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Released: April 2015
ISBN: 9781311565303
ASIN: B00UEVPWIK
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LOOKING FOR CHARLOTTE
Author: Jennifer Young
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Price: $4.99

Divorced and lonely, Flora Wilson is distraught when she hears news of the death of little Charlotte Anderson.

Charlotte’s father killed her and then himself, and although he left a letter with clues to the whereabouts of her grave, his two-year-old daughter still hasn’t been found.

Flora embarks on a quest to find Charlotte’s body to give the child’s mother closure, believing that by doing so she can somehow atone for her own failings as a mother.

As she hunts in winter through the remote moors of the Scottish Highlands, her obsession comes to threaten everything that’s important to her — her job, her friendship with her colleague Philip Metcalfe and her relationships with her three grown up children.

Excerpt
Flora hadn’t thought. If she didn’t come up with something she’d have to go shopping and pass judgement on Grace in a series of beige and mustard-coloured suits. She grabbed inspiration from the headline in The Scotsman. ‘I thought I’d pop into the library.’

‘I’ll chum you.’

They parted just beyond the bridge across the Ness, Grace heading up the pedestrian streets and Flora cutting across to the library, fronted by the long line of cars full of Saturday shoppers manoeuvering towards the car parks. She wasn’t a regular library user, but once the idea had taken her she remembered that there was something she wanted to check.

In the reference section, she stood for a moment before selecting the Ordnance Survey map that covered the area south of Ullapool. She knew it quite well. When the children were young they’d gone walking there regularly, able to reach the open spaces without pushing the slowest (usually Amelia, though Beth was the youngest) too hard. They’d graduated to more difficult walks, then stopped walking altogether. Eventually she had developed a fondness for the slightly less bleak terrain to the south of Inverness, where she went occasionally with Philip and his brother, or with a colleague from work. She hadn’t been out all year, not since before Christmas, in fact, and even then they’d been rained off not very far in and driven back to the comfort of a tea shop in Grantown-on-Spey.

A nostalgic yearning for a good long walk swept over her as she unfolded the map and smoothed it out across one of the desks. She and Danny used to look at maps together plotting their routes. His stubby forefinger, with its bitten nails, had traced the most challenging route to start, sliding along the steep and craggy ridges until he remembered the children and reluctantly redrew, shorter, safer.

She thought she knew the place where Alastair Anderson had left his car, and found it easily enough. Under her fingers the map was a flat web of never-parallel lines, of ugly pock-marking that told of steep, loose rocks and inhospitable terrain, just the type of place they used to walk. Somewhere up here, Charlotte Anderson was buried. Carried there, already dead? Or walked there and then killed? Surely neither was realistic; surely they would have found her, with their dogs and their mountain rescue helicopters scouring the ground for new scars, and all the rest of the equipment they had at their disposal.

Looking at the map had been a mistake. It was obvious now. Besides, she couldn’t see it any more; all she could see was the image of Suzanne Beauchamp, that beautiful face with the cold façade, like a wax death mask from Madame Tussauds. More poignant, of course, since it must hide a struggle, a struggle to conceal or to suppress a deadly mixture of grief and guilt.

‘Go away!’ she said softly to this mirage of a grieving woman, a little afraid of its power. ‘Go away!’ And then, in the only defence left to her, she began to fold the map away.

What the reviewers are saying
I loved this novel and was sorry to say goodbye to the characters. The characters were well-formed and believable, and the writing was wonderful, keeping me interested all the way though. There was one part I guessed straight away, but apart from that I had no idea where the plot would lead. Highly recommended. ~ Miriam Drori, Smashwords

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Taking Care of Crime on Many Levels!
. . . delightful reading. There is just enough intrigue, adventure, romance, humor and gritty real living to make for a fascinating and enjoyable read! Very nicely crafted, Jennifer Young and recommended reading! ~ Viviane Crystal, Amazon

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A complex, intriguing page-turner
I hadn't read anything by Jennifer Young previous to this, but it's made me want to check out her other books. Looking for Charlotte is a mystery/romance novel with lots of very deep and emotional themes. This isn't a light hearted read, but a complex, intriguing page-turner. It's well written and structured in a way that really makes it hard to put the book down! So if you're looking for a novel to get your teeth into which tugs at your heartstrings, but is deeply rooted in a real life, then I'd definitely recommend this. ~ Lucy Felthouse, author of One Night in Paris, Amazon

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Beautiful story with Depth, Compassion, Romance and Mystery
This story ... it really grips your heart, and the Character's are so well written that any mother can relate to them. I loved how the Author kept the Mystery all the way to the end to keep the reader intrigued and the fact that the 2 Main Character's have an impact on each other's lives without them ever meeting each other. This story touches the whole spectrum of emotions available. It takes the Reader from Sad to Mad to Crying to Happy and Back again. Both Main Character's rely allot on themselves to learn to cope and move on. This is a Happy Ending Book and I am Glad the Book ended the way it ended. I would gladly read more books by this author and recommend this book to anyone. ~ Charelene, Amazon

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A satisfying page turner
This is a romance, certainly – two romances, in fact. A romance with a mystery niggling away in the background, the answer to which is not revealed until the end . . . it is a more than satisfying journey, the desire to turn the page and learn more about each of the principal protagonists ever present. The peripheral characters, too, are well drawn; there are no stereotypes here. ~ Mr F Parker, Amazon

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A well-crafted page-turner!
"Looking for Charlotte" is well-written and thought-provoking, with some fantastically descriptive turns of phrase, evoking the very atmospheric solitary spleandour of the Scottish Highlands and the contrastingly busy inner-city locations. The characters are beautifully drawn (human and animal - who could not love Dizzy the dog, even if Beth leaving him with Flora is a typical daughter-taking-her mother-for-granted imposition?!) I warmed to Suzanne as she struggled to cope with her tragedy, and found myself desperately wanting Flora to sort out her life and get it right this time - to find out whether she did, I recommend you read the book! ~ Mrs Fiona M Mayes, Amazon

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A moving and thought-provoking romance
A romance with depth, this novel addresses coming to terms with losing children and husbands. The tragedy of the loss of Charlotte at the centre of the novel, and the pain of her mother, will move you to tears. Charlotte is killed by her father, who then kills himself. This is cleverly contrasted with the loss of children fleeing the nest, blaming their mother for their parents' divorce, the pain of which triggers the search for Charlotte. Both mothers, who never meet, are able through the love of familiy and friends, old and new, to find the strenth to come to terms with their loss and to build new lives. ~ JennyZ, Amazon

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Gripping story, believable characters
I really enjoyed this book - the characters of the grown up children were very true to life. I found the developing relationships to be well thought out and made me want to keep reading. ~ Linda E, Amazon

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Great story, - credible, haunting and well written. A real page turner. ~ Jeoffry, Amazon

 

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