Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Echoes Among the Stones by Jaime Jo Wright

From Amazon:
After Aggie Dunkirk's career is unceremoniously ended by her own mistakes, she finds herself traveling to Wisconsin, where her grandmother, Mumsie, lives alone in her rambling old home. She didn't plan for how eccentric Mumsie has become, obsessing over an old, unsolved crime scene--even going so far as to re-create it in the dollhouse.

Mystery seems to follow her when she finds work as a secretary helping to restore the flooded historical part of the cemetery. Forced to work with the cemetery's puzzling, yet attractive archeologist, she exhumes the past's secrets and unwittingly uncovers a crime that some will go to any length to keep quiet--even if it means silencing Aggie.

In 1946, Imogene Grayson works in a local factory and has eyes on owning her own beauty salon. But coming home to discover her younger sister's body in the attic changes everything. Unfamiliar with the newly burgeoning world of criminal forensics and not particularly welcomed as a woman, Imogene is nonetheless determined to stay involved. As her sister's case grows cold, Imogene vows to find justice . . . even if it costs her everything.

This story is a hard one to read for anyone who has traveled through the journey of grief. People mourn and grieve in different ways, and Jaime does an amazing job showing different levels of the healing process through her characters.

Aggie's past career has left her searching for purpose and wondering if she is capable of responsibility. After receiving a letter from her Mumsie, she attempts to bond with her grandmother while also grieving the loss of her mother. Skeletons and bone fragments initiate a rough beginning for the estranged granddaughter and grandmother, but the two soon realize they may have more in common than they know.

Approximately 7 decades earlier, Imogene relives the day she found her sister's body in her attic bedroom. While her deputy brother attempts to relieve her concerns and follow the clues, he's handcuffed by work politics and his impulsive younger sister.

Each of these young ladies finds themselves intertwined with one another in ways they didn't imagine. Their faith, families, and friendships are tested as they try to unravel the mystery of Imogene's sister's murderer.

I especially love Collin's part in this story. While not a main character, he's an important support and friend to Aggie, and basically everything one would wish for in a solid friendship. Mumsie too begins to hold a large place in Aggie's life and the transition is beautiful to watch. I wish I had the words to unpack the depth of this story, but it's a hard one to describe or feel. I admire Wright for her willingness to unpack such deep topics and yet bring healing out of horrible tragedies. She allows characters to grapple with loss and the pain of sorrow, but yet keeps the hope of Jesus at the forefront. Jaime Jo Wright captures emotion, friendship, love, and sorrow in this story, and reminds us that those who have gone before leave their memories and love for us to share.

*I received this book free from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review. 

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