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The View From Prince Street

Reblogged from JDCMustReadBooks :
The View from Prince Street (Alexandria Series) - Mary Ellen Taylor
Alexandria Series #2
ISBN:  9780425278260
Publisher: Penguin 
Publication Date: 1/5/2016
Format: Paperback
My Rating:  4 Stars  
A special thank you to Penguin/Berkley and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Mary Ellen Taylor returns following At The Corner of King Street (Alexandria #1) with a complex multi-generational mystery of the past THE VIEW FROM PRINCE STREET(Alexandria #2) rich in history; with three families crossing two centuries-- mystery, intrigue and some ancient magic to stir the pot.

As the locals read the weekly Lifestyle edition and the online version of the Old Town Alexandria paper, Dr. Rae McDonald is known to have a heart of stone, however, some think she is a matchmaker, trying to help her clients find happiness.

In fact, Rae knows sadness, all too well. It had nearly destroyed her at age sixteen when her old sister had died, and thereafter she had made reckless choices that resulted in a pregnancy. She gave the baby boy away to another mother for adoption. The pain and the loss were crushing. Since that day she knew her survival depended suppressing her feelings. Her detachment had served her well. She can remove herself from her client’s storms, problems, and her own emotions.

We meet up with the MaCrae’s we met in book one—Addie Morgan and Margaret McCrae, owners of Shire Architectural --the contractors who removed her stones six weeks ago. Addie is raising her niece, Carrie, eight weeks old. Addie was saving her family’s business for the brink of ruin. Margaret worked full time with the salvage company but still maintained close ties to the archeology center. She had a PhD in History and was a well- qualified expert in local history, especially Alexandria.

They had read about Rae, the trained clinical psychologist in the paper. They had found a bottle. A witch bottle. An incredible find. Protection spells. They were created hundreds of years ago by people who feared black magic. They were designed to ward off a witch’s spells and evil curses. Most were typically made of wine bottles filled with all kinds of sharp objects. (to cut or slice into the magic). Curses? A witch.

One of the bottles they found belonged to Addie’s family. Sarah Shire Goodwin buried that one. Patience McDonald buried the one they found on Rae’s property and Imogen Smyth made the one they found on the Prince Street Property. All three women lived in Alexandria around 1750.

As the book flashes back from the eighteenth century to the present we find the connections of three Alexandria families. At the beginning of the novel, it opens with a letter in 1751. A bind between these three families. A dangerous barter.

Rae's sister’s best friend Lisa Smyth survived the crash, but never told the truth about it. As long-buried artifacts that link their family histories are unearthed, both women are forced to confront the secrets of the past, before they can have a future.

Secrets. Choices.  A Buried past.

As the book moves along, both Rae and Lisa are at a crossroads in their lives. The ties that bind. Face the past in order to have a future.
“Past, Present, and Future are links in a chain. For a chain to be strong you must have all the links. Not the ones you select. “A thought provoking question: Can you live in the now without acknowledging the problems of the past?

Ultimately, an emotional Heartwarming novel of motherhood, forgiveness, letting go of the past, and second chances. As always you can count on Mary Ellen Taylor to deliver a bold life lesson, a strong takeaway message, and some savory recipes. This time Rachel at The Union Street Bakery offers her Lemon Polenta Cookies and Never Too Much Chocolate Chip Cookies.

An excellent choice for book clubs or further reading group discussions with questions included. If you have not read The Union Street Bakery series, highly recommend!


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