“Virginia’s Shenandoah Vally, in the shadow if the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a long way from Hollywood. And that’s exactly how Cilla McGowan likes it.
Cilla, a former child star, has found a more satisfying life working with her hands to restore homes from floor to ceiling and has come here to her grandmother’s farmhouse, tools at her side, to rescue it from ruin. Sadly, no one had been able to save her grandmother, the legendary Janet Hardy. An actress with a golden voice and a tumultuous life, Janet entertained glamorous guests and engaged in decadent affairs, but died of an overdose in this very house more than thirty years ago. To this day, Janet haunts Cilla’s dreams. And during her waking hours, Cilla is haunted by her melodramatic, five times-married mother, who carried on in the public spotlight and never gave her a chance at a normal childhood. By coming to the East Coast, rolling up her sleeves, and rehabbing this wreck of a house, Cilla intends to take a shot at finding some kind of normalcy for herself.
Cilla has her work cut out for her, the house, once a place a comfort and simple rural beauty, is long neglected, crumbling, the grounds choked by weeds. Plunging into the project with gusto, she’s almost too busy and exhausted to notice her neighbor, graphic novelist Ford Sawyer, but his lanky form, green eyes, and easy, unflappable humor (not to mention his delightfully ugly dog, Spock) are hard to ignore. Determined not to carry on the family tradition of ill-fated romances, Cilla steels herself against Ford’s quirky charm, but she can’t help indulging in a little fantasy.
But love and a peaceful life may not be in the cards for Cilla. In the house’s cluttered attic, she has found a cache of unsigned letters, tied with a faded red ribbon, suggesting that Janet Hardy was pregnant when she died, and that the father of her child was a local married man. Cilla can’t help but wonder what really happened all those years ago. The mystery only deepens with a series of cruel and intimidating acts and a frightening violent assault. And if Cilla and Ford are unable to sort out who is targeting her and why, she may, like her world-famous grandmother, be cut down in the prime in her life.”
As I started to read Tribute I was immediately pulled into Cilla’s life and her struggle for creating her life over, to start a new and actually have her own life. Cilla is a fantastic character. She is strong, determined, struggles in aspects of her life, which endures her character to the reader.
Ford is as well a very well-developed character. He holds the humor of the book with his witty and words that he says. I love how he is a very determined man to make Cilla his own. She resists and resists but finally she gives into happiness which is in the form of Ford.
The shocking thing about the book which was nice to read was the idea that Cilla dreamt of her grandmother. You learned a lot about the grandmother through the dreams but was it Cilla’s imagination or really her grandmother. Another great part of the book is who really is behind the mischief that is plaguing Cilla and the mystery of how her grandmother really met her end. The culprit(s) will reveal themselves and new ones will come to harm Cilla.
I wasn’t sure who the real person was until the very end of the book.