An elderly woman remembers her romantic difficulties during the 1960s in this novel.
Cassie Mae Carter is a woman trapped in a loveless marriage, raising a sickly son in Duck Springs, Georgia, nearly on her own, as her long-haul truck driver husband is so rarely at home. Paul Hamilton is a handsome and rakish construction worker who loves to be outside, to use his hands, and to enjoy the freedom of independence. When Paul joins a crew that is expanding a portion of road adjacent to Cassie’s farmhouse, both their lives are changed forever. After admiring Cassie from afar, Paul finally finds the nerve to approach her when he sees her tussling with a wayward calf on the farm. After playing hero to this damsel in distress, Paul finds he cannot stay away from her. Following a few more interactions, Cassie and Paul acknowledge their undeniable attraction to each other, and they begin devising clandestine ways to meet. Paul finds himself falling deeply in love with Cassie, experiencing emotions that are foreign to him but exhilarating just the same. Unfortunately, Cassie feels that divorce is not an option for her, and she knows that she and Paul will have no future together. During one of their many meetings, she asks him to give her a child so that she may have something to remember him, a piece of him to keep with her after his road crew departs. Paul struggles with this request and mourns the doomed nature of their relationship. As Jones (Lonely Magnolia, 2017, etc.) effectively creates one obstacle after another for Cassie and Paul, he also explores deeper questions about personal choices and the different forms that love takes. Although the story is ostensibly told by Cassie, most of the narrative flows from Paul’s point of view. Even so, this fast-paced novel deftly tackles complicated questions of sacrifice, loyalty, and grief while keeping the suspense high until the story’s final twist. This book should especially appeal to fans of star-crossed romances.
A knotty, engaging tale of lost hope and lonely nights.