Small towns attract a variety of people for a varied number of reasons. The slow pace and quiet nature of Suburbia is not always the enchanted life of fairy tales. Often beneath the demure and polite exterior of hometown events, feelings and petty jealousies rage unabated.
A sense of belonging is often why groups are drawn together. In The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club by Duncan Whitehead, we follow an eccentric group of women drawn together by their frequent dog walking activities. Having been friends now for some time, Cindy, Carla and Heidi are true connoisseurs of the culture of the town of Gordonston. Part of their belonging to the group, of which they are charter members, wine is a prerequisite. Following the activities as it spirals around them, they revel in the companionship and gossip as any true small town aficionado would. As they discuss the illness of a dear friend, they alternate between sympathy and moving forward. Each has an agenda that is secret to the other, a vital reason for being.
Several young couples find their lives impacted by their own activities, ones they do not realize have an impact that sends ripples through the ether of time. As the friend of the women in the dog walking club dies and her own husband tries to come to terms with her passing, callousness and greed come close to the surface. Will Gordonston remain the charming place it has always been, or will the murky darkness of past exploits and memories tear the veil of innocence?
Whitehead has brought us a strangely suspenseful tale that takes you on a journey of history. Delving into the memories of his eclectic cast of characters, we are taken to a deep and surprising journey. Red herrings and twisted theories keep you guessing, as you try to remove the masks surrounding the events and people. As you begin to find yourself drawn to the characters, be prepared to find that not all is what it seems on the surface.
If you enjoy romance and suspense you will find this a delightful read. A love of dogs surrounds the character of the story, and a deepening dread will find its way into your mind as you slowly unwind the personalities of the people. If you enjoy reading about real life and petty jealousies as well as enjoying a good solid mystery, this is the work for you.
A great read for a reading group, the events will contain discussion material for some time to come. This is a fun find for your library.