The Harrison lodge is full of hiding places where young Kate can discover all the secrets no one wants her to know. Eleven-year-old Kate keeps her knowledge to herself—one sister’s stash of marijuana, the other’s petty cash pilfering, her grandfather’s contraband candy bars. She protects her mother and Gran, too, screening out critical comments from the hotel suggestions box. But suddenly the stakes are raised; her grandfather’s best friend is murdered the day after Kate heard the two men arguing. At the same time, far from the quiet mountain resort, a homeless man sees a robbery gone wrong . . . a gang member seeks revenge for the death of his son . . . and a boy chooses the worst time to wield spray paint on a store window. In a strange and spiraling sequence of events, their disparate worlds collide at Harrison Lodge. Kate offers shelter to one of them, unaware of the terrible consequences to the family she loves. But people can hide in all kinds of ways, sometimes even in plain sight . . . and some secrets are just waiting to be exposed.
The story line of this book is set in a resort mountain town of Evergreen, Colorado. Kate Whidby is an 11 year-old protector of the family and dreams of becoming a spy. She is caught in the middle of all her family members and grandparents. Her family operates The Harrison Lodge, a historic mountain resort, and has done so for many generations. She keeps her family members’ secrets from others and the day after she’s witnessed her grandfather arguing with his best friend, the man is murdered.
At the same time in Denver, a robbery gone wrong, a consequent murder, and a gang member set on revenge for the death of his son bring several mysterious people to the Harrison Lodge. In her desire to help others, Kate chooses to harbor a fugitive while trying to save her family at the same time.
Readers are introduced to other families, from different walks of life – not only the homeless man who sees a robbery gone wrong, but we also see runaways living under a bridge and the gang member seeking revenge for the death of his son. We also meet Charlie, a boy who has lived on the streets, with no money, and an alcoholic father. After Charlie runs away and crashes a motorcycle in Evergreen, Colorado. Kate comes upon him and hides him in a secret cubby in one of the inn’s cottages.
There are a lot of different events going on at the beginning and you wonder how they are all going to come together. Once they all converge at The Harrison Lodge, it becomes much easier to follow the story and see where everything is going.
The author, Erin Healy, takes various different storylines and skillfully weaves them together over the course of a weekend until they come to a head late Sunday afternoon at the hotel. While the beginning of the book starts a little slow, I think it has to so that the foundation is set out for each key character. We get to know the characters, their lives and their dreams. Once the “action” gets going, readers move through the theft, and then the robbery involving two of the main characters. We are drawn in very easily to the individuals and readers are compassionate to their situations as the book progresses.
Ultimately, this book circles around ideas of family and forgiveness. Erin Healy shows us the dynamics of what makes a family work and what makes them fight for each other. I appreciated the depths that this story went to on a thought-provoking level. I found it to be a great read once I got over the hump of bringing the characters together. The book kept me hanging on until the very end to find the answers to some of the mysteries that came out while I was reading. I enjoyed the book and spent a lot of time flipping pages on the edge of my seat to see how things would turn out.
About this author: Erin Healy is the bestselling co-author of Burn and Kiss (with Ted Dekker) and an award-winning fiction editor for numerous bestselling authors. Erin is the owner of WordWright Editorial Services, a consulting firm specializing in fiction book development, and she is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and the Academy of Christian Editors. Her novels include such thrilling stories as Never Let You Go, The Baker’s Wife, and Stranger Things. She lives with her family in Colorado.
I received a copy of this book without cost as part of the Fiction Guild Team Challenge in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own