Review: The Qualities of Wood by Mary Vensel White

Synopsis taken from Mary Vensel White’s website:

When Vivian and her husband Nowell are enlisted to prepare his late grandmother’s country home for sale, they decide to take a break from city life. Nowell leaves before his wife to begin work on his second mystery novel and by the time Vivian joins him, a real mystery has begun.

A local girl has died in the woods behind the house. The tall line of trees separating the old white house from the thickets and wildlife beyond attracts Vivian, seems to beckon her within. Details begin to emerge about the victim and Vivian becomes enmeshed in the secrets of the girl’s life and final moments.

Nowell’s temperamental brother arrives with his new wife and the house gets crowded. A woman who befriends Vivian relays local gossip, including the questionable legacy of the town’s founder, while a neighbor, a striking man with a buried past of his own, keeps appearing at strange moments. Meanwhile, Vivian’s marriage is unraveling as Nowell loses himself in his work and Vivian seeks purpose and ultimately, truth.

Mary Vensel White’s Biography

Click to read an excerpt

My Review:

This is a story that will draw you in immediately, but is very slow at unfolding.  This is not an easy “who-dun-it” kind of book, rather it is the characters development that was truly mesmerizing.  I loved the character Vivian and her side kick, Dot.  While Dot’s role was a small one in the overall storyline, she added humor and gave the reader a break in trying to dissect the clues carefully laid out by the author.  It has the charming qualities of a small town, along with the ghosts and family secrets that Vivian slowly begins to uncover about the home, Nowell’s family, and the people nearby.  I loved Mary Vensel White’s descriptive story telling and found the ending rather shocking.  It certainly is a story that will keep you on your toes!

Keep an eye out for this book, which should be released by Harper Collins in January 2012.

*This book was provided for free by the author in exchange for an honest review.  No monetary or other forms of compensation was given.

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