Customer Reviews for

This Must Be the Place

Average Rating 3.5
( 35 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted September 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Lovely debut

    Arthur Rook's wife Amy is killed in a workplace accident. Arthur cannot comprehend that she is well and truly gone from his life. In going through her closet, he comes upon a pink shoebox filled with tiny treasures and mementos.

    And an unmailed postcard from 16 years ago that reads:

    "Mona, I'm sorry. I should have told you. Anyway I left you the best parts of myself. You know where to look. Amy
    So Arthur in his grief, set out to Ruby Falls, New York to find Mona and maybe learn more about Amy and the past she never talked about.

    This Must Be the Place is not really about Amy though. It's about those she left behind - Mona, her daughter Oneida and Arthur. For each of them, Amy played a pivotal role in their lives. As Arthur struggles to come to terms with Amy's death, Mona is forced to confront her past. Secrets long buried can no longer be kept hidden.

    Kate Racculia's book was a wonderful find for me. There is the mystery of Amy's past, but for me it was the exploration of relationships that I found attractive. Mona and her love for her daughter Oneida. Oneida's complicated coming of age (this was a great subplot) and Arthur and Mona's tentative reaching out to each other and the loss of Amy. The book is populated with marvellously quirky characters that lend an almost enchanted feel to the Darby-Jones boarding house Mona runs. I did guess Amy's secret about halfway through, but it didn't detract from enjoying the rest of the book at all.

    A great debut by a new voice. I enjoyed Racculia's whimsical, unique tale and characters very much and look forward to her next offering.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This Must Be The Book To Read!

    In the beginning of the book, I thought Arthur was going to be the main character. He takes his deceased wife's mementos in a pink shoe box to seek out Mona to find out more about his wife's past. However, after getting more into the book it seems as though Oneida is the main character and it becomes more of a coming of age story. All the characters in this book are not exactly likable but that is okay. Some of the tenants in the Darby-Jones Boarding House are quite peculiar but they do make for an interesting mix of characters. They all seem to be searching for something even though they may not realize it. Mona and Oneida have the classic troubled mother/teenage daughter relationship. Arthur wants to know why his wife left her hometown and never mailed the mysterious postcard. Mona has a secret she is desperate to keep to herself. Oneida is experiencing her first love. The story kept me on my toes. There were some pretty crazy antics going on in the story, but it is not overdone. When I first saw the book, the cover intrigued me! A cat on a suitcase carried by a parachute is interesting to say in the least. By the end of the book I fully understood the cover. And it all started out with Arthur finding a postcard his wife never sent! Brilliant! I will keep an eye out for more from Kate Racculia.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer


    We know that growing up can be difficult. Coming of age isn't easy, but it was especially onerous for Oneida Jones. And, no, as she'll be the first to tell you - she was not named after a spoon.)

    In this imaginative, entertaining debut novel Oneida's home is a boarding house, the Darby-Jones in Ruby Falls, New York, run by her mother, Mona. (There is not a father in the picture as Mona had returned to Ruby Falls years earlier unwed but with baby Oneida in her arms) As if cooking and cleaning for her tenants were not enough Mona also bakes cakes, gorgeous tall wedding cakes to supplement her income. Among the boarders are Roberta Draper known as Bert, an 87-year-old curmudgeon who occupies the top floor. "She had never married, kept herself cloistered in her rooms, and made no secret of her disapproval of everything." Also in residence are Anna, the town veterinarian and Sherman, a high school shop teacher with whom Anna was having an off again on again affair.

    This was the milieu in which Oneida lived and grew, which might be a challenge for any young one but especially so for Oneida as she had no friends and she was a freak. "It was nonnegotiable. It was absolute.....but it wasn't until after her twelfth birthday that she ever considered the possibility that it was something to be embraced rathr than raged against." Why did her fellow sixth graders consider her to be a freak? Because she had "huge frizzy hair and dark eyebrows that touched in the middle of her forehead, and she demanded that Mr. Buckley teach them about Japanese internment camps." Obviously, Oneida was unique, and a few steps ahead of her contemporaries.

    Life changes for everyone at the Darby-Jones with the arrival of Arthur Rook, a mysterious sad young man bearing little luggage and most importantly to him a pink shoe box. He recently lost his wife, Amy, in a tragic accident and he came to the Darby-Jones because of an unsent postcard to Mona which he found in the shoe box. He feels there is something to learn here, that he can better come to know Amy who had been Mona's best friend from childhood through high school.

    As the story progresses it becomes evident that there are secrets at the Darby-Jones, especially one guarded by Mona. Kate Racculia, a wise author, drops bits of information along the way that keeps us turning pages.

    For this reader the novel should have ended when the final secret is revealed rather than an extended explorati0on of what the future held which did seem a bit contrived as if attempting to tie up every loose end. What ever the case, THIS MUST BE THE PLACE is a meritorious first novel, and we look forward to more from Kate Racculia.

    Gail Cooke

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2015

    I loved reading this book! I felt Kate successfully dropped into

    I loved reading this book! I felt Kate successfully dropped into the minds and lives of the adult and teenage characters in many delightful ways. I was intrigued throughout the book; it was a page-turner for me.

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  • Posted July 17, 2012

    For this first half of this book, I couldn't decide if I wanted

    For this first half of this book, I couldn't decide if I wanted to keep reading it or not. I kept going, and stayed up late one night because by then I just had to see how it ended! I like the author's style, the characters were interesting, and the ending, although somewhat pat, tied up the loose ends. I'll be looking for this author's next book.

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  • Posted May 2, 2011

    My kind of book...

    ...with lots of colorful characters and interesting family relationship goings ons with a little mystery. I enjoyed it very much and it wasn't a complicated book. Good for adults or I can see where young teenage girls would enjoy it also.

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    Posted July 14, 2010

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    Posted August 8, 2010

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    Posted July 6, 2010

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