36. Looking For Peyton Place by Barbara Delinsky (2005)Length: 358 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 27 April 2012
Finished: 2 May 2012
Where did it come from? From Bookmooch
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 26 April 2012
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and Barbara Delinsky is a very good author in my opinion.
For Annie Barnes, going back to her hometown of Middle River, New Hampshire, meant facing truths long buried in the past; some of which she had buried herself. But it is a journey that she knows she must make, if she is ever to put to rest, once and for all, her misgivings about her mother's recent death.
To the outsider, Middle River is a picture-perfect New Hampshire town. But not to Annie Barnes. She grew up there and knows all its secrets; as did her idol Grace Metalious - author of the shocking novel Peyton Place, which laid bare a small town's sexual secrets for all to see. Although Grace had actually lived in a nearby town, the residents of Middle River had always believed that she had used them and their little town as the inspiration for her revolutionary novel. Some even insisted that Annie's own grandmother served as the model for Grace's most scandalous character. With those rumors and whispers about Peyton Place haunting her childhood, Annie found herself identifying so closely with Grace that she picked up everything and moved out of Middle River in order to start a whole new life for herself in Washington, D. C.
It's a good life too. Annie Barnes is now a bestselling author, reaching that level on the strength of only three novels. It has given Annie a confidence that she never believed she had growing up in Middle River, New Hampshire. Her attitude has the townspeople on edge when they learn she has come back into town for a rather lengthy visit. Everyone; including Annie's two sisters, believes that she has come back specifically to write about them.
Although she is amused by the discomfort that her return causes the town, Annie has no intention of writing a novel about the town or its people. It is her mother's death - under suspicious circumstances - that has drawn Annie back. Soon her probing investigations begin to make people nervous, and when she discovers evidence of harmful pollutants emanating from the local paper mill - she finds herself at odds with almost all the townspeople. She is amazed at how unfazed they, as well as members of her own family are by the possiblity that toxins are seeping through the town. Because the mill is the town's only employer, they are frightened of what could happen if Annie digs any deeper. That fear ultimately turns ugly. But Annie is on a mission; and with the legacy of Grace Metalious to guide her, she will come face-to-face with the decades of secrets and lies that Middle River hides. Annie will eventually find the strength to help heal the wounded town, as well as her own wounded family.
I did enjoy this book; it was very well-written and quite lyrical in places; however, I thought that it focused a bit too much on Grace Metalious and the writing of Peyton Place, so that it was slightly rushed towards the end. I give this book a B+!
B+! - (89-85%)
Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight