This was awful. The first line is "June 1997" and shortly thereafter, the main character is getting off an Amtrak train. Despite the date given, people in this story ride horses to get where they're going. For entertainment, the town has horse races, potlucks and square dances. What exactly are "prairie clothes"? And why does no one in this story, even those who are wealthy enough to have 'servants', not have cell phones, pagers or just use regular phones in 1997? Instead, multiple people just appear, traveling from out of state unannounced. Everything in this story would have been more appropriate set at least 70 years in the past.
The beginning makes it clear the main plot is the murder of the main character's parents. She witnesses this at night, rides off on a horse and goes to one of her brother's homes, the one who lives further away. Must've been a really fast horse and a full moon. I understand she is supposed to be terrified for her life, but who the heck would just demand to get taken to a shop without mentioning "hey, our parents are dead". She manages not to think about her parents or their murder for a good portion of the book.
The characters are shallow, immature and generally lacking intelligence. What kind of adult throws cats off a roof to cause a distraction, because they are jealous? Who stays with a spouse who is a psycho, manipulating shrew...for a decade? I found it a bit odd that a grown woman would just blurt out "I'm still a virgin!" to her brother. EWWW. What kind of person thinks (this is the gist) "I've seen my brothers shirtless and didn't react this way..." double EWWW! Why would an entire town CONSTANTLY bring up someone's deceased spouse? Why would an entire town worship someone just because they were so very sweet and pretty. It was silly, trite and unrealistic.
The main female was half spoiled rich girl and half hard working, astonishingly perceptive and innocent. She's scared and trying to hide...but wants to talk to everyone. She just witnessed her parents murder, ran for her life and she wants to win a horse race! The male was a grouchy wimp that let people walk all over him for years. He even advised others to let jerks take advantage because it was easier.
Conversation between characters was bad, and male characters were constantly described as "he's a good man", so often it became ridiculous.
This story had issues on all levels. I'm disgusted I wasted money on this, especially after reading the great reviews here...did they read the same book?
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)