The Androscroggin River is a real waterway and the paper mills that lined its shore, the people that lived along its path all tell an important part of history. The author refers to this in her afterword and it served as a reminder to me that history takes many various shapes and forms.
The MacAllister's have owned and run the paper mill for ages, they are town royalty. The mill is in Titan Falls, New Hampshire and most of the people there owe their livelihoods to this family. This novel is the story of an unwinding of a decades old mystery, of a marriage and a family, and of a town and way of life. Secrets always have a way of coming back to haunt those involved and once the secret is known, many find their lives changed. Some for the good, some for the bad, but inevitable all the same.
June McAllister, a young woman whom in the past had married above her station into the MCAllister clan, feels that in many ways her husband had saved her from the horrible life she had lead before. She will do anything to protect that, even if a tiny voice says maybe she is wrong.
The Snows are a family that the town considered losers, beneath them, corrupt, no good hangers on. They are a big part of the secret, in the past and the present. Hannah Snow is a youth girl who bones seem to talk to and Mercy Snow, a young woman is wise beyond her years, will do her best at healing the town, as she protects her family.
Well written, wonderful mix of magical realism, very atmospheric with oh so interesting characters and a glimpse into the harm secrets can hold. To bring together or to tear apart. Love the ending as well, not everything ends happily nor should it, no matter how one wishes it could. Will not forget the character of Mercy, her name says much.