When Callie MacCallum sews her first quilt after the death of her lover Jack Sebring, she doesn’t realize she’ll be drawn into a Sebring family battle between wife and daughter-in-law. She simply wants to fulfill her promise to Jack to visit their cabin in the West Virginia mountains, where their long love affair was safely hidden. Instead, her emotionally reminiscent trip becomes crowded with the two Sebring women, a grief counselor, and the massive role Callie assumes. She must speak for Jack in order to protect his four-year old grandson Chad from his stubbornly manipulative and blame-passing grandmother and his recently widowed and power-usurping mother. Callie understands both women grieve the loss of Chad’s father. He died when a raging storm split the tree that crushed him. Grief isn’t the only common thread running between the four women. One by one, their secrets are revealed on the West Virginia mountaintop.
~~ A scene from Wild Raspberries ~~
Out in the street, ten-year old Carson Tillman from next door rode his bike in circles, watching the proceedings.
After loading Arnett’s things, Lizbeth slammed the cargo door. She turned to Beebe. “We’re ready,” she said.
Beebe made an arm gesture that gathered Arnett, Lizbeth, and Callie into a line at the foot of the drive. Carson’s bike jumped the curb. He ground it to a stop nearby. The nosy boy might have thought the ladies were posing for a send-off photograph.
A breeze kicked up Beebe’s crop of straw-colored hair so that it stood out from her head like a crayon drawing of the sun. She raised her right hand into oath-taking position, then used several upward gestures with her left to prompt the others to hoist their hands as well. Beebe recited a pledge, breaking it into five chunks, which the others repeated in unison.
“I hereby swear an oath to honesty. From this point forward, I promise to provide fully factual information and will express my feelings earnestly and without reservation.”
As all the hands dropped, Carson, a respectfully polite tattletale, his broad mouth gleaming with dental hardware, announced, “Miss Arnett had her fingers crossed.”
Lizbeth’s mouth flew open. Her gaze jumped off the boy and landed on Arnett. “How could you?”
In a teacher-to-student tone, Beebe said, “Show me your hands.” Arnett complied. “Do you swear to this honesty pledge?”
“Yes, I swear.” Arnett glared at Carson. “Are you satisfied?”
He shrugged and pedaled away.
Chappell does a wondrous job allowing her words to speak for her characters, immersing the reader in scenes where dialogue would have typically done the trick.” ~~Maxy Awards