Set on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, a suspenseful page-turning saga of love, murder, and the true meaning of faith from the author of the acclaimed The Liar’s Diary.Now I do think on the back cover the publisher has misled us a tad bit on how the story progresses, but I won't spoil the outcome by pointing out the descriptive oopsie. It will make a great book club discussion point.
Set in the close-knit Portuguese community of Provincetown, Massachusetts, The Orphans of Race Point traces the relationship between Hallie Costa and Gus Silva, who meet as children in the wake of a terrible crime that leaves Gus parentless. Their friendship evolves into an enduring and passionate love that will ask more of them than they ever imagined.
On the night of their high school prom, a terrible tragedy devastates their relationship and profoundly alters the course of their lives. And when, a decade later, Gus—now a priest—becomes entangled with a distraught woman named Ava and her daughter Mila, troubled souls who bring back vivid memories of his own damaged past, the unthinkable happens: he is charged with murder. Can Hallie save the man she’s never stopped loving, by not only freeing him from prison but also—finally—the curse of his past?
Told in alternating voices, The Orphans of Race Point illuminates the transformative power of love and the myriad ways we find meaning in our lives.
I was drawn to this one by my fondness for the setting - Cape Cod; the characters - a large inter-related Portuguese family/community (I married into that group); and the promise of a good mystery. Patry has given us all three elements with crisp prose, flawed characters with eminently likeable personalities, and a mystery that at first doesn't seem like a mystery. The reader goes along believing that this is just a tragic love story, and doesn't realize until well into the dark despair of the star crossed lovers that all may not be as it seems. The main characters Hallie and Gus grow from young preteens to adulthood while navigating the treacherous shoals of adolescence guided by a variety of community parental figures who each had his/her own problems. I was rooting for an outcome that wasn't to be. Each of these characters was flawed; each had numerous redeeming qualities; each needed something the other was not capable of giving.
Other characters added a layer of complexity and richness portraying relationships full of love, caring, all the while bedeviled by the misunderstandings that often develop among teen-agers and their friends and parents. Nevertheless, the plot twists aroused my interest early on, ensuring that I wasn't going to do anything but read for almost 24 straight hours.
Although it's long, Orphans of Race Point moves along through several generations of family secrets and revelations to an ending that may not be what every reader is looking for. That resolution however, is one that satisfied my need for closure, forgiveness and redemption for most of the cast. It certainly kept me up reading well past my normal bedtime. I could not put it down, and can't stop urging everyone I meet to go get this one.
Ms. Francis on her webpage.
Title: The Orphans of Race Point
Author: Patry Francis
Publisher: Harper Collins (2014), paperback, 544 pages
Genre: romance, mystery
Subject: secrets, murder, dysfunctional family life
Setting: Provincetown Cape Cod
Source: publisher review copy
Why did I read this book now? I was invited to review the book by the publisher.
Many thanks to Trish Collins of Harper Collins for providing the review copy and inviting me to be part of the Blog Tour. You can see future stops on the tour here.