EXCERPT: As Susanna lay in bed waiting for sleep to come, she thought back on the evening and all the promise that lay ahead. She hadn’t come to Cousins intending to live a lie but it had happened, and now that lie was turning into reality. She could almost believe her past was truly buried and forgotten. She’d left no evidence behind, taken a few dollars and nothing else. There was no trail for Earl to follow. She closed her eyes for a moment, picturing Earl and the dingy little house on Shady Creek Road, but this time they appeared at a distance, further away than she remembered, surrounded by dark pines and shadows that obscured the ugliness of what she’d known.
She breathed a sigh and relaxed into the pillow, assuring herself that Susanna Duff was actually disappearing. She was a woman who had simply rolled away like a lost marble. Gone. Completely and forever.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: When Suzanna Duff was ten years old, she lost her mama, and that’s when the lies began. At first, they were just harmless little fibs, a way to hide her unbearable loneliness and the truth about a daddy who came home rip-roaring drunk every night. But in time, the lies grew bigger and now, when she is a grown woman with a daughter of her own, they threaten to destroy everything she loves.
The irony of this situation is that Suzanna never planned to stay in Georgia, she was simply passing through, looking for a fresh start in New Jersey. Attending that wake with her daughter Annie, was a fluke. An opportunity to enjoy a free meal. It should have entailed nothing more than a solemn nod and a brief expression of sympathy but, Ida Parker, the grieving widow mistook her for her the granddaughter who was carried off as an infant. Too embarrassed to do anything else, Suzanna played along. What harm was there in pretending to be someone else for a few hours? Hours turned into days and days into weeks; strangers became friends, love happened, and before long a year had flown by.
Now the past is standing on her doorstep and Suzanna must decide to leave here and disappear as she has done before, or tell the truth and break the hearts of those she loves most.
MY THOUGHTS: A Million Little Lies is my first ever Bette Lee Crosby book and I enjoyed it. The characters are warm and homely, people who may be struggling but are doing the best that they can with what they have. That’s not to say that there aren’t some thoroughly unlikable ones amongst them – there are. Like Bobby. I can see why he would have appealed to a teenaged Susanna, but as an adult, a mother? Susanna, what were you thinking? But then I guess that the reader has the advantage of seeing things that Susanna can’t possibly know.
Set in 1959/60, this is one of those warm-hearted, feel good stories with a few little twists to keep the reader on their toes. It’s simple, sweet, charming and very Southern. I could hear that drawl in every word I read.
While I don’t know that this story is entirely believable, it is extremely entertaining. This won’t be the last book that I read by this author.
THE AUTHOR: USA Today Bestselling and Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby’s books are “Well-crafted storytelling populated by memorable characters caught up in equally memorable circumstances.” – Midwest Book Review
The Seattle Post Intelligencer says Crosby’s writing is, “A quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about important things in life and madcap adventures.”
Samantha from Reader’s Favorite raves, “Crosby writes the type of book you can’t stop thinking about long after you put it down.”
“Storytelling is in my blood,” Crosby laughingly admits, “My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write.”
It is the wit and wisdom of that Southern Mama Crosby brings to her works of fiction; the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bent Pine Publishing (IBPA) for providing a digital ARC of A Million Little Lies by Bette Lee Crosby for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
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