Category: Contemporary Fiction, Family Saga, Romance, Audiobook, Book Review
Zane Bigelow grew up in a beautiful, perfectly kept house in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Strangers and even Zane’s own aunt across the lake see his parents as a successful surgeon and his stylish wife, making appearances at their children’s ballet recitals and baseball games. Only Zane and his sister know the truth, until one brutal night finally reveals cracks in the facade, and Zane escapes for college without a thought of looking back…
Well respected chief of surgery Dr Graham Bigelow and his wife, Eliza lived in the small and exclusive community of Lakeview Terrace, overlooking the lake and the Blue Ridge Mountains, with their teenage children Zane and Britt. To outside appearances they have the perfect life and want for nothing.
Appearances can be very deceptive and nobody really knows what really goes on behind closed doors. Graham wasn’t the man everyone thought he is. Nor was his wife the woman she showed to the world. Zane and Britt lived in fear of the very people they should be able to rely on and trust implicitly.
Zane and his sister were looking forward to Christmas, seeing their grandparents and hanging out at their aunt Emily’s house across the lake. But Zane didn’t get to see anyone or go anywhere over Christmas. That was when he decided to start a journal and swore to himself he’d build his strength.
Maybe nobody will believe me. He says they won’t. He’s too important, too smart, so they won’t believe me, but my English teacher says that writing things down can help you think and to remember stuff. I need to remember.
Zane loved baseball. To play for a major team was his dream and college was his way of escape. He worried what would happen when he wasn’t there to look out for Britt and knew he’d have to be very careful, pretend acquiescence, or his father would make good on his threat to send him to military school. Everything changed on one horrifically violent night when Zane’s dream was shattered.
In the second part of the story set several years later, we meet Darby McCray, looking for a new start and a good place to settle. Lakeview seems perfect and is far enough away from her bad memories. Darby is soon integrated into the local community as she builds up her gardening and landscape business. I had major envy for the garden schemes described so beautifully.
Zane has returned home after several years as an attorney, wanting to be near his aunt, her family and Britt who is now a psychologist. Both he and Darby feel the need to belong, and find they have to face up to and deal with events from their pasts before they can fully move forward.
Nora Roberts has written a powerful story about abuse, the far reaching effects and the comfort and healing provided by a caring extended family unit and a close knit community. The characters are fully rounded and realistic. The evil ones may be a little stereotypical and it’s pretty easy to guess more or less what will happen with regard to them. Rather than suspense, the strength in this story lies in the wonderfully vivid characters, family dynamics (be they good or not) and relationships, the feelgood factor when good triumphs and certain people get what they deserve. Having said that, the first part of the book is a difficult read, dark and intense, and may not be suitable for anyone who has had experience of abuse. Counteracting the horror are those people who go the extra mile to help and are always there for love and support.
January LaVoy is one of my favourite female narrators and she did a great job with Under Currents.
Nora Roberts is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels, including The Liar, The Collector, Whiskey Beach, The Witness, and many more. She is also the author of the bestselling In Death series written under the pen name J. D. Robb. There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print.