Friday, April 20, 2018

Book Review and Giveaway - The House on Harbor Hill by Shelly Stratton

Book Synopsis
Set in the past and present, The House on Harbor Hill is a murder mystery that tackles the issues of racial prejudice and spousal abuse in the lives of two very different women…

She’s generous, kind, and compassionate–yet Delilah Grey will forever be an outcast in the small seaside town of Camden Beach, Maryland. She takes in women shattered by abuse, poverty, illness, or events beyond their control. But no matter how far she’s come or how many she’s helped find their way back, there is no safe place for Delilah. Acquitted of her rich husband’s mysterious death decades ago, she lives in her beautiful mansion consumed by secrets–and mistakes she feels she can never atone for. . . . Until she takes in desperate mother Tracey Walters and her two young children.

Tracey won’t say where she’s from or what sent her into hiding. But her determination and refusal to give up reminds Delilah of the spirited, hopeful girl she once was–and the dreams she still cherishes. As Tracey takes tentative steps to rebuild her life, her unexpected attraction to Delilah’s handsome, troubled caretaker inadvertently brings Delilah face to face with the past. And when Tracey’s worst fears come brutally calling, both women must find even more strength to confront truths they can no longer ignore–and at last learn how to truly be free . . .

Resonant, moving, and unforgettable, The House on Harbor Hill paints an unforgettable portrait of two women struggling to forgive themselves, take a chance on change, and challenge each other to finally live.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


My Review
The House on Harbor Hill tells two stories.  Delilah Gray lives in a beautiful and mysterious beach house in Camden Beach, Maryland.  Her personal background leads her to help young women who are escaping abusive marriages.  That is how she meets Tracey Walters.  Tracey is a young mother with a little boy and a baby girl.  She comes to Harbor Hill to stay with Delilah.  While she is there, rebuilding her life, she also meets Harbor Hill's handsome caretaker, who is wrestling with memories of his own past.

This is such a unique book!   It is a dual storyline, told in the present and also in 1968, so there is an element of historical fiction.  It is women's fiction, but it also is a mystery, as the pasts of Delilah and revealed bit by bit.  There is a mystery in Delilah's past that she has struggled with her whole adult life, and she is able to solve that mystery at last.

The 1968 period details were particularly well done and the story of racial prejudice was powerful and moving.  Shelly Stratton does a wonderful job at evoking a time and place.  I could visualize Harbor Hill and Camden Beach from her descriptions in this book.

The characters, though, are the real stars.  Delilah is one of my favorite characters that I have met through reading this year.  She is warm and vulnerable, but also so strong and compassionate.  What she does for Tracey, and what she has done for many other women in trouble, is a real gift.

I loved the storytelling and the way the narrative revealed itself in bits here and there as the reader learns about the past, and especially Delilah's story and the mystery of what happened the fateful night that changed her life.

I recommend The House on Harbor Hill for fans of women's fiction, mysteries, and historical fiction.  It is a beautifully told and engrossing read.



Author Bio
Shelly Stratton is an award-winning journalist who earned her degree at the University of Maryland, College Park. Another Woman’s Man, her novel written under the pseudonym Shelly Ellis, was nominated for a 2014 NAACP Image Award. A film buff and amateur painter, she lives with her husband not far from Washington, D.C. Visit her online at www.shellyellisbooks.com.
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Connect with Shelly

Website | Facebook | Twitter



Giveaway
One lucky reader will win a copy of The House On Harbor Hill.  Giveaway is for the U.S. only and ends at midnight on April 27.  Winner will be contacted by email and will need to respond within 48 hours or another name will be drawn.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I received a copy of this book from TLC Book Tours.

18 comments:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I'm a history buff so I love when an author incorporates history into a novel - that's definitely my kind of read!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.

Danalee said...

This looks like a gripping read. Thanks for the chance.

Debbie E said...

This looks like a book I would love. I really enjoy books with a historical slant.

Deborah Wellenstein said...

The book sounds great, and I would love to read it.

wen budro said...

This book definitely sounds like a wonderful read. The plot is intriguing.

Casey Garvey said...

I love how unique the cover is! The expert really draws you in as well!

Martha said...

This book sounds like a good read. I, too love the cover.

Nancy said...

I enjoy discovering great authors who are new to me.

Nancy
allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

desitheblonde said...

i love to read and blog on it and then i would love to have one to read

D Oehlberg said...

This sounds like a book that I would enjoy! A good story with history intertwined!

Gabrielly said...

This sounds like a book that I would enjoy.

Tracy Shafer said...

this sounds so good! I would love to read this!

Buddy Garrett said...

It sounds very interesting. I love human interest stories, always hoping for a happy ending. It is great to read a novel about a period of time I lived through.

dlhaley said...

This book sounds like a good read. Thanks for the chance to win it!

skkorman said...

I would love to read this book—thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

LeAnn Harbert said...

This sounds like a really interesting book.

lkw1974 said...

Sounds good

Richard Brandt said...

Sounds intense! I like it.