From RomanceJunkies.com

Contemporary
The View from Prince Street - Alexandria series, book 2
By Diana S
Feb 18, 2016 - 9:39:54 PM

This novel begins in the early days of Alexandria, Virginia, with the arrival of the supposed witch Faith Shire coming to Patience McDonald's farmhouse in 1751. A barter is arranged that allows Faith to stay at the homestead with her twin boys, against Patience's protests.

We then come to the present day house of the last living McDonald, Rae, who lost her sister in a car wreck in their teens. Rae became pregnant, then gave her son Michael up for adoption. Rae buried her sorrow under a heart of stone which governs her life. Rae's sister's best friend, Lisa Smythe, has just returned to Alexandria to take care of her Aunt Amelia.


Lisa Smythe left Alexandria after high school carrying a secret with her that haunts her every day. Lisa's Aunt Amelia broke a hip and is in an assisted living facility. She has also been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Lisa has to get Amelia's house on Prince Street ready to sell and take care of Charlie, Amelia's dog. When the Shire Salvage Company cleaned all the stuff out of the basement, a lot of family history is discovered that links the Shire, Smythe and McDonald families together. Lisa is a recovering alcoholic of twelve years and being back in town where the secret is from makes it hard for her to stay sober.

After an article is written in the local newspaper about Dr. Rae McDonald, the matchmaker with the heart of stone, things start changing for Rae. Her son Michael contacts her by email and wants to meet her face to face, which makes all of the last years without him come to light for her. A local historian Margaret McCrae and her partner Addie Shire removed the stones that were left from the old homestead on McDonald property and found a witch bottle there. They also found a witch bottle in the basement of the Smythe basement. That made three witch bottles with the one at the Shire house on the mantel. Now Margaret wants to research all the family's history whose ancestors had all lived in Alexandria in the 1800s. Rae has a bunch of boxes that have papers that date back that far.

As the story progresses we learn more about the witch Faith Shire and how she is tied to all three families. Anyone who enjoys digging into the past and finding surprising circumstances will love this book. What will happen with the witch bottles and why?

I give this novel 4 Blue Ribbons on Romance Junkies' website because the mystery that surrounds the three families and their witch bottles keeps you turning the pages and waiting for the next discovery of the family ancestors. I have always been curious about my ancestry but after reading this I don't know that I want to know the secrets. I hope there is another story in this series but fear this one is the last. I love Mary Ellen Taylor's style of writing and hope to find more of her works to read.



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