The Splendor Falls-Rosemary Clement Moore
Publication Date: 9/09
Can love last beyond the grave?
Sylvie Davis is a ballerina who can’t dance. A broken leg ended her career, but Sylvie’s pain runs deeper. What broke her heart was her father’s death, and what’s breaking her spirit is her mother’s remarriage—a union that’s only driven an even deeper wedge into their already tenuous relationship.
Uprooting her from her Manhattan apartment and shipping her to Alabama is her mother’s solution for Sylvie’s unhappiness. Her father’s cousin is restoring a family home in a town rich with her family’s history. And that’s where things start to get shady. As it turns out, her family has a lot more history than Sylvie ever knew. More unnerving, though, are the two guys that she can’t stop thinking about. Shawn Maddox, the resident golden boy, seems to be perfect in every way. But Rhys—a handsome, mysterious foreign guest of her cousin’s—has a hold on her that she doesn’t quite understand.
Then she starts seeing things. Sylvie’s lost nearly everything—is she starting to lose her mind as well?
I have to admit that I am a sucker for stories set in the south, and that's why I picked up The Splendor Falls. It sucked me in from the start, even though the start of the book is a wee bit slow (it takes a couple chapters just for Sylvie to get from the airport to her family's ancestral home) but there is enough humor and intrigue to keep the reader entertained.
Sylvie is a likable narrator, a former ballerina dealing with the fact that her career is over, that her mother has married her step-shrink who thinks she's going 'round the bend, and has been pawned off to relations in Alabama for the summer. Of course as soon as she lands in the south, she meets Rhys, a delightfully persnickety Welshman, who just happens to be staying at her family's home.
Sylvie is headstrong, and I love that in a protagonist. She doesn't take guff from anyone, when the daughter of her cousin's business partner greets her with instant disdain, instead of just letting her heap abuse on her, she says something great (paraphrasing here) "I have to take my dog for a walk. I can only deal with one bitch a time." Awesome.
Speaking of the dog, I could have had less of her in the book. It seems like Sylvie doesn't go anywhere without her dog, and it is a wee bit annoying. There is real character depth in all of the characters, even with the bitchy Addie-her motivations are revealed in the end. There are also some spooky bits too, everything you'd hope for in a Southern ghost tale! The ending was a wee bit rushed for my tastes, but it was a satisfying one.
While The Splendor Falls is a book on the larger side (500+ pages) it is a very satisfying, easy read.