‘Let Me Die In His Footsteps’ is Lori Roy’s latest novel and is set in a small rural Kentucky town where lives are shaped by suspicions and traditions. The story is set in two time periods – in 1952 when Annie Holleran comes of age at 15 ½ years and in 1936 when Juna Crowley was the same age.
There is a tradition that 15 ½ year old girls follow. If they look into a well at midnight, they will see the face of their intended. For Annie Holleran, the closest well is over a stone fence on Baine property and everyone knows that Hollerans and Baines stay away from each other – ever since the oldest Baine boy – Joseph Carl, was hanged. When Annie and her sister sneak across to the well, they find a dead body. Annie’s find results in secrets that have been kept since before her birth coming to the surface.
Annie has the ‘know-how’ – an ability to sense things that are going to happen – just like her aunt Juna Crowley. Juna was at the centre of events in 1936 when one person died, one was hanged, Annie was born, and Juna left town, never to be seen again. Now Annie fears that Juna is going to return and people are starting to fear Annie in the same way that they feared Juna.
But what people fear more than anything is that the truth about the events of 1936 will finally be told and that they will have to admit to the lies and cover-ups that have existed ever since.
This is a story where the fear can be felt while reading and the atmosphere of the lavender fields is so well depicted that you can almost smell it. It is also a story of young love for Annie and her sister Caroline in 1952 as well as for Juna and her sister Sarah in 1936. But mostly it is about lies and cover-ups, suspicion and damaged lives.
This story was beautifully written which I have come to expect from Lori Roy after her two earlier novels – ‘Bent Road’ and ‘Until She Comes Home’. I enjoyed this book immensely and eagerly await her next one.
Book Published 2015