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    Enjoyable Fiction/Mystery/2nd Chance Romance

    I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour for a fair and honest review. I rated it 5 out of 5 Stars + A Recommended Read - A mixture of literary fiction and light romantic suspense, Looking for Charlotte by Jennifer Young is a book you won’t want to put down. Told in first person point of view, by two women separated by twenty or more years in age, this story is about loss, moving on and making choices for the future. Using an issue that’s become much too common in the news, a parent killing a child, Ms. Young reminds us that even when the sun goes down and the night is at its darkest moment, the sun will rise and bring a new dawn. Ms. Young does a great job developing both Flora Wilson and Suzanne Anderson’s characters; two women who never meet but share similar backgrounds and in their own way are at a crossroad in their life. While it is the loss of Suzanne’s child, Charlotte, that takes both of these women on an emotional journey, and in Flora’s case a physical journey, it’s their inner emotional strength and determination to get closure that binds them together. I easily connected with both Flora and Suzanne and rooted for them both to succeed. I wanted Flora to locate little Charlotte’s body so that she could give Suzanne what every mother who has lost a child needs, the opportunity to hold or look at their child for the last time, and I wanted both women to be able to move on. Ms. Young also does a good job with the secondary characters in the story and I really found myself liking Phillip, Flora’s co-worker and friend. A man who, with the right encouragement, might become more. I also enjoyed meeting her younger sister (who married well and doesn’t’ have to worry about things romantically or financially), and reading about her relationship with her adult children, though I think she should have given them a good swift kick to the pants for their poor behavior. I also enjoyed getting to meet Suzanne’s family and it was interesting to see how she interacted with her mother, Marsha. I also enjoyed meeting Suzanne’s friends and reading about her experiences dealing with them after her loss. The mystery of where Suzanne’s now deceased husband buried their daughter was very well developed and took several twists and turns. I can’t even begin to imagine what kind of selfish monster would do that to someone they once claimed to love. The story’s pace is steady and Ms. Young’s writing style is easy and enjoyable to follow, even when dealing with two characters in first person point of view. Will Flora be able to locate Charlotte’s body and give Suzanne the physical closure she needs? Will both Flora and Suzanne grab onto the future and the hope it can bring them both? You’ll have to read Looking for Charlotte to find out, I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of Ms. Young’s work. This was the first book I’ve read by her and it definitely won’t be the last.
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