Today it’s over to Mandie who has a review of The Farmhouse at Peace & Plenty by L.B. Stimson as part of the tour. Thanks to Zoë-Lee O’Farrell of Zooloos Book Tours for the invite to join in and to the author for the advance review copy. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
The house, for all of its solitude, seemed incredibly noisy. The Farmhouse, having stood against time and history for nearly 160 years in the Virginia countryside, was forgotten and abandoned until Kyle and Jenny Dowling moved in during the summer of 1972. The Dowlings, married just a year, are struggling to repair their broken marriage. It was to be the perfect place, away from it all, to heal their relationship. Jenny would write and Kyle would tend to minor renovations. The rent was cheap. The realtor warned them, however, against staying beyond the final days of fall. “No, it isn’t recommended you stay through the winter. Winter is a difficult time at The Farmhouse.”
Kyle and Jenny Dowling move to the Farmhouse in an attempt to repair their marriage after Kyle was caught having an affair with one of his students. You can sense from the start that Jenny really doesn’t want to go. She is not sure that moving to the middle of nowhere, where there are limited amenities, and the phone line is a “party line”. On top of that the house itself needs some repairs that Kyle will have to do as part of the agreement for renting and the realtor had advised them not to stay through the winter but wouldn’t really give them a reason why.
Initially like Jenny I put the noises in the house down to its age and general state of repair but as the story progresses you can sense the unease both in the house and in the town itselfwhere some of the residents are not the most welcoming, seeming to resent outsiders. At first I was not sure that I would connect with either character as Kyle seemed a little self-centred and Jenny a little judgemental but as I read further my opinion of Jenny at least changed as she made the effort to take to her new living arrangements and tried to repair her marriage. When things change and they end up staying longer than intended you have to wonder how much of it is a decision of their own making.
The author has a way of setting the scene with glimpses into the history of its previous inhabitants through Jenny’s dreams as you witness the loss that they encountered. I liked the mix of past and present as it helped set the scene and gave the book that extra dimension. With the tension and the ghostly vibes building slowly to its ultimate conclusion this is a book that will possibly leave the reader with definite chills at the end. This book may only be short, but it certainly delivers.
About the Author
L.B. grew up in a one stop-light town in central Idaho. After earning a Bachelor of Art’s degree in cultural anthropology from California State University-Chico, she uprooted herself to begin a new life in Washington, D.C., where she began a varied career in professional communications in private business and education.
“I’ve always had a passion for photography, travel, writing, and history. I am thrilled to now be creating works of fiction that allow me to share these passions with others. One of my favorite parts of the writing process is the historical research required to bring authenticity to my characters’ lives.”
This is her fifth book and the second in her standalone series: Tales from the Parlor Room–a collection of gothic and ghostly tales.
She currently resides in Virginia where she enjoys cemetery walks, visiting abandoned and haunted places and working on more ghostly tales.
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