Friday, April 12, 2013

RAVELED by Anne McAneny_Review

Review of Raveled by Anne McAneny
5 stars

Allison Fennimore is a woman with a bitter, wry wit, and she comes by it naturally, given her circumstances. Now a bartender in New York, when she was fifteen her father was charged, tried, and convicted of two killings. Even where circumstances couldn’t quite convict, the small town of Lavitte, North Carolina, did so; and Artie Fennimore did some prison time and then died. Allison’s older brother Kevin, deep in alcoholism, recently was involuntarily sentenced to rehab after an accident in which an also intoxicated adolescent, recklessly driving, died. Now Kevin wants their father’s name cleared, or at least, the lies of Lavitte exposed; and since he is in mandatory rehab and can’t do so himself, he wants Allison to return to Lavitte and find out, while she’s simultaneously arranging to put their mother, suffering from dementia, in assisted living, and sell Mother’s residence.

Author Anne McAneny has a true gift for delineating small town life, peeling away the layers and turning over the stones that conceal the ugly truths: a long-term Mayor with likely crime connections in New Jersey; neighbors and other citizens who leap to convict by gossip; and the life expectancy of rumours, which seems to be eternal. Her characters are delineated sentence by sentence, and almost immediately, they are sufficiently realized to be people we know or could know, not just fictional individuals drawn on a printed page. I highly recommend this engrossing mystery.

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