Book Review: The Reckoning of Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright

the reckoning of gossamer pond jamie jo wright book review

The synopsis on the back of the book:

For over a century, the town of Gossamer Grove has thrived on its charm and midwestern values, but Annalise Forsythe knows painful secrets, including her own, hover just beneath the pleasant faade. When a man is found dead in his run-down trailer home, Annalise inherits the trailer, along with the pictures, vintage obituaries, and old revival posters covering its walls. As she sorts through the collection, she's wholly unprepared for the ramifications of the dark and deadly secrets she'll uncover. 

A century earlier, Gossamer Grove has been stirred into chaos by the arrival of controversial and charismatic twin revivalists. The chaos takes a murderous turn when Libby Sheffield, working at her father's newspaper, receives an obituary for a reputable church deacon hours before his death. As she works with the deacon's son to unravel the mystery behind the crime, it becomes undeniably clear that a reckoning has come to town--but it isn't until another obituary arrives that they realize the true depths of the danger they've waded into.

Two women, separated by a hundred years, must uncover the secrets within the borders of their own town before it's too late and they lose their future--or their very souls.

  • Genre: Christian Suspense

  • Publisher: Bethany House

  • Published: 7/2018

  • Pages: 352

  • Goodreads Rating: 4.24

Obituaries were the final diary page of life lived, whether pleasant or tragic, full or barren.
— Libby

Why I Chose This Book

It’s October and what better way to celebrate Halloween by reading a spooky read!

First Initial Thoughts

This book is set during dual time periods. Today and back in 1907.

Annalise is a 30 something year old woman who owns a coffee shop and is raising funds to build a homeless shelter. I found it kind of odd that she wanted to build a homeless shelter in a small town (The town only has a 4K population), but I guess there are homeless people everywhere! I didn’t know what to think of her at first. She mentions that she has a huge secret that no one knows about and is very shamed of - and probably traumatized over.

Then her ex-boyfriend, Garrett comes back to town after having a successful climbing career oversees. He wants to build a wilderness center in town and Annalise is not very happy about it because the land it might be built on, is where Annalise wants to put her homeless shelter.

Not only that Annalise finds out that a man named Eugene died in his trailer. But what they found inside the trailer just was kind of creepy (ok really creepy). He had dozens and dozens of pictures of Annalise pinned on the walls and strewn throughout his trailer. How is he connected to the history of Gossamer Grove? And why does he have a ton of pictures of her?

In 1907 Libby is the daughter of the town’s newspaper printer. One day an obituary shows up at her doorstep, for Harrison Greenwood. She then goes to his home and finds him dead in the barn. Authorities rule it as a suicide but Libby has an inkling something else sinister happened. I liked Libby. I found her to be independent with a determined personality. She was very determined to figuring out what happened to Harrison and prove that it wasn’t a suicide.

Speaking of the obituaries, I found them to be quite creepy. They had a very Edgar Allen Poe vibe to them.


Jaime really got the setting right. Gossamer Grove just seems like one of those small towns that seem charming on the outside but there are millions of secrets brewing underneath the facade. Jaime has a talent for making the story atmospheric - making you feel a little spooked at times.

One may carry guilt and shame with them for years, only to discover that while they attempted to dodge God’s judgement, they instead cheated themselves of His forgiveness.

Final Thoughts

Jaime really has a talent with writing so much spiritual truth in this book. I loved how subtle it was and you had to read the book in full to understand the story’s meaning. This book emphasizes that God forgives your sins. He is not a judgemental God but a forgiving and loving God. I think a lot of people struggle with this and I was happy to see this emphasized in the story.

I also really liked seeing Annalise progress in this story. She started being angry and bitter at Garrett to learning how to forgive. Not only forgive others but also herself. I always appreciate character development like this in a story!

The mystery itself kept me guessing. I won’t spoil anything but I didn’t expect any of it. This book was definitely a page turner and I was staying up late to finish it!

While I did enjoy the story and the suspense, I felt her debut was a little stronger. I wasn’t as impressed as her first. I felt her first book - the mystery was more surprising than this one. I am looking forward to seeing how her third book, The Curse of Misty Wayfair, will turn out, however.

Would I Recommend?

Even though it wasn’t as good as I hoped, I think it would be a good book to read during this month for Halloween. It does have it’s good spooky moments!

You can purchase the book —-> HERE

What is on your Halloween book reading list? Or are you more of a scary movie person?

the caffeinated bibliophile
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