surface and shadow book coverReviewed by Meredith Kelly

I did enjoy Surface and Shadow even though I felt that the “mystery” was a little far fetched and didn’t really add much to the story.

The mystery in question involved one of the Galloway brothers, Howard–an heir to the family’s fortune who died unexpectedly in his early twenties. The Galloway family had owned the textile mill which employed most of the townspeople for generations. Everybody in town loved the family and marveled at how generous they have been with company picnics and the rebuilding of the YMCA when the quarters became tight.

The year was 1972. Tanner, North Carolina was a small town where everybody knew each other’s personal business and was very content with their old fashioned ways. The wives kept house and the husbands earned the wages. When a woman in town went to the library, the card she gave to the librarian for check out only bared her husband’s name.

One of the newest arrivals in town were the Colton Family. Lydia, the protagonist of this story, was a young housewife and mother who had moved to this town to further her husband’s career of being the town doctor. Lydia and Jeffrey had lived in a rather metropolitan city and Lydia would have been happier there but Jeffrey wanted to leave–so they moved.

In a short period of time Lydia became aware of a certain discontentment she felt in her heart. She always considered herself “lucky” for marrying a doctor but being new in a small town, she felt very isolated and cut-off from others especially with Jeffrey’s long working hours. In a attempt to make Lydia happy, Jeffrey wanted to buy her a house to keep her busy.

I felt that the best part of the book was Lydia’s attempts to find herself and her place in a town where everyone seemed content with the status quo. She knew something was wrong and didn’t stop when Jeffrey’s bewilderment turned to anger and he tried to force her to become someone she didn’t want to be.

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Meredith has been an avid reader since childhood and loves to talk about books. A bit of a Luddite, she has only recently become acquainted with E-Reading and online book reviews. She finds exposure to such a wide audience of opinion on books fascinating.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Sally Whitney. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.