Lost Souls at the Neptune Inn

Grand Central. Aug. 2020. 336p. ISBN 9781538763919. $27. F
In 1960s New Rochelle, NY, Dillard Fox steps into the lives of three generations of women. Widowed matriarch Geraldine Wingo fancies him, but it’s her daughter, Emilia Mae, who ends up marrying Dillard. Emilia Mae had her daughter, Alice, when she was a teen. Now Alice has a father figure in her life. Emilia Mae doesn’t know Dillard’s backstory, but she loves him. Dillard knows about Emilia Mae’s past and accepts her anyway. But after Alice uncovers Dillard’s secret, love may not be enough to heal the wounds. The rich complexities of mother-daughter relationships are explored in this book; the characters are incredibly convincing, warts and all.
VERDICT Carter (We Were Strangers Once) writes movingly of a time when gender roles were clearly defined and stepping outside the norm was taboo. This title will appeal to women’s fiction and romance readers, and those looking for something a little different. One can’t help fall in love with each character, mourn each loss, cheer their triumphs, and maybe shed a tear or two.

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