Saturday, July 23, 2016

Beth Gutcheon - More Than You Know: A Novel

37. More Than You Know: A Novel by Beth Gutcheon (2000)
Length: 269 pages 
Genre: Historical Fiction 
Started: 18 July 2016
Finished: 23 July 2016
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale 
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 7 June 2016
Why do I have it? I like historical fiction and Beth Gutcheon is a new author for me.

In the coastal town of Dundee, Maine, an elderly lady begins telling her story: "Somebody said 'true love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen.' I've seen both and I don't know how to tell you which is worse." Although her children cannot understand why she insists on traveling back to Dundee, Maine every winter, Hannah Gray nevertheless finds herself drawn back to the place where her heart has always been. So, as she reaches the twilight of her life, Hannah decides, finally, to leave a record of the long-ago Dundee summer when she first met Conary Crocker.

Although the tale that she recounts is definitely not one which she wishes to tell in darkness, Hannah feels infinitely better telling such a story in the town of Dundee - the town where so many of her memories of Con Crocker remain. Con Crocker is the local 'bad boy' of Dundee, and he quickly becomes the love of young Hannah's life. Her story tells of the passionate and anguished summer when Conary's fate and her own became intertwined for all time.

Hannah and Conary's anguished teenage love story intersects with another intense love story - the love story of Claris Osgood and Danial Haskell. As a matter of fact, this spare, piercing, and unforgettable novel spans two centuries, as Hannah's and Conary's fates become intertwined with the story of a complicated, yet undying romance - that of Danial and Claris - and interwoven with the tale of a marriage that took place in Dundee a hundred years earlier.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Although I initially found the time jumps between eras somewhat confusing, I was soon caught up in the plot and ensnared by both stories. The stories may have been separated by centuries, but each one resonated with the other fairly perfectly.

I appreciated how each separate love story ran parallel to each other, yet complemented each other so well. I also thought that the addition of the ghost in Hannah's story enhanced the level of eeriness of her story; there was a subtle increase to the tension within the story, and I appreciated that the creepiness wasn't necessarily always 'in your face' shocking. I will definitely be putting Beth Gutcheon's name at the top of my wish list, and give this book an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight 

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