Saturday, October 29, 2022

Book Review: "The Old Place" by Bobby Finger

In Bobby Finger's debut novel, secrets and drama abound for one woman in a small Texas town.

Mary Alice has always been a formidable presence in the small town of Billington. She’s been a teacher for almost 40 years, and she’s a bossy, opinionated, slightly mean woman, although most in town let her attitude roll off their backs.

Forced into retirement by the school district, she doesn’t know how to occupy her time, other than showing up at the school and terrorizing her replacement. But there is one bright spot: she starts having coffee with her next door neighbor, Ellie, every morning. The two single mothers had been close for years, and their teenage sons were friends, too. But after both women lost their sons, one after another, the grief strained their relationship.

As their friendship starts to deepen again, Mary Alice’s estranged sister arrives in Billington to share a bombshell that could change not only Mary Alice’s life, but her relationship with Ellie. How much longer can she protect the secrets that are swirling around her and her life in Billington?

At first I thought this was going to be a story with a lovable curmudgeon who sees the beauty of belonging, but that definitely wasn’t the case here. I love family drama and the revealing of secrets, so this book was definitely up my alley. It’s a slow burn, but I was hooked from the start.

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