Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Twelfth Child by Bette Lee Crosby

5 Star

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.

Lydia - 5 Star

The Twelfth Child blew me away. For some reason, my expectations weren’t very high for this novel, and I can’t really figure out why, although I suspect the cover has something to do with it. It doesn’t come close to portraying the pages within. A southern tale, this novel is rich with description, heavy with harsh family dynamics and follows a little girl with a dream to become a teacher, and the same feisty girl as a frail woman near the end of the life she worked so hard to better.

This absorbing tale alternates between the present to past. It even takes an odd turn part way through with the narration – something some have criticized, but I enjoyed the uniqueness of it. I loved the seamless transitions, and adored both stories, flipping pages well past my bedtime.

You can’t help but root for Abigail immediately. Life is not pleasant under her father’s misogynist rule, particularly after her mother dies when Abigail is only thirteen. As a young girl in the 1920’s living on a rural farm in the south, Abigail eventually learns how to make do, even though she never understands why she is not allowed to become a teacher. She stays out of her father’s way, does what he expects and bides her time – and then, courtesy of a helping hand, she begins plotting how to go about getting it.

In the alternating story line, we meet Abigail later in life after she has met her new neighbor, young and bubbly Destiny, and the two form an instant bond and friendship. I loved every second of their interaction. Not only is this a lovely tale about friendship – and I’m a sucker for stories with women in their later years – but an unusual friendship between an older woman and a young single woman who are not related. The relative that does appear later in Abigail’s life is an evil, money-thirsty man that slithers out from under a rock. He attempts to undermine Abigail and Destiny’s relationship at every turn. I will admit that as much as I loved these two women together and the honesty of their relationship, Crosby manages to spark a bit of doubt. But then I would shake it off and go right back to hating Elliott and championing the women’s friendship.

Both stories are equally gripping and I couldn’t wait to get back to the past when I was in the present and vice versa. Even though the ending kind of threw me, I thought it was fitting, and overall would highly recommend this book. If I had to offer one area for improvement of The Twelfth Child, it would be to strongly suggest a new cover that captures more of the novel.

Thank you to Bette Lee Crosby for our review copy. All opinions are our own. 

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the wonderful review of The Twelfth Child. Book Two, Previously Loved Treasures is coming out in April. If you'd like to read/review please contact me!



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