The House on Primrose Pond by Yona Zeldis McDonough

  • image001-2Title:  The House on Primrose Pond
  • Author:  Yona Zeldis McDonough
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Pages:  400
  • Published:  February 2016 – NAL Accent
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  After suffering a sudden, traumatic loss, historical novelist Susannah Gilmore decides to uproot her life—and the lives of her two children—and leave their beloved Brooklyn for the little town of Eastwood, New Hampshire. 
While the trio adjusts to their new surroundings, Susannah is captivated by an unexpected find in her late parents’ home: an unsigned love note addressed to her mother, in handwriting that is most definitely not her father’s.
Reeling from the thought that she never really knew her mother, Susannah finds mysteries everywhere she looks: in her daughter’s friendship with an older neighbor, in a charismatic local man to whom she’s powerfully drawn, and in an eighteenth century crime she’s researching for her next book. Compelled to dig into her mother’s past, Susannah discovers even more secrets, ones that surpass any fiction she could ever put to paper… (back of the book)

My take:  Susannah and her two children move to New Hampshire from Brooklyn a year after the death of her husband. They move into her family cottage on Primrose Pond and start a new chapter in their lives. While adjusting to her new circumstances Susannah makes a few discoveries that make her question all she knew to be true. There are issues of guilt and anger concerning her husband’s death and the fallout experienced by Susannah’s daughter and son. Family dynamics are certainly at the forefront in this novel.

Susannah, a historical fiction author, starts to work on a new book. It’s different from anything she’s written before. The research takes her on a journey that will, in some minor ways, affect how she looks at events in her life and bring her to a place of acceptance and, quite possibly, forgiveness. I’m a fan of historical fiction so I enjoyed the passages of the book Susannah was writing.

All in all, the novel held my interest. I liked most of the characters and wasn’t ready to let them go as I turned the last page.  Included at the end are a conversation with the author and discussion questions.