A beautiful visit with old friends that reveals a past formerly unknown, and a future never imagined.
First things first, that title!
I'm thinking of starting a new trend in my reviews where we discuss the potential meaning of the given title/image, perhaps before AND after the read. Sound good? Well let's give it a try now. This particular one had a young woman holding a set of letters. They appear to be international in origin given the envelope detail and handwritten for certain. In referencing the title, she could be guarding the letters themselves, the content, or keeping herself guarded from what's within them. Is it good news she's anticipating but unsure of? Is it bad news that she'd rather not reveal? Are they memories kept at bay so long as in the envelope they remain? Add it turns out, most of the above is true...
The story itself isn't set at a fast pace. It develops slowly over time and draws the reader in with each revelation. As Annie strives to find a way to keep her grandmother from demolishing the old stone house, we feel the loss she's anticipating. As her bond with Jake seems to become more and more tenuous, we feel that potential heartbreak. As Beulah discovers the past hidden from her and a future she never saw coming, our hearts to go out to with open arms. Even when she's dealing with an interesting house guest, we share in the misadventures that come her way. We ride the highs and lows with them because that's what the author has bid us to do upon entering this world not so far from our own doorsteps...and once we do, we are anything but disappointed.