LIES A RIVER DEEP
Reviewed by Danita Dyess for Readers' Favorite - 5 Stars
It was over 40 years ago when the unimaginable occurred:
Bessie Day Hardy -- a smart, beautiful teenage girl with curly
black hair and a striking figure -- was raped in Chaanakya. But
that was exactly what happened in the book "Lies a River Deep"
by Vera Jane Cook. Of course, a lot can happen in four decades.
Bessie, a widower, is 60 years old now. Grey Otis, the town
dunce, and Maggie, his wife, are still here. Lily, her high school
friend, is still here. Mrs. Day, Bessie's mother, lives in the nearby
nursing home. But whatever happened to Bart and Roland Miller,
the two brothers who competed for Bessie's heart? Most
importantly, how does this cast of characters fit into Bessie's
tragic past? Which one of them knew about the rape and which
one got paid money to keep it a secret?
This was a great book. Back to the 50s with Roland's 1959
convertible and an era where women were either "good" or "bad"
girls. I enjoyed the distinct neighborhoods with the 1930s Cape
and Colonial houses with well-manicured lawns. The river was
real but symbolic. Cook did a fabulous job of conveying the
complicated relationships between people, especially the bond
between mother and daughter. Cook has written four other books
including "Dancing Backward in Paradise: A Novel" and "Hearts
Upon a Fragile Bough." "Lies a River Deep" is highly