Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Rocking Horse by Gloria Zachgo

Can a family that has been savagely ripped apart find healing and redemption? Are the mysteries hidden in the human heart destined to reveal themselves? The Rocking Horse, Gloria Zachgo’s spellbinding suspense novel, charts the harrowing emotional journey of one family that is torn asunder, then magically drawn together again. Jenny Preston has been missing for twenty-two years after being taken at the age of two on the very night her mother Amanda, Aunt Ruth, and Uncle Don were brutally and senselessly murdered. While Jenny's grandparents learn to cope with the tragedies, the sheriff, Will Barclay, must grapple with his own guilt and secrets involving the murders. The crime, which rocked the small town of Shady Creek, Kansas, has never been solved. More than two decades later, a woman who calls herself Julie Hendricks is led by a childhood toy to Shady Creek, where she finds refuge from an abusive husband. Living on her own for the first time in her life, she starts to regain her self esteem and make new friends. Her life is then turned upside down again when she discovers she may be the child that was abducted from this very town so many years ago. With the encouragement of her new friends, and a very special someone, she returns to Chicago to learn the truth of her childhood history from her father. After a gripping turn of events, Julie returns to Shady Creek to wrestle with the emotional complexities of her new life and how her past life is starting to catch up with her. An unexpected hero comes to Julie’s aid. A story of family, home, and the grave consequences of actions, The Rocking Horse explores the aftermath of the most unimaginable heartache: the disappearance of a child. Fast-paced and full of intrigue, this riveting read mines the depths of the human heart on its road to recovery.

This was an interesting book to read. It’s what I would call a literary mystery, meaning that there’s not as much action as you’d expect from a mystery novel, instead dealing much more with character development than anything else.

The beginning is handled very nicely. There is a quick, tense pace to the writing that suits the story well. It really leads the reader onward with its smooth flow. Then the plot slows down. Not enough to make it a bother to read, but more than it should. The plot gets a bit bogged down with minutia, when it would have fared better with a bare-bones telling. However, it does pick up again a few chapters before the book ends, once again building up momentum.

The characters are what’s handled the best, I think. They are well written, and fleshed out. Jenny/Julie is the weaker of the bunch, interestingly enough since she is the protagonist, but since there are so many supporting characters that were interesting to read about, this is not such a huge drawback.

This as a fun book to read, and even though it has its faults, like pretty much every book out there, I can easily recommend it to mystery lovers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for reviewing and recommending The Rocking Horse as a fun read.
As a writer, I’m always learning by listening.