On the surface Junie Olson’s life looks idyllic, from her handsome husband and beautiful daughter to her successful business, the bakery she always dreamed of opening. But in the past few months her world has slowly unraveled. Her precocious child is withdrawing, showing unexplainable signs of emotional regression, a condition that frays the bonds of Junie’s once impenetrable marriage.
When her father dies suddenly of a heart attack, Junie packs up her daughter and goes home to help her mother. Her homecoming stirs up memories of the nightmare she thought she had put behind her, the disappearance of her childhood friend, Ellen. Haunted by recurring memories of what happened on that fateful day, Junie must gather the courage to revisit her past and untangle the secrets surrounding her missing friend, and the trauma that has caused her little girl to climb back into herself.
As the pieces come together on the event that shook her small town, and at the risk of losing everyone she loves, Junie will question everything she thought she could rely on and everyone she thought she knew.
WHERE PETALS FALL is a gripping and emotional novel with an undercurrent of suspense, featuring a determined mother whose world slowly comes apart around her. Where Petals Fall will appeal to fans of Lisa Scottoline's Save Me or Jodi Picoult's Salem Falls, who love an emotional and gripping read. They will root for Junie as they follow her transition into an indomitable heroine who must reconcile what she discovers about her husband and family’s tragic past, and find a way to put the pieces of her family back together and carry on.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Well wow! I had to take a quick second to think hard about whether to request an arc for 'Where Petals Fall' as I have a lot of other books to read and review, mostly in the romance genre, but I knew after reading (and loving) Melissa Foster's 'Snow Sisters' Trilogy that I just had to read this one too.
I'm one of those readers who generally needs to have romance in a book for me to really connect to the characters, but there is something about Melissa Foster's fantastic writing style in which she can move between genres so flawlessly, that gave this book a story that thrilled, scared and excited me all at once. The reason I am writing this review later than I originally planned is that the storyline was so intense and so cleverly created that weeks after reading it I have had the story rolling around in my head and making my heart beat fast again as I remember the suspense in the final chapters.
Melissa Foster always creates such wonderfully three dimensional characters with who it is easy to relate to. I absolutely adored Junie's character, and really felt for her in her darkest moments. I grieved for the loss of her blissful marriage, and I too felt worried for her child Sarah when we discover that she has regressed back into a younger mindframe, and I got the niggle in the back of my mind that told me this was important for the mystery storyline. The psychological undertones of the book were written perfectly, and I like how rather than information dumping all of the psychological information on the reader, it was given in a reader-friendly and more relatable way to all readers.
I really admired how well Melissa Foster executed the mystery/thriller/suspense storyline. It was a real rollercoaster and I loved every second of it. When I was 60% completed, I put my Kindle down when I noticed it was 1AM, but within half an hour I had the light back on and I read until the last page. I just had to know what happened to the characters, and to see the truth revealed. I won't give any description for that part of the story as I want everyone to have the same amazing reading experience as I had.
Another part of the story I loved was seeing how Junie and her husband clashed over their opinions on how to help their daughter. I liked to see the more protective mothering side of Junie which remained strong even as her relationship with her husband began to fall apart. In many books, I feel the mother-daughter and father-daughter relationships can often be ignored slightly in order to give more focus to romance, but I loved how Melissa Foster showed us a realistic and sometimes almost painful reality to family life. I think I began to understand the phrase 'Nothing is as strong as a Mother's Love' when I read this book. Even though I kept my fingers crossed that Junie could have her loving marriage back, I loved that the main focus was Junie's relationship with Sarah.
I loved this book so much. The strength of emotion with which Melissa Foster writes makes her one of my favourite authors, and that she can have me invested in so many elements of different genres in one story is impressive. I recommend this book to anyone who loves heartfelt and mysterious stories, and I believe Jodi Picoult fans would love this!