This book was described as a “Honky-tonk” Eat, Pray, Love. I wouldn’t have described it that way. It is the story of two women who were college friends. Both write, one, Gretchen, is a successful novelist working on her second book and the other, Jamie is a pregnant journalist.
The story begins when Gretchen falls down the stairs outside of a small town library after doing a book signing. At first it looks like an accident but when they find her purse several towns away in a lake, they know it is much more.
Gretchen’s first novel called ‘Tammyland’, was about the women of country music, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, and of course Tammy Wynette. She draws parallels of abuse from those women’s lives and compares them to her own mother who had been murdered when she was a child.
Jamie is asked to be the literary executor by Gretchen’s mother to oversee her unfinished work and hopefully complete it.
While reading ‘Tammyland’ the fictional book in the story – that reveals some interesting anecdotes about the country music icons-(like the time Tammy Wynette took a bubble bath with Burt Reynolds).
Jamie soon discovers that Gretchen may have found out something about her mother’s murder. Someone breaks into Jamie’s home and steals some of Gretchen’s notebooks and a couple laptops. Gretchen had also left a cryptic voice mail message that she had the feeling someone was lying. The same message, Jamie now feels guilty for having ignored.
Jamie’s pregnancy progresses as she digs deeper into the mystery of both Gretchen’s death and her mother’s and she knows that she has to finish this before the baby comes or she may never find the time. Ignoring her husband, Sam’s, concerns she plunges herself into the past hoping to explain her friend’s death. She feels she owes it to Gretchen to catch her killer.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes women’s fiction and mysteries. It’s one of those stories that straddle the line between two genres. It reads like women’s fiction but feels like a mystery. Though I took a few days to read this one, I was pulled back often to finish it. This story was well written with believable characters and setting. I especially liked how this author brought in information about several well-known songs and how they came to be.
It may have been just me but I really enjoyed the stuff about Tammy Wynette. Probably because my cousin played guitar in her band and I have always been curious about her because of that connection.
I am currently reading ‘Sarah’s Key’ and will review it when I have finished it. It is one of those that I seem to be breezing through because I like it.
What are you reading?