Bronwyn Lee has been back in her hometown in Australia since receiving word that her sister, Libby, died. Libby left sole custody of her six-year-old daughter, Annie, to Bron and now she has the uncomfortable task of figuring out how she’s going to raise her. This includes deciding whether to move back home or move Annie with her to Boston.
Although Bron and her family are still grieving, life is mostly moving on when Libby’s best friend, Ally, arrives to stay with them. Ally never got a chance to say goodbye to Libby and she takes solace in being welcomed by the family. Well, everyone in the family except Bron. Bron never liked Ally and the years since she’d seen her last hasn’t changed anything.
The more time Bron spends with Ally, the more she realizes she may have been wrong about Ally all along—especially seeing how much Ally and Annie adore each other. Bron’s future is in Boston, but could there be more reasons for her to stay in Australia than just keeping Annie with what’s familiar?
The whole book is told from Bron’s perspective in the third person, so we don’t get a lot of insight into who Ally is until she and Bron get to know each other. I didn’t feel like we lacked anything by the end of the book, however, because she’s a warm, funny, lovely person who isn’t particularly guarded even if she has plenty of reasons to be.
Bron is warm with her niece, brother, and stepmother, but is incredibly prickly with Ally to the point of being outright rude at first. So while I wouldn’t say she’s necessarily an ice queen à la Catherine Ayers or Harry Knight, pushing away everyone around her, she definitely needs to do some melting before she can let Ally in. In doing so, she also goes through the necessary growth that lets her figure out her priorities in a way that may not have been possible otherwise.
The Writing Style
Echo Point is very easy to read. The writing is smooth, the characters are compelling, and the pacing works very well. It also feels very Australian, rather than being a story that feels like it could be set anywhere.
Everything in the story worked for me!
The cover doesn’t do the book justice at all.
Echo Point is a lovely book and I’m really glad I read it. Despite the grief that some of the characters grapple with, it’s actually quite a gentle book. If you’re looking for a new comfort read, I totally recommend it.
Excerpt from Echo Point by Virginia Hale
Bron couldn’t be bothered starting another argument, so she started the uphill walk back to the house, Ally falling in step beside her. Considering Ally thought she’d been down by the gate waiting for her, Bron said, “There’s no reception up at the house. I had to check my messages on Daniel’s phone since mine is broken.”
“Yeah, Daniel told me. Did you need to call the boyfriend?”
She slowed. “Excuse me?” she asked in utter confusion, her gaze searching Ally’s face for any hint of jest.
Ally looked down at her, her face blank. “What?”
Bron shook her head. How on earth had their signals crossed so spectacularly? Sudden, deep upset erupted within her. Had the entire family managed to conveniently omit the minor detail that she’d been dating women since…forever? “I…I don’t have a boyfriend.”
A slow smirk broke out on Ally’s face. “I’m fucking with you, Bron. Libby told me you’re a dyke ages ago, like back in the Stone Age.”
Bron didn’t know which maddened her more—Ally’s knack for catching her off guard, or Ally rekindling the horrible sadness invoked by Bron’s family’s resistance to her sexual identity. She pursed her lips and picked up the pace.
“I’ve known a lot longer than Lib, though,” Ally continued. “I watched you check out Desert Hearts from the video store every second weekend.”
“Twice. I only rented it twice.”
Ally chuckled. “Well, I think the Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman poster on your bedroom wall gave you away too. I figured it was either narcissism or lesbianism that made you pin it up.”
“I’ve always thought you look just like her. Blue eyes, blond hair. Pint-sized, but just like her.”
Get This Book On Amazon
Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 9781594935770
Publisher: Bella Books
Virginia Hale Online
Note: I received a free review copy of Echo Point by Virginia Hale. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.
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