Friday 5 July 2024

Book ~ "All Good Intentions" (2018) Trudi Johnson

From Goodreads ~ Behind closed doors ...

In the summer of 1996, Jeanne Sinclair, a St. John’s socialite, is getting to know her biological mother, Hannah West, whom she meets for the first time in over thirty years in the rural community of Falcon Cove, Newfoundland. Mother and daughter have in common their devotion to Charles Sinclair, a wealthy businessman, recently deceased.

Jeanne’s life becomes more complicated with the arrival of Kevin Gillis, a land developer from Halifax who is determined to avenge the treatment of his father, an employee of Sinclair in the 1940s. As the summer unfolds, Jeanne and Kevin find their loyalty tested by a growing attraction to one another and the discovery of new and intriguing Sinclair family secrets.

In 1935, Hannah moved from a small village to work for Charles and Virginia, a wealthy family hours away in St. John's, NF. She has relations with Charles and gets pregnant with Jeanne. To avoid scandal, Charles and Virginia raise Jeanne as their own and Hannah moves back to Falcon Cove, eventually gets married and has another daughter, Carrie.

Sixty years later, Charles has passed away and Jeanne has just discovered the truth about her mother. She and Hannah have just met and trying to establish some kind of a relationship. Jeanne is hesitant because she's concerned about what others will think but Joe and Lauren, her adult children, and others welcome Hannah and Carrie as family.

In the meantime, Jeanne has inherited Charles' house and it trying to figure out what to do with it as she has her own house. Kevin, a developer from Halifax, approaches her and offers to buy the house so he can turn it into an inn. Kevin says he's also writing an article about St. John's businessmen and is asking a lot of questions and everyone wonders what he is really up to. As Jeanne considers selling her father's house to Kevin, more shocking secrets from the past start coming out.

This book is the continuation of From a Good Home, which I recently read ... it picks up on the afternoon Jeanne and Hannah meet. It works as a stand alone but it helps to read the first one to get the full background. It was written in third person perspective depending on where the action was. 

Though I liked the first one, I liked this one better. The writing style was still a bit stiff and unnatural but not as much. Whether they were rich like Jeanne and her family and more lower class like Joe and Lauren's friends, the way they spoke seemed like I was reading a book set in aristocratic England rather than Newfoundland or Canada. For example, everyone including Joe and Lauren and their friends called their parents "Mother" and "Father" rather than "Mom" and "Dad". 

As with the first book, there were a lot of characters but in this one there was a list at the beginning saying who was who which was helpful. I didn't find Jeanne as unlikeable in this one and she seemed to soften towards the end. I liked that the story took place in St. John's and the author didn't try to hide that.

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