Friday, January 2, 2015

Book Review: The Twelfth Child by Bette Lee Crosby

The Twelfth Child, by Bette Lee Crosby
2012, 240p, Historical Mystery
My Rating=4.5 Stars
Source: Own a Kindle copy

Trust, love and friendship — Abigail Anne Lannigan searched for these things all her life; now, when she is at the tail end of her years she teams up with a free-spirited young woman, a nobody from nowhere, who suddenly moves in across the street. It’s an unlikely friendship which comes under suspicion when a distant relative, claims embezzlement. One million dollars is missing and only Abigail knows the truth of what happened – but, she’ll never get the chance to tell.

The Twelfth Child, a novel rich with emotion, humor and tenderness, explores the splintered relationships of a Shenandoah Valley family and their willful daughter’s struggle to survive America’s Great Depression and overcome the past.

Bette Lee Crosby contacted me a while ago to review this book and I was happy to tell her that I actually already had a copy! It was a book that looked like it would interest me so I had previously picked it up when it was offered for free. I was looking forward to reading this.

Abigail Lannigan was born in 1912 and has a twin brother, Will. Her father really only ever wanted sons. She never has a great relationship with her father and it gets worse when her mother dies. She's expected to marry a boy her father chose for her and makes a drastic decision to get out of it. Her life significantly changes after that and she experiences good times and bad.

Most of the story occurs during Abigail's older years so we mostly learn about her life through flashbacks. Right away, we meet Destiny Fairchild, a spunky young woman who moves in across the street from Abigail. She's also had a tough life and they become great friends.

Abigail has a nephew, Elliott Emerson, who introduces himself to her brother Will when he learns that Will sold the family farm for $1 million and change. When Will died, Elliott assumed he left the money to Abigail and is angling to receive it for himself but Abigail is the only one who knows where the money is and she never even told Destiny about it. Elliott learns of Abigail's death eight months later and sets out to get his hands on what he believes should be his. He's not likable at all and is obviously after the money but tries to pretend like he cares about Abigail and Will.

I enjoyed getting to know Abigail! There were times that I cheered her on and other times when I felt sad for her and what was happening in her life. Her life definitely had it's share of hardship and I liked how she made the best of every situation. I also loved Destiny. She was truly a friend to Abigail, keeping her company and taking care of her. She was so trusting and that caused some problems for her. I particularly loved her ending.

If you enjoy books that illustrate the strong relationship between women, no matter their ages, this is a book you will enjoy! I loved the hint at the end that there's more story to be told. I enjoyed reading Abigail's story and look forward to reading more books by this author!

Content: Mild swearing; brief sexual assault with minor details; premarital sex with minor details.

Author Bette Lee Crosby

Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby brings the wit and wisdom of her Southern Mama to works of fiction—the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away.

“Storytelling is in my blood,” Crosby laughingly admits, “My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write.”

Crosby’s work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. Since then, she has gone on to win another fifteen literary awards, including the Royal Palm Literary Award, The Reviewer’s Choice Award, and the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal.

A third book in her Wyattsville Series is scheduled for release in January 2015 and the third book in the Serendipity Series will follow in the Spring of 2015.


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