There have been a number of books lately that go back and forth in time to bring the story to life. The House on Harbor Hill by Shelly Stratton does it to great effect. I thank TLC Book Tours for sending me a copy at no charge for my honest review.
About The House on Harbor Hill:
She’s generous, kind, and compassionate–yet Delilah Grey will forever be an outcast in the small seaside town of Camden Beach, Maryland. She takes in women shattered by abuse, poverty, illness, or events beyond their control. But no matter how far she’s come or how many she’s helped find their way back, there is no safe place for Delilah. Acquitted of her rich husband’s mysterious death decades ago, she lives in her beautiful mansion consumed by secrets–and mistakes she feels she can never atone for. . . . Until she takes in desperate mother Tracey Walters and her two young children.
Tracey won’t say where she’s from or what sent her into hiding. But her determination and refusal to give up reminds Delilah of the spirited, hopeful girl she once was–and the dreams she still cherishes. As Tracey takes tentative steps to rebuild her life, her unexpected attraction to Delilah’s handsome, troubled caretaker inadvertently brings Delilah face to face with the past. And when Tracey’s worst fears come brutally calling, both women must find even more strength to confront truths they can no longer ignore–and at last learn how to truly be free . . .
Resonant, moving, and unforgettable, The House on Harbor Hill paints an unforgettable portrait of two women struggling to forgive themselves, take a chance on change, and challenge each other to finally live.
About the Author:
Shelly Stratton is an award-winning journalist who earned her degree at the University of Maryland, College Park. Another Woman’s Man, her novel written under the pseudonym Shelly Ellis, was nominated for a 2014 NAACP Image Award. A film buff and amateur painter, she lives with her husband not far from Washington, D.C. Visit her online at www.shellyellisbooks.com
Connect with Shelly
Delilah lives in her big house with her memories and the ghosts of her past. She has been living in the house for many years and in the course of that time she has been taking in women who need help; women who are trying to escape abusive situations. She knows from personal experience how debilitating it can be. The only other permanent resident of Harbor Hill is a groundskeeper and he is the son of one of her women. He has his own issues to deal with and he is perhaps in hiding.
Delilah spies Tracey in town and just knows that she needs help. Tracey is reluctant to accept help as she wants to care for herself and her children on her own. She is hiding from an abusive husband but is having trouble keeping things together. Just when all seems lost Delilah’s offer of free housing seems to be the answer she needs but people in town warn her that Delilah may not bee as nice as she seems. She might even have committed a murder.
As Tracey’s story unfolds in the present, Delilah’s takes the reader back to a past where women of color were there to serve, not to be the lady of the manor. But even the life of that lady can be one of servitude. As Delilah’s story comes forward, Tracey’s past comes in with all of the force of a gut punch.
It’s hard to say you “enjoyed” a book that deals with such difficult subject matter as race relations, abuse and some really poor decision making in regards to women. But Ms. Stratton has created a very real world with well developed, very human characters that drew me in and kept me thinking about them long after I turned the last page.
I felt quite involved in their stories and wanted to see them through to the end. This is my only mild complaint about the book – it ended and story lines wrapped up satisfactorily. But if you are the type of reader (like me) who wants more detail in regards to things you will not be fully satisfied. I still have questions. But I still have questions about Gone with the Wind so….
All in all a good book dealing with complicated issues in a beautiful setting.
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One lucky US reader will win a copy of The House on Harbor Hill. Just enter as many ways as you would like on the Gleam widget below. Full rules are on the widget. Please note the end date of the giveaway – 5/4 – this is a shorter term than usual. Good luck everyone.