Published by Ballantine Books on June 17th 2014
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Mill River, Vermont is a quiet small town where everyone knows everyone. It is the perfect little community for those looking for a new beginning, a place to start over and create a new home. This is the perfect place for a widowed father to raise his young daughter and for a school teacher looking to start fresh. For some it has always been their home and they enjoy their community and way of life. For some, this is a sanctuary where they keep their secrets hidden away from the public eye.
As I stated, everyone knows everyone in this town, except for the woman who lives in the marble mansion overlooking the town. The children have created stories about her and many wonder about this woman who lives in the huge mansion. The town has accepted that she is there, even though they have had no interactions with her except for a few people. Father O’Brien made a promise to look out for Mary long ago and has kept his word and served as her friend, confidant, and link to the outside world over the years.
Mary McAllister lives in the mansion overlooking the town. For most of her life she has suffered from Social Anxiety/phobia. For over sixty years she has watched her town from above. The townspeople do not know her, but she has learned about them through the town newspaper and stories form Father O’Brien.
This book is told through alternating timelines showing us Mary as a young woman and as a woman at the end of her life. This book also shows us some of the members of the town, some good and some bad. I found this book to be charming and heartwarming. To a small degree this book also shows the impact that social anxiety can have on someone’s life. I found this book to be a fast read and quite enjoyable. A little predictable but in a good way. People have flaws and we see many people with flaws in this book, but we also see people with big hearts, compassion, kindness and generosity. A very enjoyable read!