House of Fragile Dreams
ACT TWO (2021)
Reviewed by Amy Lignor for Reader Views (08/2021)
I had heard extremely good things about this author’s first book, “Arkansas Summer,” and remember getting that one to read for myself back in 2017. All I can tell you is… it was outstanding. Set in the Jim Crow South in the 1950s, it was just about the best debut novel I could remember seeing in a long time. And the author definitely proved, with this second creation, “House of Fragile Dreams,” that the first was no fluke. Anne Moose has an imagination and a gift for relaying the truth that will have her writing a great many more stories over time.
Readers meet up with Rachel, who is an adult living in the same house she grew up in. She’s alone in the big house because she’s still getting over some pretty grim times. Not only did she lose her parents, but she’s also suffered a divorce. A bright light is shining in her future, however, and she comes across this new hope after meeting an African American veteran and his son, who is only five years old. As the reader, you’re happy for Rachel, but the minute her estranged brother shows up at the house and readies himself to ruin her life yet again, that happiness turns to anger.
The brother is more than a little disturbed; he is obsessed with guns and he likes to threaten his sister. Not to mention, he has some connections who are violent to others and who have the ability to take far more than just a happy house away from Rachel. On a daily basis, Rachel’s hope for a better life now slips away as her brother emotionally torments her and slowly takes away her freedom.
Picking up the mantle once again, this author dives into the harsh subjects of hate, racism, love of a biracial couple in a time of white supremacy, and more. When combining all of those issues, Anne Moose creates yet another suspenseful love story set within a troubled time. Not only does the power of love and support come through the characters here, but readers are also able to reflect on the fact that, even though times have changed, there are black and white issues still out there threatening to bring us all down in the 21st century.
Anne Moose not only writes a memorable book in “House of Fragile Dreams,” she also shows what things can and should still be changed out there in the world so that everyone could have their own happy house. Well done.