Gram, which puzzles her since her grandmother never talked much about it. She considers just selling it, but first she must visit it at least once. Gram’s will requires it. Then if she still wants to get rid of it, she will have Gram’s blessing. One thing that could change her mind, though, is the neighboring cabin’s owner, Brandon Yale.
"MORE THAN WORDS CAN SAY crosses genres and combines romance with mystery while managing to avoid becoming sappy or overly sentimental."
Grandmother Brooke Bartlett loved the cabin just a few short hours from Syracuse, New York. Nestled along the shore of Evergreen Lake, it always had a way of delivering peace and tranquility to its residents, two things Brooke desperately needed when her husband Bill shipped off to war. There was no place that could make her happier. So why did she leave it one day and never return?
“Since Chelsea had been old enough to remember, Brooke had always suffered a special sort of sadness all her own. Her car crash had been both awful and life changing. But as Chelsea grew older and wiser, she came to suspect that Brooke’s accident alone was not the full cause of her sorrow.”
A city girl, Chelsea might have trouble adjusting to the mountain lifestyle. But she has the whole summer before she must return to her job as an art teacher, which should give her plenty of time to come to a decision. As she begins to work through the puzzle of her grandmother’s past, she discovers a disturbing yet wonderfully human frailty emerging in Brooke. And she notices an unsettling yet pleasant parallel in their two lives.
Within earshot lies Brandon’s home. After meeting him her first day at the cabin, Chelsea can’t seem to forget him. With a growing nervousness, she allows herself to fall in love. But Brandon has something in his past that has him keeping her at arm’s length. It might help if he would talk about it, but a shroud descends over his face whenever Chelsea asks him for details. Can he let go of whatever it is that haunts him?
Houses with secrets are irresistible to mystery lovers. Chelsea’s cabin by Evergreen Lake holds many of them, which are gradually revealed as she and Brandon conspire to uncover them. What they learn changes her life forever.
MORE THAN WORDS CAN SAY crosses genres and combines romance with mystery while managing to avoid becoming sappy or overly sentimental. The way Robert Barclay toggles between a summer at the beginning of the Second World War and a summer in the present is done masterfully. And with the specter of the war in the background, his bucolic lakeside setting provides a welcome respite. Serendipity, a tiny town set in the Adirondacks, will become everyone’s idea of paradise, made better by thoughts of Chelsea’s lakeside cottage and what her grandmother left her.
Reviewed by Kate Ayers on January 26, 2012
More Than Words Can Say