How does Melissa Foster do it? Because she is such a brilliant Author that's why..!! How can you go from creating the Love in Bloom series which in its self is amazing and can't wait for the latest Remington instalment to doing something so different as Where Petals Fall, I was totally blown away by the journey of Junie, Brian and Sarah, I couldn't get over the shear imagination and attention to detail that Melissa Foster portrays with this story and you could not fault a thing, it is an absolute must read..!! If like me you love Melissa fosters books then please read Come Back to Me..!!
This book has so many twists and turns it is also so emotionally I cried the whole time I read this book another really good book from Melissa foster so different to her sister in love, the Remington and the bradens.
The characters in this emotional story captured my attention from page one and held onto it right until the very end. I became totally engrossed, turning every page waiting to see what was going to be discovered, I ended up reading this in only three days, which for me is quite a feat!
The story follows Junie, a mother to Sarah and wife to Brian. Junie's childhood best friend, neighbour and also Brian's younger sister, Ellen, disappeared without a trace when they were very young, now 24 years ago, and still have no trace to where she is or what happened to her. Such a trauma has weighed heavily on Junie and she has buried so much of it within herself to stop herself feeling the pain. Junie and Brian became man and wife and had their daughter Sarah.
Suddenly, completely out the blue, Sarah withdraws from everyone, she stops talking, starts wetting the bed during the night and her character changes without reason. A wedge between Junie and Brian starts to build with so many unanswered questions and worry for their daughter. Not only that but Junie's dad dies suddenly and they have to return where they both dread to go, back home where Ellen disappeared.
Now back home Ellen becomes the forefront in Junie's mind, thoughts and images come back to her shocking her very being. She is left with more questions than answers. Her marriage to Brian worsens and Sarah's withdrawal intensifies. You share her fears, confusion, emptiness, her want for answers. What did really happen to Ellen? What has happened to Sarah to make her so unresponsive? What is it that Junie fears, that she is keeping buried deep inside?
My heart was pounding at times as there were different avenues of truth the story could take, it could have gone any way and I felt like I was holding my breath to find out what was going to be discovered.
An emotive and enthralling read that will have you turning pages as you cannot help become connected to the characters. In fact as I am writing this it is making me want to read it all over again!
This is the first non-Love in Bloom book of Melissa Foster's that I have read and although I was slightly dubious, as I normally read romantic fiction, this book drew me in straight away. Junie has a handsome husband, Brian, and a beautiful daughter, Sarah, plus she is part owner of a bakery. But her life starts to fall apart...when her father passes away after a heart attack she goes back home to help her Mother, but she then starts to get flashbacks of when she was a young child and her best friend Ellen went missing. Also, her daughter regresses and becomes virtually mute and that causes a rift between her and Brian. He is also continuously working very late as he is an up and coming lawyer, but Junie feels like her marriage is falling apart and she wonders whether he is having an affair. As she has more and more flashbacks she is determined to find out exactly what happened to her best friend. Melissa has written some great characters and the mystery has you guessing and wondering about Junie's father, her husband Brian (who is Ellen's brother) and Brian's father. Will she eventually find out the truth, and will Sarah speak again...You need to read the book to find out - a great mix of mystery, intrigue and family ties. The next non-Love in Bloom book that I am about to read is Have no Shame.
Junie Olson has a handsome and successful lawyer husband, a lovely 4 year daughter, and has achieved her dream of having a successful bakery business but despite all this, her life is not entirely happy. Their daughter Sarah, has changed from being an outgoing and friendly little girl to being silent and uncommunicative and nobody, not even the professional therapists, can understand why. Her daughter's regression has created a great divide between Junie and her husband Brian and Junie is unsure what the future holds for them as a family. To add to her worries, a family tragedy drives her back home to her mother where she is confronted with the past memories of her childhood when her best friend Ellen suddenly disappeared without trace.
This was the first book by Melissa Foster that I had read. I love stories with an element of suspense and mystery and it was this that drew me to the book and I wasn't disappointed. Melissa Foster has cleverly woven the feeling of tension and suspense through the story by use of flashbacks and fragments of memory. The reader is taken through the story with Junie and her quest for the truth, she remembers nothing of the day that Ellen disappeared - however the risk she takes is that knowing the truth may destroy her family completely.
All the characters were so well written, Brian, her husband, seemed at times to be cold and uncaring compared to Junie's softer, caring side. My favourite character however was Junie's mother, Ruth. She was a strong woman, who despite tragically losing her husband, was someone that Junie could completely rely on for advice and reason. I liked Junie although I have to admit that I did find her frustrating at times. I completely sympathised with her predicament but sometimes her inability to face up to things and her habit of running away in denial made me irritated with her.
I would describe this book as a family drama with suspense. If you like contemporary fiction that has that little something extra then I would recommend that you give this a try.
Despite having a seemingly perfect marriage, and life in general, things are hard for Junie at the start of the novel. Her daughter Sarah is emotionally regressing and the doctors can't figure out what has triggered this, her husband buries himself in his work as he finds the family situation too difficult to deal with and on top of it all her father passes away and she discovers he may not have been the man she thought he was. With her husband offering little to no support when she so desperately needs it Junie returns home - under the pretence she's there to help out after her father's passing, when really she's the one who craves the comfort of her mother.
When Junie suddenly starts to see flashes of her childhood friend Ellen, who disappeared when she was just a little girl, at first she thinks the stress from dealing with her regressing daughter, emotionally unavailable husband and the grief of losing her father are getting to her. But as the flashes turn into memories she realises there may be more to ithem. As the questions surrounding her missing friend pile up in her mind she slowly creeps closer to solving the decades old mystery of the disappearance.
It took me a few chapters to get gripped by Where Petals Fall because so many horrible things happen in Junie's life all at once that I initially struggled to connect to and care for her - it was hard to separate the character from all the events surrounding her and understand her as a person. However, once I got to know her a little better I was soon pulled into the story and the mystery element to it and I remained hooked until the very (satisfying) end.
This intricately woven tale was immensely suspenseful and once the story started to unravel I found it impossible to think of anything but Ellen's disappearance and Sarah's seemingly inexplicable regression, trying to find an explanation before Junie did and getting thrown off a few times, just like the character, by the red herrings cleverly written into the book by the author.
As Junie regains the memories from her childhood and the pieces of the puzzle start to slot together, they paint a heart-breaking story of friendship, love, loss and the incredible lengths people go through to protect those they care about.
Engaging and emotional, this is the kind of novel that can only be described as unputdownable.
I received an ARC of this novel in return for an honest review. And I honestly loved it! I have read and reviewed other works by Melissa Foster. While I've enjoyed them, WHERE PETALS FALL really grabbed me.
Quick summary: Junie Olson's family is in crisis. For reasons no one can figure out, her four-year-old daughter has stopped speaking and developed other difficulties. A frustrating search for answers has put a strain on Junie's marriage. As if this isn't bad enough, her father dies unexpectedly. Junie heads to her childhood home to help her mother and finds memories surfacing about her childhood friend, who vanished at the age of seven. Unable to escape these flashes from the past, Junie sets out to decode their message. In the process, she uncovers secrets that could cost her everything she loves most.
Foster manages to balance her weighty, complex subject matter with fast-paced action and close attention to character. Her book is populated by complicated, flawed people who often make terrible decisions with the best of intentions. Foster makes these people real to us. She tells their story with plenty of tension but without resorting to melodrama. This is helped by a tight, tight focus on the point of view of her main character. We're able to follow Junie's search for the truth, living through all of her missteps and moments of uncomfortable self-discovery. There are plenty of dark corners in Junie's story--human hearts are challenging places--but this is ultimately a book about love, loyalty and the power of friendship.
Readers with a taste for character-driven mysteries mixed with a good dose of family drama will enjoy this novel.
On paper Junie has it all, a handsome husband, a beautiful daughter and a successful career but things are not quite what they seem, something is seriously wrong with four-year-old Sarah who suddenly stopped talking and has regressed to the behaviours of a toddler. None of the doctors they have taken Sarah to see have been able to diagnose what is wrong with her which is putting a huge strain on Junie's marriage to Brian as they disagree with how to get through to Sarah.
And to make matters worse she is also having to deal with the sudden death of her father but when she returns home to support her mother she starts getting flashbacks of her childhood friend Ellen, Brian's sister, who disappeared when she was just seven years old and has never been found. She starts to wonder is she going mad as none of the visions make any sense to her, what do they mean and why is she starting to see them now all these years later?
This was an extremely well-written story that draws you into the drama and if you're like me you won't want to put it down until you get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding what caused Sarah's regression and the eventful truth about what happened to Ellen all those years ago. Where Petals Fall is definitely my favourite Melissa Foster book to date and I can't wait to read more of her books in the future.