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A Stillness of Chimes

Meg Moseley
A Stillness of Chimes
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What if the pain of the past revealed an unknown sacrifice that changes everything? When teacher Laura Gantt comes home to Prospect, Georgia to settle her recently-deceased mother's household, the last thing she expects to encounter is a swirl of rumors about the father s... Read More

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What if the pain of the past revealed an unknown sacrifice that changes everything?

When teacher Laura Gantt comes home to Prospect, Georgia to settle her recently-deceased mother's household, the last thing she expects to encounter is a swirl of rumors about the father she lost to the lake twelve years ago--that he has reportedly been seen around town. Elliott Gantt's body was never found and he was presumed dead.

Reeling from the sharp loss of a parent, Laura must now grapple with painful memories surrounding her father's disappearance and the sense of abandonment she experienced after his death.

Life-long friend and former beau Sean Halloran wants nothing more than to protect Laura from the far-fetched stories of Elliott's resurrection and to care for her, but he has his own reasons, troubling echoes from his childhood, to put Elliott's disappearance to rest.

Working together, Laura and Sean begin to uncover the truth, one mired in the wooded peaks and deep waters of the Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding Prospect.

Can they fathom how many secrets the steep hills hold? With surprising facts revealed, will Laura be able to understand the sacrificial choices made that forever changed her life? And can love and a peace with God be rekindled in her heart after so much time has passed?

Additional Information

  • Product type: Book
  • Format: Softcover
  • Release Date: Feb 18, 2014
  • UPC: 9780307730787
  • Height: 0
  • Width: 0
  • Length: 0
  • Volumes/Discs: 1
  • Pages: 345
  • Publish Date: Feb 18, 2014
  • Language: English
  • Audience Age Maximum: 0
  • Audience Age Minimum: 0
  • BISAC: "FIC027020"
  • ISBN: 0307730786

Customer Reviews

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Atmospheric, hauntingly beautiful story by Carole on 7/15/14
Rating

A Stillness of Chimes - the title itself is compelling and descriptive of what readers will find within these pages. It sets a mood, an atmosphere, almost foreshadowing with these words: "There was no sound but the wind in the trees and the chimes. Then the wind stilled. Everything was hushed, as if the whole world waited for something to happen."

A Stillness of Chimes is one of the most original and memorable books I've ever read. It almost has a haunting quality to it, and its characters are still in my thoughts. The setting is the small north Georgia town of Prospect - a town that was "half tourist trap and half hick town." The storyline beautifully incorporates several themes - childhood friendships and family secrets . . . PTSD, parental abuse, abandonment . . . questions and doubts when it comes to matters of faith - all in Meg's unique and lyrical style.

Meg's stories capture the essence of the South and there's almost a magical quality to her writing, especially when she sets her story in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southern Appalachia. This area is my heritage and I can truly say that Meg has captured the essence of these mountains and the people. Her outstanding first novel, When Sparrows Fall, had a similar setting and style, so I was thrilled that she returned to this familiar setting.

"Laura Gantt didn't believe in ghosts, but sometimes she wondered if living across from a graveyard had warped her. Part Irish, all southern, descended from moonshiners and holy rollers, she'd always believed in things she couldn't see. Her dad said it was just the old whisperings in their blood."

This opening paragraph gives a sense of mood, Meg's lyrical writing style, and a glimpse into lead character, Laura Gantt. I was immediately drawn to Laura and Sean, loved the friendship and chemistry between them. But it's the off-screen character of Laura's father, Elliott Gantt, who drives the story. Elliott is such an interesting and compelling character - he fought in Vietnam, loved his family, and was trained in survival techniques. He could also play - and build - the fiddle, mandolin, guitar.

One of my favorite secondary characters was the mysterious and wise Granny Colfax, so funny in her thoughts regarding cell phones: "All those calls, cluttering up the heavens. Turning the whole sky into a tower of Babel. I wonder if anybody ever really listens to each other anymore." She could have easily been in my family tree!

Spiritual themes are woven throughout with subtlety, in a way that fits this narrative - and I think that is a sign of mature writing. How beautiful are Sean's thoughts as he looks at the graveyard "with all its crosses that preached silent sermons about the life to come"!

Then there's the scene where hearing the "Doxology" reminds Laura of the creed her father taught her as a child: I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Laura acknowledges that "she would never understand any of it completely. Not this side of heaven." And isn't that where most of us are? Not fully understanding, seeing only in part - but that rich heritage of faith runs through our veins and we look forward to all that will be in heaven. And that's where a childlike faith and trust enters in.

This wasn't a book that I could rush through, so I read slowly and savored each word, often going back to read through certain passages again. Highly recommended to those who enjoy relationship drama with hidden depths.

Thank you to Meg Moseley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest

A Stillness of Chimes by tickmenot on 3/6/14
Rating

This is the story of Laura Gantt. She is returning to the small Georgia town she ran from twelve years earlier when she was eighteen. At that time, her father had recently drowned, her relationship with her mom, Jess, was rocky, and her boyfriend Sean was pushing her to marry him. She decided to escape it all, and to go to Colorado get her teaching degree. After receiving a teaching job there, she has rarely been back home. However, her mother’s sudden death causes her to come back after school ends to clean out her old house.

Laura’s return brings her back in touch with her mom, her dad and Sean. Her mom had kept journals for years, and Laura begins to read them, hoping to get closer to her, even though Jess has passed away. Sean has been waiting for Laura all this time, loving her, and still wanting to be married. Although she does love him, she wants the two of them to be really good friends. Laura wants things to be the way they were as kids, before romance was part of their relationship. Laura also finds that rumors are running wild through the town. People claim they have seen her dad traipsing through the woods, and sometimes on the edges of town. Her heart hopes this could really be true, but Sean and those close to her tell her this is impossible.

This story has lots of twists and turns. Before it is all over, discoveries are made that involve murder and a marital affair. A shadowy figure sometimes lurks around Laura’s house at night. Woven in and out of the story is Sean’s alcoholic father. He is a vicious child abuser, who spent time in jail because of it, and now wants revenge toward the person who turned him in.

There is also a side story that involves Cassie, a childhood friend, that happens to be in town at the same time Laura is. That story did not seem to be developed enough. There needed to either be more depth to Cassie’s story, or not develop her story at all.

Throughout the book, the author often uses the acronym PTSD without explaining what that stands for. I don’t think post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is part of the general vocabulary of most readers. The author needed to explain those initials, and define them.

This book is classified as Christian fiction, and there are some Christian references. However, most of the main characters are questioning God, and this tale never gets them beyond that to a firmer foundation of faith. It felt like they were left in spiritual limbo.

I have read other works by this author, and think she writes well. I love mysteries, and even a good love story, but this book didn’t work for me, something about it was off-key. I really don’t have an objection to the individual parts of this story, but it is similar to when a puzzle is being put together, and the pieces just don’t fit. That is the way this book felt to me as a whole, so give this tale three stars.

The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner.

Read with a Glass of Sweet Tea by Sally on 2/14/14
Rating

When I finished reading the final page of this lyrical novel, I sighed with contentment and said aloud, "Now, THAT is a good book!" Simply put, I liked this tale, and I strongly recommend it. Pour yourself a glass of sweet tea and settle down for an enjoyable read.

I connected with history teacher Laura, who has come home to straighten out the affairs of her deceased mother. Thinking she's now all alone--without any family, Laura hears rumors that her volatile father may not have drowned years ago, but still wanders around the Kudzu-covered countryside. She's torn with indecision. Which would be better: To have her father return, but as a dramatically changed man? Or to settle once and for all the question of his death?

Set in a small southern town that's filled with gossipers, long-kept family secrets, and things that go bump in the night, mysteries are revealed bit by bit until the surprise ending.

Childhood love matures into everlasting love at just the right pace. Romance is not rushed but treated tenderly and with respect.

Readers Guide is included, making this a good pick for a book club.

Thank you to Margaret Clay at WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my copy.

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