And an unmailed postcard from 16 years ago that reads:
"Mona, I'm sorry. I should have told you. Anyway I left you the best parts of myself. You know where to look. AmySo Arthur in his grief, set out to Ruby Falls, New York to find Mona and maybe learn more about Amy and the past she never talked about.
This Must Be the Place is not really about Amy though. It's about those she left behind - Mona, her daughter Oneida and Arthur. For each of them, Amy played a pivotal role in their lives. As Arthur struggles to come to terms with Amy's death, Mona is forced to confront her past. Secrets long buried can no longer be kept hidden.
Kate Racculia's book was a wonderful find for me. There is the mystery of Amy's past, but for me it was the exploration of relationships that I found attractive. Mona and her love for her daughter Oneida. Oneida's complicated coming of age (this was a great subplot) and Arthur and Mona's tentative reaching out to each other and the loss of Amy. The book is populated with marvellously quirky characters that lend an almost enchanted feel to the Darby-Jones boarding house Mona runs. I did guess Amy's secret about halfway through, but it didn't detract from enjoying the rest of the book at all.
A great debut by a new voice. I enjoyed Racculia's whimsical, unique tale and characters very much and look forward to her next offering.
Read an excerpt of This Must Be the Place.