What if the pain of the past revealed an unknown sacrifice that changes everything?
When teacher Laura Gantt comes home to Prospect, Georgia to settle her recently-deceased mother’s household, the last thing she expects to encounter is a swirl of rumors about the father she lost to the lake twelve years ago—that he has reportedly been seen around town. Elliott Gantt’s body was never found and he was presumed dead.
Reeling from the sharp loss of a parent, Laura must now grapple with painful memories surrounding her father’s disappearance and the sense of abandonment she experienced after his death. Life-long friend and former beau Sean Halloran wants nothing more than to protect Laura from the far-fetched stories of Elliott’s resurrection and to care for her, but he has his own reasons, troubling echoes from his childhood, to put Elliott’s disappearance to rest.
Working together, Laura and Sean begin to uncover the truth, one mired in the wooded peaks and deep waters of the Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding Prospect. Can they fathom how many secrets the steep hills hold? With surprising facts revealed, will Laura be able to understand the sacrificial choices made that forever changed her life? And can love and a peace with God be rekindled in her heart after so much time has passed?
|Publisher:||The Crown Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Meg Moseley is a Californian transplanted to the South. For four years, she wrote human interest columns for a suburban section of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and she home-schooled for over twenty years. Mom to three grown children, she enjoys books, motorcycle rides with her husband, and gardening.
Read an Excerpt
Eighteen years ago
Laura Gantt didn’t believe in ghosts, but sometimes she wondered if living across from a graveyard had warped her. Part Irish, all southern, descended from moonshiners and holy rollers, she’d always believed in things she couldn’t see. Her dad said it was just the old whisperings in their blood.
All morning, she’d heard soft, sure warnings. Some kind of trouble was on its way. The whisperings hinted it would come for Sean.
She and her friends, plus one tagalong kid sister, had been picking blackberries for an hour in the brambles that lined the railroad tracks. Trees choked with kudzu vines loomed above them like green monsters. A few feet away, Cassie Bright and her little sister worked side by side, their blond hair damp with sweat. Sean Halloran was bent over the brambles farther down the tracks. He looked lost in a T-shirt his brother had outgrown.
Sean straightened and squared his skinny shoulders. “No slacking off, Gantt,” he hollered. “Lazy bum.”
Laura swatted a mosquito on her arm and tried to think of a smart comeback. She gave up and shrugged. Sean went back to work, laughing, but he couldn’t fool her. She knew what he lived with.
Sweat trickled down her neck. She was sick of the heat, the scratches, the bug bites. There were snakes too. She tried not to think about the snakes. Cassie stopped working to examine her fingers, stained purple with juice. “Ugh. I hate blackberries.”
“I hate snakes worse,” Laura said, thinking of Sean’s father. The Halloran boys called him by his first name—Dale—to show their disrespect. Never to his face, though. They wouldn’t dare.
Cassie moved closer between long-reaching canes that bristled with wicked little thorns. “Guess what?” she said quietly. “The Cheevers heard the Peeping Tom last night. He was pitching pebbles at their windows.” “Why do you act like it’s good news? It’s creepy.” “Yeah, but this town could use a little excitement. My dad says it’s Slattery.”
Laura shivered in spite of the heat. A sloppy, skinny man, Slattery lived in a run-down duplex just down the road. Nobody knew his first name. “How would your dad know who it is?” she asked.
“He has a friend who’s a deputy, remember? He tells us all kinds of stuff.”
Laura dropped a handful of ripe berries into her bucket. “Your dad’s friend should spend less time talking and more time catching bad guys.”
“You’re scared. Scared of a silly prowler.”
“No, I’m not. My daddy has his guns.”
“Bet you won’t be so brave when the Peeping Tom’s at your window.
He—oh!” Cassie shrieked and giggled. “Mr. Gantt, you spooked me. Sneaking up like that.”
Laura hadn’t noticed her father either, but there he was. A curlicue of wood shavings clung to his shirt, and the humidity made his sandy-blond hair frizz where it escaped from under his baseball cap. He didn’t seem to be in one of his moods, but she wasn’t sure until he tipped his cap, his eyes twinkling.
“My apologies, Miss Cassie,” he said. “I didn’t aim to scare anybody. Looks like you’ve got that department covered, though.” He wrapped his arm around Laura’s shoulders. “Hey, sweetheart. Are you managing to comport yourself like a lady?”
“Always.” Laura leaned into his sun-warmed shirt and that familiar smell of sawdust. “You don’t have to keep checking on us. We’re not babies.”
“Even when you’re a grown woman, you’ll be my baby girl. No matter what.”
Out of nowhere, a heavy sadness settled on her. Whether it was about his troubles or Sean’s, it made her feel like a grown woman already. A grown woman who didn’t mind being called her father’s baby girl.
“And you’ll always be my dad,” she said. “No matter what.”
He smiled and gave her ponytail a gentle tug. Then he nodded toward Cassie’s sister. “Tigger’s still a baby even if she doesn’t think so,” he said quietly. “Y’all keeping an eye on her?”
Laura and Cassie glanced at each other and swiveled their eyes back to him. “Yes sir,” they said in unison.
He turned toward Sean. “Young Mr. Halloran. It’s good to see you, son.”
“It’s good to see you too, sir.” Sean spoke with so much respect that she half expected him to salute his hero. Her father, Elliott Gantt.
“I understand your brother enlisted,” her dad said.
“Yes sir.” Sean came closer to his idol but not too close. “He’s in boot camp.”
“You must be proud.”
“Yes sir, I am.”
“I hope he’ll never have to go to war. If he does, though, he’ll make you prouder still.”
“Yes sir. I know he will.”
Laura’s dad stole a few berries from her pail. “Y’all behave, now.” He studied Tigger, his expression softening. “You too, Tig. Be good for your big sister.”
“I will,” she chirped.
“You’re always a good girl, aren’t you?”
Tigger nodded and gave him an angelic smile, drawing a laugh from him and a subdued grumble from Cassie.
“I’ll get back to work,” he said. “That wood won’t make itself into anything useful.”
“Bye, Dad,” Laura said. “See you at supper.”
“Yep. And we’ll have cobbler again, I hope. You and your mama make the best blackberry cobbler in Georgia.” He swiped a few more berries, their color nearly matching the neat lettering on his muscular arm—“life everlasting.”
A memento of his army days, it was his only tattoo.
A bright yellow butterfly wove a wobbly path above his head as he waded through the brambles, finally disappearing in the tangle of green. He would come out on First Street, a block from his workshop in downtown Prospect.
“I wish he wouldn’t keep checking on us,” Laura said. “I mean, come on. We’re twelve.”
“Yeah, maybe he needs to loosen up a little.” As Sean approached, Cassie lowered her voice. “Just be glad he’s not like Sean’s dad. What a creep.”
Sean came closer, his pail bumping against the leg of his too-short jeans. He scowled at Cassie. “I heard that.”
She scowled back. “Sorry, but it’s true.”
“That doesn’t mean y’all have to go around yammering about it.”
“You have to tell somebody,” Laura said.
He squinted at her. “Tell somebody what?”
“Don’t play dumb.” She lifted his floppy sleeve so Cassie could see the new bruise on his sun-browned shoulder.
He yanked the sleeve down, moving so quickly that berries spilled from his bucket. “Mind your own business.”
“You are my business,” Laura said. “You’re my friend.”
He walked off without answering, his head high and his shoulders stiff. Cassie wrinkled her nose. “What’s wrong with him lately?”
“Everything’s worse since Keith enlisted.” Laura’s eyes watered. “Now Sean’s got nobody to watch his back.”
“His brother must’ve been sick of looking after him. Like I’m sick of looking after Tigger.”
“Don’t say that. You’re lucky to have a sister.”
“Yeah, I’m real lucky. I’m always stuck watching her so she won’t wander off. Sometimes I wish she would.”
“You know I don’t mean it. I’m just so tired of having her tag along. Tigger the Tagger.” Cassie stared into the distance, her eyes rimmed with smudges of the mascara she’d borrowed from her mom’s bathroom. “Someday I’ll get out of here. Out of Georgia. All the way to Hollywood, maybe.” She brightened. “Mom bought some new nail polish. Sunset Boulevard Red. Let’s go paint our nails.”
“My dad doesn’t want me to paint my nails until I’m older.”
“You’re older than you were yesterday, so you’re older. Come on. He won’t even notice, and your mom won’t care. She’s cool. Hey, maybe we can talk my mom into renting a movie.” Cassie popped a berry into her mouth and walked away.
Laura studied her purple fingertips. Berry stains were allowed—and so was a tattoo, at least for her dad—but nail polish wasn’t. It didn’t make sense. She continued tugging ripe fruits from their stems, aware that Sean was slowly working his way back. At last he stopped beside her.
He reached for a cane loaded with berries that hung like black jewels in the bright green leaves. “Sorry I got mad. I just don’t like it when you tell me what to do.”
“I can’t make you do what I say, but you sure can’t keep me from saying what I think.”
He gave her a quick glance and went back to picking. “You’re all right, Gantt. Sometimes. For a girl.”
Cassie popped up from behind a bush. “Sean and Laura, sittin’ in a tree,” she chanted. “K-I-S-S—”
“Knock it off,” Sean said. “We’re just friends.”
“We’re all friends,” Laura said. “All three of us.” She looked over her shoulder. Tigger was singing softly, paying no attention to the rest of them. Laura placed her bucket on a patch of relatively clear and level ground. “Put down your berries for a minute.”
Sean and Cassie cooperated, but they looked hot and tired and skeptical. “What’s this about?” Sean asked. “Ordering me around again?”
“Yes. Listen up, y’all. Hands together, right now. We have a promise to make.”
Three pairs of hands layered themselves together, stained and sticky with juice, marked with dirt and scratches and bug bites. The girls’ hands were pale and small compared to Sean’s bigger, darker hands. A bruise Laura hadn’t noticed before circled his left wrist like a wide purple bracelet.
“Me too,” Tigger said, bouncing toward them on her skinny legs. Her glittery pink hair clip was about to fall out of her silky hair.
Cassie pushed her sister away. “This isn’t little-girl stuff.”
“I’m not little! I’m almost eight.”
“Let her stay.” Laura drew Tig’s hands in with the bigger ones. “We’re just going to promise we’ll always be there for each other.” A glance at Sean made her heart hurt. “We’ll look out for each other. Always.” That wasn’t half of what she wanted to say, but her throat had clogged up. The others only stared at her.
“Say it,” she ordered in a whisper. “Promise.”
“I promise,” Sean and Cassie said, and Tigger piped up with another
Sean glared at each one in turn, his shaggy hair half-veiling his fierce blue eyes and hiding most of the tiny scars on his forehead. “But y’all have to promise you won’t do anything stupid either.” He looked straight at Laura. “Promise you won’t go blabbing things that shouldn’t be blabbed.”
“I promise,” Cassie said. “No blabbing.”
“No blabbing,” Tigger parroted.
Laura’s hands were roasting. She felt as trapped as the times she’d knelt at the altar until her legs ached, but she didn’t dare move in the middle of a moment that might have been sacred. This wasn’t church, though. It was pure foolishness, probably.
“Laura,” Sean said. “Promise.”
Maybe this was part of being there for him, part of being his friend: promising to do things his way. Because, after all, she didn’t know what kind of trouble she’d stir up for him if she told her folks about his bully of a father. She let out her breath. When she inhaled, her lungs seemed to fill with a deep sadness that seeped into every cell of her body.
“I promise. No blabbing.”
Sean nodded. His face relaxed a tad.
A honeybee drowsed over his shoulder, breaking the spell. Laura flexed her fingers but couldn’t free herself from the sticky, sweltering pile of hands. Tigger yanked loose, releasing the rest of them too. “Sean, lookit,” she said, picking up her pail. “I got tons of berries.”
“That’s a lot,” he said. “Good work, Tig.”
She scampered away, her pale hair catching the light. The sun always seemed to find her, even in the shade.
Cassie held her juice-stained hand to her heart. “There. We made a solemn vow, signed in the blood of a thousand berries.” Dropping the dramatic pose, she laughed and walked away.
Sean poured his berries into Laura’s pail, filling it to the brim. “Give ’em to your mom.”
“You don’t want any?”
“You think I bake pies and things? Nah. I’m gonna go drown some worms behind the Bennetts’ place.”
“Now? The fish won’t be biting.”
“That’ll still be better than hanging around with a bunch of girls.”
She gave his wiry shoulder a gentle shove. “Get out of here, then.”
“Get out of my way and I will.”
“Stop by later,” she said. “I might be at Cassie’s house for a while, though.”
“Don’t start slapping on the makeup like she does. I like you the way you are.”
“And don’t bat your eyelashes at me,” he added.
“Sure, you were.” Sean gave her a quick grin and sauntered away. He would follow the tracks north for a while. Then he would cut to the left on the dirt road that led to the Bennetts’ little lake. He never had qualms about fishing on private property. But he hadn’t brought a fishing line, and his house was in the other direction. He only wanted a place to hide out while his dad was home.
Sean didn’t have a mom to stick up for him. Or to bake cobblers with. He would be all right, though. He was smart and strong and good. He would run away if he had to, and then Dale Halloran wouldn’t have anybody left to kick around but the dog.
“Man, it’s hot,” Cassie said, slapping a mosquito on her neck. “Let’s go.”
“Yeah, I’m done too. Sean gave me his berries.”
“Come on, Tigger,” Cassie said. “Time to bounce along home.”
Tigger pouted. “I have to fill my bucket first.”
“Oh, all right, but come straight home. Stay away from the tracks. You hear?”
“Tanya Jean Bright, say ‘Yes ma’am.’” Cassie sounded just like her mother.
“Yes ma’am.” Tigger’s quick fingers went back to finding berries.
“Take some of mine,” Laura told her. “Then your mom will have plenty and you can come home with us.”
“No! I want to fill up my own bucket by my own self.”
Laura pulled Cassie aside. “We can’t leave her by herself. We just told my dad—”
“She’ll be fine,” Cassie said. “We can look out the bedroom window and see her. Shoot, she’ll be home in five minutes. Even if she stays longer, she’s smart about trains and stuff. C’mon, let’s go paint our nails. My mom has tons of new makeup samples too.”
Laura imagined herself drinking something cold and sweet inside the Brights’ cool, dark house. Cassie’s dad was at work, and her mom never interfered with girls who wanted to primp and giggle. Mrs. Bright was like an aunt to Laura. The fun kind of aunt.
She fell in behind Cassie. By the time they’d made their way up the bank to the shoulder of the road, Tigger had started singing again. Her tiny voice floated behind them, growing fainter as they walked away.
Laura and Cassie were at the house in two minutes, their berries sitting on the coolness of the kitchen counter. Mrs. Bright was in her bedroom, fussing over a sewing project, but Cassie stuck her head in long enough to tell her they were back. Then she brought her mom’s nail polish and makeup samples to the kitchen table where the lighting was good. “Wash up and gimme your hand,” Cassie said.
After a moment’s hesitation, Laura obeyed. She wondered if the fruit in the Garden of Eden was the same lovely, warm shade of coral-red. Sunset Boulevard Red.
Half an hour later, her nails felt weighted and conspicuous. Her skin felt coated, her pores choked with something called Sunlight Bisque Foundation. Her eyes stung from their first exposure to mascara and liner. Staring at herself in a hand mirror, she decided she’d better scrub her face before her dad got a look at her. He’d say she was too young for makeup. He’d say she was just a little girl, not much older than Tigger—
Laura lowered the mirror. “Cassie? Tig still isn’t back.”
“Oops. We’d better go get her.” Cassie was halfway to the door already. “I’m in deep doo-doo if my mom finds out.”
They stepped outside, careful not to make noise and alert her mother to their exit. Once they’d reached the shoulder of the road, they ran, their sneakers making the gravel fly.
“There she is.” Cassie pointed but didn’t slow down.
They closed the gap quickly as Tigger trudged toward them. Her face was filthy, and she’d either spilled most of her berries or eaten them.
“What took you so long?” Cassie asked.
Ignoring Cassie, Tigger fixed her tearful blue eyes on Laura. “Your dad scolded me and told me to go home. And he told the creepy man to go—”
“What creepy man?”
With her free hand, Tigger pushed her hair out of her eyes, leaving a purple smear on her sweaty forehead. “The weirdo.”
Cassie gave her a skeptical look. “Slattery? Yeah, right. Don’t tell fibs.”
“I don’t. Laura’s daddy yelled at him and”—Tig’s fingers explored higher on her head, moving faster and faster. “Where’s my new hair clip? It fell out!”
“Don’t start bawling. I’ll buy you another one.” Cassie started fingercombing Tig’s hair. “You’re lucky we promised we won’t blab. We won’t tattle on you for staying by yourself at the berry patch. Right, Laura?”
Laura nodded, awed by Cassie’s slick shifting of the blame.
“As long as you don’t tell Mom, you’re not in trouble,” Cassie said, wiping Tigger’s wet cheeks. “Hey, you want to try nail polish?”
Tigger’s eyes widened. “Yeah!”
Her cheerfulness restored, she scurried toward the house. Laura and Cassie followed at a slower pace.
“Close call,” Cassie said in a low voice.
“We’re still in trouble. My dad will tell your dad.”
“Uh-oh, you’re right.” Cassie made a face. “Well, if my folks decide I’m a bad baby-sitter, maybe they’ll stop making me baby-sit.”
The three girls trooped up the steps to the back door and into the kitchen. Tigger climbed into a chair and spread out her grubby hands for her first-ever fingernail polish.
Grateful that Tig had come safely home, Laura leaned against the counter and stared out the window at the bright blue sky. A train whistle moaned in the hills. Sean must have heard it too, up at the Bennetts’ little lake where he hid out whenever he was afraid to go home.
Shivery sadness filled her again, as lonesome as the whistle of the far-off train.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A Stillness of Chimes - the title itself is compelling and descriptive of what readers will find within these pages. It sets a mood, an atmosphere, almost foreshadowing with these words: "There was no sound but the wind in the trees and the chimes. Then the wind stilled. Everything was hushed, as if the whole world waited for something to happen." A Stillness of Chimes is one of the most original and memorable books I've ever read. It almost has a haunting quality to it, and its characters are still in my thoughts. The setting is the small north Georgia town of Prospect - a town that was "half tourist trap and half hick town." The storyline beautifully incorporates several themes - childhood friendships and family secrets . . . PTSD, parental abuse, abandonment . . . questions and doubts when it comes to matters of faith - all in Meg's unique and lyrical style. Meg's stories capture the essence of the South and there's almost a magical quality to her writing, especially when she sets her story in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southern Appalachia. This area is my heritage and I can truly say that Meg has captured the essence of these mountains and the people. Her outstanding first novel, When Sparrows Fall, had a similar setting and style, so I was thrilled that she returned to this familiar setting. "Laura Gantt didn't believe in ghosts, but sometimes she wondered if living across from a graveyard had warped her. Part Irish, all southern, descended from moonshiners and holy rollers, she'd always believed in things she couldn't see. Her dad said it was just the old whisperings in their blood." This opening paragraph gives a sense of mood, Meg's lyrical writing style, and a glimpse into lead character, Laura Gantt. I was immediately drawn to Laura and Sean, loved the friendship and chemistry between them. But it's the off-screen character of Laura's father, Elliott Gantt, who drives the story. Elliott is such an interesting and compelling character - he fought in Vietnam, loved his family, and was trained in survival techniques. He could also play - and build - the fiddle, mandolin, guitar. One of my favorite secondary characters was the mysterious and wise Granny Colfax, so funny in her thoughts regarding cell phones: "All those calls, cluttering up the heavens. Turning the whole sky into a tower of Babel. I wonder if anybody ever really listens to each other anymore." She could have easily been in my family tree! Spiritual themes are woven throughout with subtlety, in a way that fits this narrative - and I think that is a sign of mature writing. How beautiful are Sean's thoughts as he looks at the graveyard "with all its crosses that preached silent sermons about the life to come"! Then there's the scene where hearing the "Doxology" reminds Laura of the creed her father taught her as a child: I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Laura acknowledges that "she would never understand any of it completely. Not this side of heaven." And isn't that where most of us are? Not fully understanding, seeing only in part - but that rich heritage of faith runs through our veins and we look forward to all that will be in heaven. And that's where a childlike faith and trust enters in. This wasn't a book that I could rush through, so I read slowly and savored each word, often going back to read through certain passages again. Highly recommended to those who enjoy relationship drama with hidden depths. Thank you to Meg Moseley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest
I really enjoyed this book. I think the book's cover was kind of strange - although once I read the book I understood the symbolism. Still the cover did not draw me to the book or make me want to read it. At first look I thought the hand was covered in blood - yet upon closer look one can see they are berry stains. Laura Gantt's mother dies suddenly and unexpectedly. Now Laura is left parentless. Her father supposedly died when she was 18 years old. He drown in the local lake although his body was never found. Then, neighbors begin reporting sightings of her father. Laura is determined to find out the truth of her past and discover what happened to her father. Sean Halloran was Laura's high school sweetheart. Sean is still very much in love with Laura. He wants to protect her, help her find the truth - but most of all he wants to make her his wife. It was a very good story and one that seeks to illuminate some of the issues families struggle with when veterans come home. Sometimes the vets are broken inside. They struggle to be normal, to live a normal life. At the heart of this book, is a wonderful love story between Laura and Sean. I highly recommend reading it.
The small town of Prospect, Georgia, has plenty of secrets in Meg Moseley’s A Stillness of Chimes. Never having been to Georgia, I really enjoyed the feel of entering a different place through the eyes of her characters. Laura Gantt might avoid going back into church, as she feels too many eyes on her, having returned to close up her childhood home after the death of her mother. But there’s always the possibility she might stay, or even the chance that her father, long mourned as dead, might somehow return. Laura’s childhood friends are still around too. Cassie’s back from California and wondering if her marriage is worth saving. Sean copes with his abusive father and still makes music and instruments. Tig, Cassie’s once-annoying little sister, is happily making babies, and seems the only really settled one. Meanwhile parents and friends offer welcome, plus the occasional tuna casserole. Wind chimes play their tune. The widow lives in a dream world, and Cassie’s mother is turning her world into a dream. With so many characters and so many needs, this story could be confusing. But the author does a good job with point of view, keeping the novel progressing forward, revealing detail at just the right time, and gradually building suspense as the chimes fall silent. It’s not a scary tale; readers will easily guess much of what’s to come, just as Laura does. It is dark and oppressive sometimes, with secrets untold, but the story’s lightened by naturally humorous dialog, and pleasing relationships. In all, A Stillness of Chimes is an enjoyable story with a pleasing lesson in the power and importance of love and trust, and communication. Just maybe, those chimes might be hiding a still small voice. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah blogging for books and I promised my honest review.
Meg Moseley’s A Stillness of Chimes takes place in a cozy, idyllic town in Georgia. Laura, Sean, and Cassie have been friends since childhood, but only Sean stayed in their hometown after high school. The death of Laura’s mother brings Laura and Cassie back, and soon issues from the past begin to crop up. It was believed that Laura’s father drowned in Hamlin Lake nearly two decades ago. That is, until people begin to spot someone that looks like him lurking around the outskirts of town. Not sure whether or not to believe her father could possibly be alive, Laura begins searching for answers, and ends up discovering more questions and secrets. Moseley spins a story full of small town secrets. Some you expect, some you don’t. For the ones you do expect, there is excellent foreshadowing, and the ones you don’t expect keep the plot from going stale. Sometimes small town set books grind my nerves, but I enjoyed reading A Stillness of Chimes from start to finish. The only two things I disliked was the title itself, and how Cassie’s subplot is somewhat forgotten for a large chunk of the novel. I understand the importance of the title and its relevance to Elliott’s relationship with Jessamyn, but I believe there could have been more eye-catching options. Overall, A Stillness of Chimes is a book I would definitely recommend.
Reviewed by Joy Hannabass for Readers' Favorite Laura Gantt returns to her hometown to take care of her mom’s affairs after she passes away, but Laura never expects to hear the rumors flying around about her dad, who passed away twelve years earlier. Sean had heard the rumors, and decides to tell Laura before someone rudely blurts them out in front of her. Still having feelings for her from long ago, Laura’s ex-beau wants to be there for her when she hears the news. Together, Sean and Laura decided to try to uncover the real truth about the secrets going around. A Stillness of Chimes takes readers to the small town of Prospect, Georgia, where everyone knows everyone. But despite this, Laura, along with this little community will find secrets of long ago that were kept from them all. I have been a Meg Moseley fan since her first book, and I was thrilled to read and review her new book, A Stillness of Chimes. Prospect, Georgia is one of those small towns where everyone knows everyone else’s business, but a past secret looming in this little town takes on a different twist to find answers. Ms. Moseley is a gifted storyteller and does a wonderful job creating solid and believable characters that bring this story to life. The only problem I had with this book was that I wish it ended in a different way, with a little more about Laura’s long-lost dad. But overall, this is an amazing read that I highly recommend. And, as usual, I appreciate the way Ms. Mosely weaves the Christian themes into the lives of her characters.
After reading Meg Moseley’s other novels, When Sparrows Fall and Gone South I anxiously awaited her next novel. Meg certainly did not disappoint! A Stillness of Chimes was beautifully written. This book captivated me from the first chapter. The book was filled with vivid detail of what it is like to live in the South right down to the descriptions of kudzu! Meg’s ability to describe the effects of living with someone that suffers from PTSD was also captivating. Growing up with a dad that also suffers from PTSD I felt like I could relate to Laura in several ways. I could relate to how she felt when her dad would go through the black moods. I felt very connected throughout my reading of this book. Meg is able to hold your attention throughout. I would find myself thinking about the characters several times throughout the day. This book contained, humor, sadness, true friendships, and of course romance! I highly recommend this book and any of Meg’s books to anyone! You will not be disappointed, I promise!!
Meg Moseley's newest novel, A Stillness of Chimes, is a southern story in every sense - with all of the heartache and hidden secrets that implies. Rather than providing readers with a simple romance between a freckled, barefoot tomboy and a farm boy with a southern drawl, Moseley's characters face real issues and emotional struggles that ring true with readers no matter where they are from. Born and raised in north Georgia, Laura Gantt has run away from the conflict between her parents that possibly led to her father's disappearance and from her childhood friend and high school sweetheart Sean Halloran by going off to college in Denver Colorado. Years later, Laura returns to her hometown in order to settle the affairs of her late mother, but she ends up finding more questions than answers, and Sean is there at every turn to keep her safe and help put the pieces of the puzzle together. A Stillness of Chimes deals with all kinds of problems that many readers today might face, including child abuse, alcoholism, adultery, and PTSD. I thought Moseley's writing flowed naturally and had an easy to read quality that made the story move quickly. The story itself was intriguing at the very least - the mysteries are introduced early on, but Moseley does a great job of leaving nuggets here and there to keep the reader turning pages to find out more. Character development, on the other hand, is not Moseley's strongest point. Laura and Sean are constantly at odds with each other, but as their relationship progresses it seems to come out of no where and there is little evidence given to support Laura's feelings or explain her behavior. For a quick read, this book was entertaining and pleasant, with a satisfying ending. The setting seemed real, too, but maybe that's just me wishing I could trade this never-ending Michigan winter for some pleasant flowers and a Georgia breeze! To find out more about Meg Moseley and her books, visit her website.
While back in her hometown of Prospect, Georgia to settle her late mother’s affairs, Laura Gantt comes face to face with the past in more ways than one. Not only does she have to face Sean, an ex-boyfriend she left behind when she moved to Colorado, she is also faced with rumors regarding her father who died 12 years ago. Rumors travel fast in a small town and the rumor that her father faked his death and is now back in town is traveling at light speed. Laura must deal with this news as well as figuring out where her relationship with Sean stands. What really happened 12 years ago and even years before that? Do her mother’s journals hold the information she’s looking for? Will all that she finds change the way she feels about her father and the memories she has of him? This book was intense! It’s been a long time since I’ve read an entire book in on day, but I just couldn’t put this book down. I stayed up until 1:00 am to finish it…boy did I regret that the next day! Haha! I loved the way the story was written, it really drew me in and kept me turning pages. I really enjoyed reading the story and I felt like most of it was wrapped up well; it didn’t leave me feeling like there was more to the story when I’d finished the book. I didn’t agree with some of the ethical decisions some of the characters made near the end of the book, but it didn’t ruin the books for me. This is the first of Meg’s books that I’ve read, but if they’re anywhere near as well written as this one, I’m sure I’d enjoy reading others. Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own.
I could not put this book down! It is a page turner! You want to find out so bad what happens. Loved this book! Meg Moseley is such a great writer.
Small towns have big secrets. These secrets can destroy families and friendships as quickly as they can form the relationships. Laura Gantt grew up in Prospect, Georgia. Her best friend, Cassie, lived almost next door, and Sean, the guy who wanted her heart, lived across town. Cassie came from a prosperous family, while Sean lived in an abusive one. Laura’s days were filled with picking berries with Cassie, and watching her own dad mentor Sean. Then the unbelievable happened – Laura’s dad disappeared. The strain and grief of this lost drove a wedge between Laura and her mom, and Laura headed out of town to start again. When her mother passes away, Laura returns to settle the family estate. She realizes there is more to settle than the family land and possessions. Rumors are spinning around town that her father is alive, and that several townsfolk have seen him. With determination Laura fights these vicious rumors, and throughout the next weeks she uncovers some buried secrets that just might get her hurt or worse. When Laura’s mom’s chimes go missing in the middle of the night, she realizes that her father is alive, and knows that she will do anything to find him! Sean is unsure as to what he believes. He loved Elliott Gantt like the father he never had. Sean’s own father was ruthless and mean. As Sean and his older brother begin to secretly investigate the rumors, he finds himself investigating his heart where it concerns Laura. Can love heal the past wounds, or would it just be a blanket to cover them? Will the sacrifices of the past be realized for what they were meant for? *I received this book from WaterBrook Multnomah, and am not being compensated for my review.
Meg Moseley is a new author to me and she did not disappoint. The Nutshell: Laura Gantt heads back to her hometown to settle the household of her recently deceased mother. Memories swirl around her as well as rumors that her father, who drowned years before, has been seen around town. With the help of her high school sweetheart, Sean and her best friend Cassie, her heart and life intertwine her past and present in the town she just can't shake. Filled with heartache, compassion and a melodic lilt, Meg Moseley weaves a sweet story of friendship, forgiveness and moving forward in life. Pro's: When I think of the South, I think of warm, cricket sounding, hazy days. Swinging slowly on a porch swing with a cold glass of ice tea that has condensation dripping down it. And I think, now, of this book. While reading it, it was the South. Just the right amount of pace, not too fast, not too slow. It had a lilt to it of crickets that keep you going. Page after page after page. Meg Moseley not only wrote a sweet filled story of friendship and forgiveness, but a story that came to life and took you along side the characters. Their heart aches. Their deeply rooted history in a little town that was dredged in tradition. Con's: None. Suggestion: If you like light hearted, but yet full of sweetness and southern charm books, this one is for you! Want to learn more about Meg Mosesly? Visit her website. Want to get a little taste of A Stillness of Chimes? Go here to read the first chapter. WaterBrook Multnomah sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions are my own.
A Stillness of Chimes by Meg Moseley. I hope that anyone that loves mystery picks up this book. I thought it was an easy read, I never put it down thinking, gosh how will I finish this, it was that good! A woman comes home to put her mothers things in order after her death only to find out there are rumors in town that her father might still be alive after several years. Not only does she have to investigate the possible disappearance of her father but she also has to figure out how things lay with her love. She thought she would never have to face this beautiful man again but now she is slapped with the reality that time does not take away the love they shared. I really can't talk much about this book without giving everything away but I want everyone to pick this one up. It isn't the classic mystery that I can't stand reading. 4 stars although I really want to make it 5. I don't know what holds me back, I guess that I really want to read more about the characters after this hiroshima ending! This book was given to me by Blogging for Books, I really enjoy a lot of the books that they offer and enjoy working with them. Everything you read above is my honest opinion.