Hardcover, 296 pages
Little Moose Press
This is Ms Gaylordâ€™s third novel, and as a writer her style has matured greatly. This maturity shows in her use of plot and character development in Julia Fairchild. This is a very well crafted piece of work.
Set in New Mexico we are thrust into a world that I found reminiscent of the 1980â€™s TV series Dallas.
Instead of revolving around the Oil industry, the backdrop for Julia Fairchild is Pecan Nuts and Chile Pepper farming in Las Cruces. This seemingly sedate and serene sounding lifestyle is portrayed as anything but sedate and serene by Louise Gaylord!
From the opening page where our heroine is struck by lightning, an occurrence that starts a downward spiral of events, the reader is swept up in a web of intrigue, lust, and bitter family feuds. The characters are sketchy in the beginning but take on richness as the book continues, each interaction reveals a new facet of the protagonists.
Ms. Gaylord uses her main character (after who the book is titled) in an interesting and from a book reviewerâ€™s viewpoint, novel way. Julia is not so much heroine but more the conduit and catalyst through which the story can unfold.
The two families involved are the Brantleyâ€™s and the Pierceâ€™s. Early on we discover that there is a long standing animosity between these two high profile families. Page by page we learn little dark secrets about all of the main players. Little jigsaw puzzle sized clues which the author uses to tantalize the reader.
All of the leading characters have skeletons in the closet, some very old, from 30 years ago, some very new, and all of them are disturbing.
Not wishing to reveal too much and spoil the plot I will instead tease you with a couple of the dark secrets contained within the pages, there are untimely deaths, there is adultery, there is even incest, although at the time the participants were not aware of their shared parent.
Slowly and surely the jigsaw puzzle starts to come together. The interplay between the two families, and the outsiders like Julia starts to take on a shape. There are no winners; there are only losers in this rather jaded view of high society in New Mexico.Â Â
To say that this is a page turner of a book does not do it justice, you have to be careful that you do not get paper cuts from turning those pages too fast! If you are looking for a light and entertaining read, one that has a little bit of sex, a little bit of violence, a hint or two of true love, and a huge amount of bitterness between characters, I recommend that you go down to your local bookstore and pick up a copy of Julia Fairchild.