Sunday, July 26, 2009




Emilie Richards, author of such books as A LIE FOR A LIE and SISTER'S CHOICE (see my review here), gives readers stories rich with diverse characters as well as settings that often are as important as any character. And so it is no different when Emilie repeats this successful pattern in her latest novel, HAPPINESS KEY. One of the first authors I reviewed who personally answered my plea for a review copy and interview, Emilie has never let me down in any of her books, including the ones I went back and read after my first one, SISTER'S CHOICE. Once again, Ms. Richards does not disappoint.

As we meet the main character of Tracy Deloche, we find her lavish life falling apart as her ex-husband is being sent to prison and she is left with twenty-five acres along Florida's Gulf Coast. The area, expertly researched and described, includes five NOT so lavish beach homes for Tracy to oversee. Inhabitants of these houses are the characters that come together to create interwoven stories and lives...much like Emilie's amazing quilts, that make up HAPPINESS KEY's tale of romance, mystery, and even quite a bit of heart warming humor!

Tracy begins to learn the identity of the four other residents of Happiness Key when the lonely single male inhabitant, elderly Herbert Krause, dies. He dies alone in his house and is found grasping a key that nobody seems to know anything about. The four woman now on the key get to know each other as they try to find family for Herb in order to learn what they want done about his body. Their concentration on finding out about Herb's own story helps them to learn also a lot about their own lives.

Along with Tracy, there is Wanda Gray who hates her life living in her cottage with her husband Ken, a troubled police officer. She has gone and taken a job that she knows will upset him and possibly destroy her marriage but that would be only if he even cares enough to look into what it is she is doing which she anticipates he won't even do.

Coming from a very close Indian family to this new country, Janya Kapur is very unhappy because she is wed in a traditional arranged marriage to a man that she really doesn't even know or love. Janya was in a love match in India that went awry and so escaped from that by entering into this arranged marriage with this stranger and so Janya faces this life of
unhappiness but isn't sure if she can handle it.

Dear Alice Brooks had always dreamed of living on a beach but when suddenly her daughter died, and her son-in-law and granddaughter move in with her. Because she has started to exhibit some minor dementia, growing somewhat confused and forgetful, she is upset as she feels she is not that bad off and really doesn't want them living with her.

And so as these four seemingly different females come together to help find out about Herb, they also find out about themselves and why it is they are all there. These four woman make up the central theme of the story as coming together, they are forced to face their problems and fears. In this way, they are able to help each other and what may have started out as a refuge from what they were running from soon become a caring community of females who discover just what they are hiding from and how they can help each other.

The story is a quick read and I especially enjoyed becoming enmeshed in the lives of these four woman and being able to escape from mine for a few hours, to be honest, as I read yet another winning book of Emilie Richards. I hope those of you who like stories like this will read it and enjoy it like I did. It was just what the doctor ordered for me, as I say, to get my mind off things and into that slow summer mindset when I have some time to myself! Thank you, Emilie!

Check back tomorrow for
my interview with the author
AND the GIVEAWAY post of


bermudaonion said...

I love Florida's Gulf Coast - what a great setting for a book that sounds wonderful.

Sheila DeChantal said...

Great review. I love the characters that you just breathed life into as you described them and made me want to hang out with them! :)

Zia said...

I have an award for you. here

Neas Nuttiness said...

I do love a fun quick read - thanks for the review!