“I don’t believe in that kind of love.”
Olivia’s birthparents were in that kind of love, but apparently, her adoptive parents no longer are. Perhaps, they never were.
THE ABSENCE OF EVELYN by Jackie Townsend (SparkPress) tells the story of a mother, daughter, sister, lover – four lives all connected by one women’s death, that takes place over three continents. It’s one of the four exciting novels that are part of BOOKS SPARKS 2017 – SPRING READS! #SRC2017.
Rhonda Knight turns forty-seven just as her divorce finalizes. She’s wealthy and from all appearances, happy, but she’s alone and still mourning her estranged sister, Evelyn, who died abroad two years ago. Her children, including nineteen year-old adopted daughter, Olivia have all grown up and are creating their own lives. Rhonda roams her oversized Catalina mountainside mansion in the Sonoran desert haunted by memories of her sister.
Mother and daughter take two separate trips: Rhonda to Italy, hoping to face Marco Rossellini, Evelyn’s former lover whom she still resents and still has some of her sister’s belongings. At the invitation of Marco, a man she’s only heard stories about, Olivia secretly goes to Hanoi to gather items left for her by Aunt Evelyn. In Italy, Rhonda meets Marco’s daughter, Carlotta and her mother, who share stories about Marco. In Hanoi, spending time with Marco helps Olivia learn some answers to questions about her past.
Each woman’s trip stirs up memories from the past and reveals complicated secrets that will change their family forever. I enjoyed the novel. THE ABSENCE OF EVELYN has a melodic feel, coupled with nice pacing and a delicious international feel. But there were times as if I felt I had to suspend reality to follow the plot. It could be because I’m unfamiliar with European Royalty and the Vietnam trip felt a bit abrupt. Ultimately Jackie Townsend explores the relationships between women, particularly mothers, daughters and sisters, once again making it vividly clear, the bonds between women can never be fully understood.
Jackie Townsend is the author of the novels, IMPERFECT PAIRINGS and REEL LIFE. She blogs about movies, life, love, and her ongoing pursuit to embrace the Italian language at http://www.jackietownsend.com
Thanks To BookSparks and SparksPress, we have one copy of THE ABSENCE OF EVELYN to giveaway. Just tell us your favorite International City, or the one you think might like to visit. We’ll announce a winner Monday. Have a lovely weekend.