Saturday 27 July 2019

#BookReview Bethlehem by Karen Kelly @FreshFiction @StMartinsPress

Bethlehem by Karen Kelly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

With the atmospheric storytelling of Kate Morton and Lisa Wingate, Karen Kelly weaves a shattering debut about two intertwined families and the secrets that they buried during the gilded, glory days of Bethlehem, PA.

"A haunting debut.” —Georgia Hunter, New York Times bestselling author of We Were the Lucky Ones

"Karen Kelly is the real deal.” —Mark Sullivan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Beneath a Scarlet Sky

A young woman arrives at the grand ancestral home of her husband’s family, hoping to fortify her cracking marriage. But what she finds is not what she expected: tragedy haunts the hallways, whispering of heartache and a past she never knew existed.

Inspired by the true titans of the steel-boom era, Bethlehem is a story of temptation and regret, a story of secrets and the cost of keeping them, a story of forgiveness. It is the story of two complex women—thrown together in the name of family—who, in coming to understand each other, come finally to understand themselves.


BETHLEHEM is the story of Joanna - a young woman that, together with her husband Frank and children, moves back in the ancestral home because it will be closer to Franks's work. Frank's father has just died, he's has taken on much more responsibility, and he's gone a lot. This bothers Joanna quite a lot. The situation is made worse since she is not only sharing the house with her mother-in-law, but also Frank's grandmother. Not that the women are horrible or wicked, but Joanna does feel like an outsider. One day, while walking outside with her children, Joanna wanders over to the cemetery and meets an old woman named Doe. Doe is taking care of the cemetery along with her husband. Joanna also meets Doe's grandson Daniel, a thoughtful young man that Joanna feels drawn to. In the cemetery there is a grave for a little baby, but Doe - who has been very talkative up until now - refuses to speak about it. What is it with the small grave?


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