The Ghosts of Old Bay Road by Marie McFadden is my Lakeshore Mom's Bookclub pick for February. This is McFadden's first novel and the primary setting is the "tip of the mit" or the northern lower peninsula of Michigan with action also in Chicago.
The novel starts in 1978 when Shayna McDuffy and Ben Flannery first meet and Ben feels an instant attraction to Shayna. Twenty years then pass before the two meet again. Shayna is an aloof widow that widower Ben is trying to start a relationship with. Ben can not figure out the mystery of Shayna and why she hides herself from all others.
Shayna's mysterious past suddenly comes to visit their small Michigan town and Shayna has to start a life on the run. Will she be able to live down her past and allow herself to love again?
I really liked this book. It was so engaging that it kept me awake for many night time baby feedings - which takes a lot sometimes, especially when you are sick with a cold! The plot was great and the characters were relatable and interesting. I especially liked Mabel - the widow who is chasing after Ben and won't take no for an answer, she made me laugh out loud. I thought this novel was only going to be a soft love story, but it was a love story wrapped up in a murder mystery. The ending and "ghosts" brought a tear to my eye. I also liked the setting, it is always great to read about areas that you know well - to me, Michigan and Wisconsin!
I also enjoyed that the main story is about two people finding a new chance at love in their middle age. Most love stories are about people in their 20's - which is fine, but it is refreshing to read that love can happen at another stage in life.
I highly recommend this novel to anyone who likes a good romantic mystery.