Picking up from last week’s snippet of Hedge House.
The afternoon passed in a blur of names and faces that Cara was certain she would never remember, and by the time it was time for supper the kitchen counters were laden with containers of cookies and cakes and the refrigerator was stuffed full of casseroles.
“That should be the last of ‘em,” Jacob said as yet another person that Cara wouldn’t remember drove away. “The only one missing is Betty Thompson and she’s in California visiting her grand kids.”
Car’s gaze traveled over the counters. “I don’t think there’s room for anything else anyhow.” She looked at Jacob. “Do they really think I’m going to eat all this? Or should I save it for a wake? What is the tradition here?”
“You’re expected to tell them how wonderful it was next time you see them, and thank them again… profusely. You get bonus points for asking for the recipe.”
“I’m never even going to remember who was who, let alone what they brought.”
Jacob chuckled. “You’ll meet them all again at the viewing.” He studied her for a moment. “So, what do you think of your new friends?”
“I felt like I was on display. Like…” She paused, searching for the right words. “Like they weren’t here because they cared about her, but because they wanted to see what sort of person her granddaughter was. I have the feeling they’ve all gotten together for coffee somewhere and are discussing everything from my makeup to my shoes and analyzing every word I said and every movement and expression I made.”
“You’re probably not far off. But it’s more likely that there are several small groups of them and what is said in one will get repeated to members of the others.”
She shook her head. “I’m not sure if I’m amused or offended.”
“Go with amused. You’ll have a happier life.”
She smiled. “You are helping eat this,” she informed him.
“You don’t have to eat it all at once. Some of it can be frozen. Just be sure to take a bite or two first so you can rave about it.”
“You’re still helping me eat it.”
He laughed and took a thumbprint cookie from a plate. “There. I’m helping.”
When Cara Hawthorne returns to the childhood home she had been torn away from twenty years earlier, she thinks it will be to do nothing more than settle her grandmother’s estate and return to her job as a junior lawyer at a prestigious law firm in Tulsa.
But every nook and cranny of the house and gardens unearths long-buried memories, and when the town’s mayor sets his sights on her and the property she finds herself caught up in a centuries old battle with powers she has only barely begun to understand