By Augusta Trobaugh
Genre: Adult Fiction
Just like the setting of a fishing lake in Florida, this book has a slow, easy feel to it. Fiona and Glory are companions at a fishing camp that Fiona’s late husband J.Roy had bought as a place for them to live. Little did Fiona know that J.Roy wouldn’t be around long to enjoy his new later in life endeavor, but she perseveres, along with Glory’s help, to make a go of the fishing camp and a little restaurant on the pier.
The story starts off almost instantly with a baby being abandoned in a palmetto grove near Fiona’s house. So begins the tale of how Victor came to be a part of Fiona’s and Glory’s lives. How a little baby can so completely turn lives upside down, but also enrich and inspire them. Victor brings so much joy to this house full of women. Starry shows up not long after and becomes a permanent fixture in Victor’s life as well. Fiona and Glory are afraid of losing Victor, so a story is concocted to make it sound as though the abandoned baby is really a relative.
Meanwhile, a bit across town, Doc and his wife Myra are finding themselves with a new baby as well. This one having been “adopted” after Myra loses her previous child. Myra is so consumed with the loss of the previous child and the adoption of the new one, that she seems to forget that this new baby is not her own. She keeps the new baby, Rebecca, essentially under lock and key, not wanting to allow her out of her sight for even a moment.
Also prominent in the story is Old Man, a Seminole who has no words but is a constant figure in everyone’s lives. He spends most of his time at the local trading post, bringing native culture to the tourists that visit. His wife Arabelle runs the trading post along with their son David. Old Man figures into the abandoned baby somehow, but the woman can’t figure it out.
So many secrets from the beginning are bound to come back to haunt people later in life, aren’t they?
What I really loved about this story was the flow of the story as we watched both children grow up and the adults around them change along with the growth of the children. Each character is well defined to make it easy to see and feel them, to go through their emotions and feelings with them. It is easy to understand the choices they make, even when you know in your heart, those choices might cause problems at some point.
I had a gut feeling about the turn of this story toward the end, but it wasn’t revealed until almost the very end of the story. There are hints and suggestions that lead you to think you might know where it is going to turn, and that was the one thing that I didn’t enjoy. However this is not a “thriller” or a mystery, so knowing those things along the way doesn’t ruin the story in any way. This is a very enjoyable read, even with the sometimes dark subject matter. The Seminole stories add a nice native feel to bring you into the environment of an inland lake in Florida.
I rated this book 4/5 stars on Goodreads, but if half stars were an option, I would more likely give this book about 3.5 stars.