Jonah Westfall - chief of police in Redford Colorado. One where the kids actually stay instead of flee because of the nearby skiing resort. Jonah has alcohol problems, though he has been clean and sober for the last six years. Stumbles but keeps clean. Jonah has something of a bad past, more than just the tough father, former chief of police, who beat him and starved him as punishment. Jonah doesn’t think he is good enough for any woman, though he seems to be in love with Tia. There is a complicated back story, what with him having once been engaged to the sister Reba, and some horrible sinful interaction between Tia and Jonah. All three grew up near each other.
Tia is a fiery woman who is still scarred by her mother’s view of Tia as a bad seed, and the bad thing she and Jonah did. Has two degrees, works as a candle maker. Rents out a room to Piper, who works next door.
Piper talked her way into a job at the local long running bakery. Her boss, Sarge, is a twisted mean old git, 74+ years old. Always angry and yelling, Sarge that is. Piper is always trying to find new concoctions to sell, but Sarge is stuck in his ways and growls at her. Piper hasn’t lived a year in the same location, what with her parents and family being grifters, conmen.
Miles - well dressed, has OCD and “issues” when touched. Keeps turning up.
Liz, new vet in the area. Her sister Lucy is in the shadows and is suspiciously not seen by anyone. Conjoined twins, separated.
Flowery language, seemed to be an interesting choice when the book began, but it continued, each action very descriptive. Began to become annoying but it has either disappeared or the story picked up, overwhelming that irritation.
Piper finds a dead animal near a path she takes from Tia’s place to the bakery. Bumping into the chief she asks him who takes care of it. He investigates and finds that the dead animal was actually two raccoons that had been sown together. The raccoons had ripped each other apart in their attempt to get away from each other. More such dead animals appear, sown together.
Unexpectedly, there was a moment when everything felt quite real. That isn’t as rare as it might be expected, but I, for some reason, did not really expect to find that in this book. The characters seem deeper, more fully formed than I have found in a while. You can kind of get used to characters, thin, barely there, seen just to push the story forward, not real feeling.
I am somewhat reluctant to recommend the book, as it is somewhat outside my normal reading zone, somewhat inside. I liked it well enough. More emotional stuff going on that I normally like to read.