by Shirley A. Roe
The Whittaker family has known their share of heartache that the reader finds out about in increments at the same time as we start to suspect more trouble on the horizon. Two of the brothers are making their way home to St. Louis, one from England, the other from the Mississippi. The year is 1881. The 3rd brother lives outside St. Louis on a farm with his wife and children. The mother and father live in St. Louis.
Much about the opening chapters imbue the read with pastoral, languid feelings, of days gone by. The parents worry about their youngest child, Anna, but I think they are just a bit over anxious. The thread of a trouble past begins to take root.
As the book progresses I begin to worry about that wayward daughter, especially when a mysterious man shows up in the area. The man makes himself known only to the children, who are comfortable with him. As the family gathers for the mother's 40th birthday and the reunion, bad things begin to occur.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book with its undertones and suspicions. All the dangling threads were brought together in a satisfying, chilling conclusion. There will be a sequel this book, Back to Whitterkarville, that will released lated this year. The Whittaker Family Reunion is actually book 2 in the series. The first book, which I did not read is Of Dreams and Nightmares. I feel like starting with the 2nd didn't hinder me at all in understanding and enjoying the story. At first I had a challenge keeping all the character straight, but I made up a simple pedigree chart and then I was fine.