Rating:

Reviewed by Kathie Smith

Only one person, Callie Anne Benton, knows the identity of the bones uncovered at the old drive-in. This unexpected discovery leads Callie Anne back to the days of her twelfth summer. That summer, she lived with her parents in a house at the edge of Starlite Drive-in, free to spend her days and nights exploring and observing the world around her.

The focus of her summer quickly becomes Charlie Memphis, a wanderer hired as a handyman to help at the drive-in. Callie Anne and her mother are immediately taken with him; however, her father, who has been the Manager of Starlite Drive-In for many years, remains unimpressed by his charm. Circumstances surrounding Charlie’s appearance force Callie Anne to see her parents, both individually and as a couple, more clearly than ever before and to question the stability of her family life.

The secrets kept by those around her are further complicated by information she believes to be evidence of a dark past. Caught between the innocence of youth and the complexity of adult relationships, Callie Anne finds her loyalties being tested and divided as she struggles to make sense of all she has learned.

Marjorie Reynolds writes with a depth and clarity that can allow a reader to become immersed enough to feel almost as though Callie Anne’s past is a part of their own. It is actually because this part of the book is so engrossing that the bones discovered 30 years later are all but forgotten with the introduction to the 12 year-old Callie Anne. The mystery is a background plot that would not be missed aside from being a vehicle into Callie Anne’s past.

Callie Anne’s memories of the summer of 1956 hold enough treasures to keep readers revisiting The Starlite Drive-in long after the last page. It is a story of discovery, heartbreak and hope. Readers are in for a treat with this vividly depicted stroll down memory lane.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Kathie is a writer, wife, mother and volunteer living in the beautiful Appalachian mountains. Her passion for the written word is fulfilled by creating her own fictional work, freelancing, acting as an adviser to another author, and reading with her six year old daughter.

Review copies were provided free of any obligation by William Morrow Paperbacks. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.