Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin
Genre: Women's Lit
Approximate word count: 95-100,000 words
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store
Traci Borum is an avid reader of women’s fiction, a writing teacher, and native Texan. Painting the Moon is her debut novel. She also adores all things British.
“When Noelle Cooke inherits a quaint English cottage and an art gallery from her famous Aunt Joy, she welcomes a departure from her San Diego routine. But the lure of the Cotswolds, combined with a locked cottage room and a revealing journal, entice her to stay and discover more, including a way to save the gallery from financial ruin. And that means remaining in England.
When her childhood sweetheart, Adam Spencer, begins work on a restoration project in Noelle’s village, their friendship blossoms. But as her feelings for Adam deepen, she struggles with memories of what might have been and yearns for a future once thought lost. Faced with a life-altering revelation Aunt Joy took to her grave and a wrenching choice regarding the man she loves, Noelle could lose far more than her heart. “
This story begins with Noelle Cooke receiving a letter from England that her Great Aunt Joy passed away and she has been named executor and sole heir of her estate. Putting her life in San Diego on hold, she heads to the quaint little village of Chilton Crosse to settle affairs as quickly as possible. As Noelle reminisces about her summers spent with her Gram and Great Aunt Joy in England, old family secrets become apparent and Noelle is compelled to uncover the mysteries surrounding the last ten years of Aunt Joy’s reclusive past.
There was a section after the first part of the story after Noelle arrived in England that moved unbearably slow for me. Small mundane details that don’t move the story forward bore me. I tend to associate this with Women’s Lit, however, it is a personal grievance of my own and I know some readers enjoy those details. My favorite parts of the story were the insightful snippets at the beginning of each chapter in which Aunt Joy issued wise nuggets of advice to Noelle about artistic technique, perspective, texture and life itself.
Otherwise, I found the storyline compelling and the main characters were well developed. Jill provided a good sounding block for Noelle, while going through life changing events of her own, and Adam provided sexual tension, with the regret of missed opportunities from the past. This story contains romantic elements, however I would hesitate to call it a romance because we are not privy to Adam’s perspective aside from a third person narration. The two story arcs compounded Noelle’s journey of self-discovery while trying to uncover the mystery behind her Aunt Joy’s last years of reclusiveness and the symbol added to the last group of paintings found hidden behind the locked cottage door.
Ms. Borum’s descriptive prose set each scene so well I was able to get a good sense of the Cotswold area. The addition of several secondary characters from Chilton Crosse added to the charm of this heartwarming tale.
I found no significant editing or formatting issues.
Rating: **** Four stars