Aging Mrs. Orchard has gone into hospital and Clara, her neighbour’s daughter is feeding her capricious cat. At the same time, Clara’s teenage sister, Rose has an argument with her mother and leaves. The small community of Solace in Northern Ontario search the woods, but there is no sign of Rose. Clara stands by the window awaiting her sister’s return when she spies a stranger entering Mrs. Orchard’s house. Who is this man? Why are her parents lying to her? And why hasn’t Mrs. Orchard returned?
This novel is off to a slow start in the first two short chapters, but the small town setting, the characters and Lawson’s wonderful story telling had me engrossed by the third chapter.
Angie Kim — Miracle Creek*****
The Yoo’s business is burnt down — Miracle Submarine that offered oxygen therapy to autistic children. The night of the fire, Elizabeth set her son, Henry under the oxygen helmet that later burst into flames. It’s the first time she never sits in the chamber with Henry during the treatment. Instead, she lazes under a tree with a bottle of wine not far away. When she’s arrested for murder of her son and her friend Kitt whom she’d argued with, everyone is convinced she’s guilty. A Camel cigarette resulted in the fire and there are people who were there that night hiding that they smoke that brand. Young Yoo discovers her husband’s lies and grows suspicious. Janine uncovers lies her husband, Matt told her in connection with the Yoo’s daughter, Mary, and he in turn finds out she’s lied to him.
Was Elizabeth at breaking point from looking after an autistic son? Did the Paks set fire to their own business to claim the insurance money? Or was it one of the protestors demonstrating that the business be shut down? This gripping novel takes place mainly in a court room where the facts and lies are exposed and the real culprit is anyone’s guess.