House on the Forgotten Coast
by Ruth Coe Chambers

She Writes Press, 2017. ISBN 978-1-631-52300-7.
Reviewed by Lee Ambrose
Posted on 10/23/2017

Fiction: Mainstream

Ruth Coe Chambers has created characters that are complex, engaging, and unforgettable. The house on the northwest coast is perhaps the most complex and unforgettable character of them all. Chambers paints vivid pictures of the sleepy fishing village of Apalachicola as it grapples with a haunting past and an uncertain future.

Long time residents rarely speak of the house and the history it holds but they often speak among themselves about the onslaught of newcomers to a town that likes things "the way they've always been." They resent the influx of city-folk who often want to flaunt their money and city ways in an effort to bring about change. So it it not surprising that they are none too pleased when eighteen-year-old Elise Foster and her parents arrive from Atlanta.

Elise comes to Apalachicola with a sense that she is doomed to dislike their new home. To her great surprise, she becomes very interested in learning all she can about the town, its residents and its history. Unable to explain the attraction the town—and the house on the coast—hold for her—she spends most of her days researching, exploring, and observing as much as she can. All the while, she always has the feeling that there are deep, dark secrets—and that she is, in some way, connected to them.

The mystery and other-worldliness of the story line and the characters make this book difficult to put down. Chambers has created such believable stories within the story that you will, at times, question your own understanding of reality.

If you like strong characters, tension-filled story lines and a touch of mystery, then this book is for you. If you are looking for a book that is next to impossible to put down, this book is for you. If you enjoy the beauty of small towns, old homes and the stories they harbor, this book is for you.

When you finally come to the last page, I promise you that the story and its characters will remain with you.

Ruth Coe Chambers is a native of the Florida panhandle area. She attended Florida State University, the University of South Florida and California State University, Fresno. She resides in Neptune Beach, Florida. She has written one novel, a self-published sequel to that novel, two award-winning plays and is currently working on the third novel in her Bay Harbor Trilogy.

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