Jamie Elders knows a few things to be true:
- She knows her father is dead.
- She knows her mother spent 8 years in prison for stealing drugs.
- She knows the uncle, Loyal, who got custody of her and her brother, Toby, is a con man.
- She knows she can’t leave town until Toby is grown and can take care of himself.
- She knows there is an Elders family curse. (It has haunted her all of her life.)
Her mother, Phoebe did teach Jamie about poker. About playing, dealing, winning. And Jamie was a model student. She is good. Really good. As soon as she gets Toby out of high school and on his own she is going to leave Blind River, New York for the poker circuit and never come back.
Toby, though, is proving to be much less likely to stand on his own. His drinking and his temper are getting out of control and Jamie is doing her best to reel him in. But years of missing his mother and abuse by Loyal is taking a serious toll on him and he is quickly unraveling.
Ironically named, Loyal is drunk more often than he is sober and is no help at all with Toby. Loyal’s only real work is running illegal gambling rings around town with his partner-in-crime, Circuit Court Judge JW Keating. Keating never saw a bribe he didn’t take.
“Debts and favors were exactly how Blind River kept its hold on people.”The Girl From Blind River, p. 5
So when Jamie becomes indebted to Loyal, he holds her to it by forcing her to help cover up a murder to protect none other than Judge Keating. As she well knows, Keating has all the power and all of the crooked police officers in his control so Jamie is reluctantly going to go along. That is until they find a way to blame Toby and Jamie will have to either accept it or face the consequences of her actions.
Powerful. That is what I’d say about this story. A young woman, 19 years old, fighting to raise her brother since she was 10, wanting desperately to leave Blind River and make something of her life, but believing there is no way to break the curse that plagues her family.
There are so many things that I love about this book. The storyline is unlike anything I have read. Also, Jamie is such a well-written character and one that I quickly wanted to protect and to see her get what she wanted. The writing is absolutely lyrical. There were so many sentences that just flowed beautifully!
“Crowley’s pub was just as much a part of the bedrock of Blind River as the Methodist Church, but far more profitable and always more crowded.The Girl From Blind River, p. 222
With beautiful writing and true-to-life dialogue, as well as a good smattering of subtle foreshadowing, Massey’s style is certain to have me waiting anxiously for her next novel and all of the ones that come after that one. That said, I very highly recommend this novel!
- The Girl From Blind River by Gale Massey
- Hardback: 329 pages; Crooked Lane Books; First Edition edition (July 10, 2018)
- Paperback: pages; Crooked Lane Books; Reprint edition
- Kindle: 4510 KB; 329 pages; Crooked Lane Books (July 10, 2018)
- Audiobook: 7 hours 55 minutes; Brittany Pressley (Narrator), Inc. Blackstone Audio (Publisher)