Mine to Tell

Colleen L. Donnelly
Mine to Tell
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The Wild Rose Press
Release Date
November 2013
Historical Novel with Romantic Elements, Mainstream fiction

Annabelle Crouse is determined to reopen her great-grandmother's boarded-up house--and her shunned life. Many years earlier, after an unexplained absence, Julianne was relegated to a separate home by a rigidly unforgiving husband, and the Crouse women have suffered the disgrace of her assumed guilt ever since. Despite her family's strong disapproval, Annabelle is driven to pursue her mission through cobwebs and dust, finding the clues and the coded story left behind by her great-grandmother -- Why did she go? And why did she return? Annabelle has to know. Only one person, a man she grew up with but never noticed, stands with Annabelle as she discovers the parallels between her story and her great-grandmother's--two women, generations apart, experiencing what love truly is.

Book Review by Elizabeth Ramsay (reviewer)
Jun 13, 2016   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
115 people found the following review helpful
Memory is subjective and a single story can be told a thousand different ways. Colleen Donnelly plays with this concept in her novel MINE TO TELL. Anna Crouse's great-grandmother Julianne has been maligned for years as the bad woman. When Julianne disappeared for two weeks and came back pregnant, her husband banished her to a house at the edge of the property. Anna wants to know what really happened. Her neighbor Kyle joins her in this quest for the truth since as a child he was fascinated by Julianne's house. Anna finds the story Julianne left behind and translates it with Kyle's help.

As the novel opens, Anna is engaged to Trevor. She is horrified by the way he takes her for granted, but seems unable to express her concerns as more than a general anxiety. She decides now is the time to find out what happened to Julianne. This will allow her to lift the stigma of "bad woman" that has attached itself to the Crouse women. She moves into Julianne's house and discovers that Julianne has left her story hidden in the attic, encoded into the family bible. At this point Kyle enters the story and helps Anna read Julianne's words. As Anna uncovers Julianne's story, she grows as a person and is able to reach for what she wants.

This is a story of life of which romance is only a piece. It makes it very difficult to rate because it is not a romance novel and so by that yardstick is a poor read. Yet taken simply as a novel it is a compelling look at how truth is based on perception. How expectations shape how we see the world. This is a story that looks at life as a whole. If you are interested in general fiction, this is an interesting read. If you're looking for a romance novel, look elsewhere.
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