Suzanne Mullins knows her mother, Betty Lynne, has gone off the deep end this time when she receives a crackled phone call from her father asking her to come home. Suzanne hops on the first plane out of California for Luckenbach, Texas and is joined by her husband and son within a day or two.
Betty Lynne is known for her ability to get a job done, even if her ways are somewhat unorthodox. This time, she is going full steam ahead planning her husband Archie’s funeral. The only problem is he’s not dead.
As Suzanne takes on an adult understanding of her parent’s marriage, she is forced to face the cracks in her own. Coming back to Luckenbach brings to the surface a past error in judgement and the resulting consequences. Will Betty Lynne allow Archie to be resurrected? Will Suzanne’s marriage and family survive the long-buried secrets that are about to be revealed?
What I thought:
Leanna Ellis develops the characters in ‘Lookin’ Back, Texas’ beautifully. They jump off the page and remind you of people, or parts of people you know. Betty Lynne has an amazing penchant for twisting things to suit herself, thereby controlling everything and everyone that she can. Suzanne’s insecurities rise to the surface and she allows fear to determine the decisions and choices she makes.
Leanna will keep you hanging until the very last pages to resolve the issues within Suzanne and Mike’s marriage, as well as Betty Lynne and Archie’s. Mike’s unconditional love and his forgiveness had me in tears and I cheered (silently of course!) on Archie’s behalf as he was able to begin dissolving Betty Lynne’s determination.
Despite weighty issues and events, there is much humour throughout the story. With a woman as crazy as Betty Lynne it is inevitable and Leanna provides the light relief seamlessly in a way that adds to the depth of the story.
There are many strong themes through ‘Lookin’ Back, Texas’. Reminders that marriages are worth fighting for and that lies never remain buried. In Mike and Archie you will see unconditional love portrayed in a beautiful way. It is also interesting to see how the sins of one generation are repeated in the next. And all of these things are covered with forgiveness that can only come when you have a personal relationship with the One who forgives fully.
Guest reviewer: my friend Tracy from Beyond My Picket Fence
Giveaway Thanks to the fabulous folk at B&HFiction, I have two copies of Lookin’ Back, Texas to give away to my Aussie readers and two copies for my North American readers! To enter: 1. Post a comment before midnight Sunday 2nd November, 2008 2. Tell me a quirk you have! 3. Add an AUS or USA at the end of your post so I know your location.
Thanks to the fabulous folk at B&HFiction, I have two copies of Lookin’ Back, Texas to give away to my Aussie readers and two copies for my North American readers! To enter:
1. Post a comment before midnight Sunday 2nd November, 2008
2. Tell me a quirk you have!
3. Add an AUS or USA at the end of your post so I know your location.