Mary Ellen Taylor
I must admit that during the first few chapters of Spring House by Mary Ellen Taylor, I was having a hard time keeping the names and relations straight. What threw me was the genealogy chart at the beginning of the book. When I read a new name, I kept returning to those pages to look for the name of the referenced person and could not find the individual listed. Of course this lack of information was intentional on the part of the author as the purpose of the novel is to uncover what happened to a sister from a large family. Once I got past the issue of not connecting the dots immediately, I settled in and enjoyed the book.
Megan Buchanan is a young woman who is an expert in historical restoration. She grew up on the eastern shore of Maryland with deep ancestorial roots. Megan is 8 months pregnant and single after breaking off her engagement and she has undertaken a large-scale renovation of a local historical mansion.
The novel slowly gives the reader bits of information to piece together and understand what happened to Diane Heidrick one of Megan’s ancestors, who left the area in the early 1900s when her mother died and she and her siblings were separated and shipped off to live with other families. In parallel to the search for what happened to Diane, we learn more about Megan including why she broke off her engagement and how unsettled she is about her future as a single mother and historian.
Mary Ellen Taylor is a good writer. There were times where I felt some of the information or insertion of a character was either a bit too contrived or didn’t add a lot of value but overall, Spring House is a good quick read with a few minor history lessons included.
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