The Sound of Wings
She Writes Press (2021)
Reviewed by Amy Lignor for Reader Views (01/2022)
Okay… spirits, “otherworldly” happenings, murder… all wrapped up in three quite mesmerizing women, each with a background that will have you hanging on their every word? You bet! Sign me up!
There are male leads that I wait in anticipation to see again in the author’s next book. Aloysius Pendergast, from the amazing writing team of Preston & Child, is the biggest one for me as a reader. (If you are unaware of this guy, grab a book called “The Relic” which is where he appeared the first time, and enjoy). When it comes to female characters, I also have my ‘faves’. From Sue Grafton’s P.I., Kinsey Millhone, to Alex Morrow penned by Denise Mina, there are many I wait for with bated breath to see what their creators will have them do next. Same with movies; one of the best of all time, in my mind, was “Practical Magic.” I love the way female characters always seem to have their secrets, their anger bubbling just below the surface, and their ability to see or experience something that’s quite literally “out-of-this-world.” And when it comes to this particular title, I have to say I was immediately captured by the trio of females who are going through some frightening and interesting issues all at the same time.
The setting is Cape May, New Jersey—a seaside town that’s written to feel as charming as the characters that dwell there. Goldie is the first gal who I just love. She has gotten through seven decades on this earth, but now finds herself trapped in a life where the memories of her own dead husband haunt her on a daily basis. Jocelyn is a woman who’s remarried and loving that particular aspect of her life. She’s also stuck, however, in a custody battle and finds an escape from this predicament by picking up her late mother-in-law’s diary and uncovering secrets about her husband that boggle her mind. Last, but not least, is Krystal. This is a girl who seems to have it all, but the ghosts of her own past—from her horrific childhood to being immersed in the “mean girl” society during her school days—have her filled with so many insecurities she can’t find a way to feel good or even happy.
The author is kind enough to dive deeply into the minds of these three completely different women, and she even ties their stories together in various ways that you would never dream of happening. Goldie is one that I truly felt for, simply because even with her health and lack of wealth predicaments, and her deceased husband making her life feel dark at times, she has developed a strong bond with nature, art, and strange moments in time. Jocelyn, being a struggling writer, is also extremely interesting; just by reading a journal, it almost feels at times as if she’s a detective uncovering hidden corners that reveal her own husband to be far different from what she originally thought. Krystal’s dark days have wreaked havoc on her, but it’s exciting to learn that Goldie may just be the solver of her problems.
The amount of emotion this debut has is enthralling. Honestly, there are not many firsts that can deliver so much love, secrets, friendship, risks, pain, betrayals… and the list goes on, that hold your attention from beginning to end. The author wrote a tale that literally allowed me to move through time. She allowed me to cry, laugh, and feel the goosebumps grow as I read and waited for the next thing to be unveiled. If this isn’t a finalist on all companies and websites’ “Best of 2021” lists, I will be truly shocked. These women will most definitely be among those favorites of mine when I look back at the female characters I’ve read over time who did far more than just make me look twice. Well done!!