The Widows of Braxton County: A Novel

( 4 )

Overview

Family secrets can bind and destroy

Kate is ready to put her nomadic, city-dwelling past behind her when she marries Joe Krause and moves with him to the Iowa farm that has been in his family for more than 140 years. But life on the farm isn't quite as idyllic as she'd hoped. It's filled with chores, judgmental neighbors, and her mother-in-law, who—unbeknownst to Kate until after the wedding—will be living with them.

As Kate struggles to find ...

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The Widows of Braxton County: A Novel

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Overview

Family secrets can bind and destroy

Kate is ready to put her nomadic, city-dwelling past behind her when she marries Joe Krause and moves with him to the Iowa farm that has been in his family for more than 140 years. But life on the farm isn't quite as idyllic as she'd hoped. It's filled with chores, judgmental neighbors, and her mother-in-law, who—unbeknownst to Kate until after the wedding—will be living with them.

As Kate struggles to find her place in the small farming community, she begins to realize that her husband and his family are not who she thought they were. According to town gossip, the Krause family harbors a long-kept secret about a mysterious death that haunts Kate as a dangerous, unexplainable chain of events begins.

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Editorial Reviews

Kris Neri
“A riveting ride that will start your blood racing from the first line and keep you guessing until the last.”
Casey Daniels
“Part mystery, part ghost story, Love Lies Bleeding takes readers on a spin-tingling trip into a disturbed mind and the lives of two women who must face their greatest fears--or die trying.”
RTBookreviews.com
“Haunting, mysterious, and subtly romantic, this debut under Shirley Damsgaard’s psuedonym is inspirational and full of hope.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062188267
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/23/2013
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 358
  • Sales rank: 319,693
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 5.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Jess McConkey, aka Shirley Damsgaard, is an award-winning writer of short fiction and the author of the Ophelia and Abby mysteries and Love Lies Bleeding. She lives in a small Iowa town, where she served as postmaster for more than twenty years.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 19, 2013

    I admit, the title initially sucked me in. ¿Widows of Braxton Co

    I admit, the title initially sucked me in. “Widows of Braxton County” is an entertaining mystery about small-community living. You can never get away from the gossip, even if it's 140 years old! 

    The story was rounded nicely and there wasn't a single moment I found wasted or repetitive. Jess McConkey did an amazing job with her plot and storytelling. I especially liked that we were pulled into a world no one wants to see or be in and we were somewhat given the chance to wonder: what if that was me? What if I had been verbally/physically abused and in a foreign place without any connection to the outside world? It's a loaded question and I liked how the author tackled the issue.

    If I had any problems it may have been that Kate fell slightly flat for me. I think I wanted more out of her other than a foggy, disjointed past and what I felt to be a staccato personality. 

    In the end though, this is a juicy mystery that I think women would enjoy piecing together with the characters. It raises a lot of questions as well as highlights how history repeats itself, but we're not doomed to relive sins of our fathers (and mothers).

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2013

    Hannah Krause gets out of bed one night to have a few moments aw

    Hannah Krause gets out of bed one night to have a few moments away from her abusive husband, Joseph, who is asleep beside her. She checks on her young son then heads back downstairs and finds the door wide open. Going back to the bedroom she finds Joseph has been murdered. 




    The story jumps to present day with newlyweds Kate and Joe on their way to his farm in the country. She's excited about having a place of their own but upon arriving at the farm she learns her domineering mother in law will be living them, something Joe neglected to mention. The very first night strange things begin to happen and as the days pass Kate realizes she doesn't really know her jerk of a husband at all. The book shifts back and forth from 1890 to present revealing the tumultuous relationship of Hannah and Joseph. 




    With each page the story gets more suspenseful keeping me glued to the book, it flows smoothly back and forth in time. McConkey gives us mystery, romance, and lots of suspense, the characters are realistic, some you will like and others you will totally hate. A haunting tale of family secrets. I loved this book and highly recommend it! 5 out of 5 stars! 




    I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2013

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings A long and wind

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings

    A long and winding book about feuding families who are surrounded by secrets from the past that still live on in the present and this new outsider comes in and shakes things up.  Poor Kate meets a man online and moves to the middle of nowhere into his family's farm and is thrust into the small town life where there are always eyes watching you and willing to report your going ons to everyone.  I was immediately drawn to her and wanted to know how she would react in the situations that she was put through.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2014

    This was my surprise read for the first quarter of the year.   I

    This was my surprise read for the first quarter of the year.   I was surprised to be "hooked" by the first couple of pages.   I liked that it took place in Iowa.   Kate absolutely loved the idea of love, a family, a homestead on an Iowa farm that had been in the family for over 100 years.    That spoke of steadfast family and Kate had always wanted that, but had never experienced anything steadfast.   Her grandmother who raised her had only belittled and put her down.   Imagine grandma with a very wide mean streak!




    Kate gave herself over to the man she had met through the web.   He was kind, loving and poetic.   Somehow he knew how to speak to Kate's heart and convinced her of his love and promise for a bright family future.   Joe however, kept a secret until after they were married and Kate was in for one surprise after another.




    I loved the characters in this book and I loved how the story was told from past to present.   The mystery was created with a murder that took place a century ago....was it a curse from the past that haunted Kate's future or was it something more like modern day greed?   This story was told with feeling and depth. The characters were interesting and convincing.  This was a story of how women were considered as property at one time, definitely not the equals we are today.   It was one woman's journey into a life totally unfamiliar with rights of modern day woman, and with her commitment to her marriage and the course of true love.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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