Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The Heiress by Rachel Hawkins

The Heiress
by Rachel Hawkins
304 pages
Published January 2024 by St. Martin's Publishing Group

Publisher's Summary: 
When Ruby McTavish Callahan Woodward Miller Kenmore dies, she’s not only North Carolina’s richest woman, she’s also its most notorious. The victim of a famous kidnapping as a child and a widow four times over, Ruby ruled the tiny town of Tavistock from Ashby House, her family’s estate high in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

But in the aftermath of her death, her adopted son, Camden, wants little to do with the house or the money—and even less to do with the surviving McTavishes. Instead, he rejects his inheritance, settling into a normal life as an English teacher in Colorado and marrying Jules, a woman just as eager to escape her own messy past.

Ten years later, his uncle’s death pulls Cam and Jules back into the family fold at Ashby House. Its views are just as stunning as ever, its rooms just as elegant, but the legacy of Ruby is inescapable.

And as Ashby House tightens its grip on Jules and Camden, questions about the infamous heiress come to light. Was there any truth to the persistent rumors following her disappearance as a girl? What really happened to those four husbands, who all died under mysterious circumstances? And why did she adopt Cam in the first place? Soon, Jules and Cam realize that an inheritance can entail far more than what’s written in a will––and that the bonds of family stretch far beyond the grave.

My Thoughts: 
If you want to get the full enjoyment out of this one, DO NOT READ the publisher's summary. I only give it to you so that if you're someone who really, really needs to know what the book's about, you'll have it. But if you're someone, like me, who likes to go into a book completely blind (other than to know that someone thought you'd like it), that summary ruins some of the fun of the book early on. 

I can't remember who recommended this one to me - if it was you, thank you! 

So...if you can't read the publisher's summary, and I can't really tell you, either, how will you know if you want to give it a shot? Maybe this will help - this is what I liked about it: 
  • Hawkins litters the book with reveals (which is, of course, why it's impossible to write a synopsis without giving something away. 
  • It's told from three perspectives: Jules, her husband Camden, and letters from his deceased mother. That made me race through to get back to Jules' story, or Ruby's letters, or Camden's story. 
  • Everyone of the three has secrets to reveal and Hawkins keeps them coming right up until the end of the book. 
  • Some readers will find it predictable (although I certainly didn't)
  • Some of the characters are stereotypes
  • The ending fell a little flat for me. 
In the end, none of that mattered. It kept me entertained and I raced through it. It was just the right book at the right time. 

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