Monday, July 07, 2008

The Edge of Recall

What is it about going to the beach that just reduces kids to wailing balls of frustration? I took Mia to the beach today, along with Molly and a friend. The older two kids jumped right in the water and swam around laughing. Mia took quite some time to wade in, before finally making a new friend. This new friend conveniently had several floatie toys, and things went swimmingly (sorry, couldn't help myself). Until the older two kids had to go. Mia had meltdown after temper tantrum before finally deciding in the van that when we got home, I would have to hold her while she cried. She had so much pent up emotion, she just needed to get it out. Maybe it's the hot weather, maybe she's missing school, I don't know what it is. To tell the truth, I get a little tetchy in this weather. I go into full porcupine mode: prickly and looking for an excuse to take it out on someone. It's a blessing we don't live in the South and only have a few months of this a year! Between Mia and I, Jesse would be on the first plane out for Siberia!

The Edge of Recall by Kristen Heitzmann is a labyrinthine romantic suspense novel as full of twists and turns as the gardens main character Tessa Young creates. Tessa is still struggling with ghosts from her past, when Smith Chandler, a former friend who crushed her years ago, pops up and asks her to work with him in restoring a 17th century monastery in Maryland. But the ghosts in Tessa's past aren't the only ones haunting their worksite. Tools disappear and reappear, the work trailer is broken into, and something or someone is watching Tessa while she sleeps. Tessa designs labyrinths for gardens. They are different from mazes in that they involve one way in and out and encourage the walker to connect with God on the path. Tessa discovers something similar with her life: only be revisiting her past, including Smith, and her childhood home, can she recapture the memories that have haunted her for 25 years. Heitzmann really knows how to write suspense. I intended to stop reading at eleven pm the night I started the book, but just then the "monster" was exposed, and I couldn't put it down. Thanks to the author, I didn't get to sleep until after 2 am. She puts out just enough tension to keep the reader hooked. I had one small complaint with the ending; it was all a bit too tidy. Life doesn't always work that way. But overall, this was a thrilling read.

Mia is now in pjs and watching Arthur on PBS. Her emotions are exhausted for now. So am I! Tonight Jesse is going to hook up the air conditioner, and hopefully it will reduce not only the temperature in the room, but on our tempers are well.