Written on My Heart: A Novel. Morgan Callan Rogers. Penguin Group (USA). February 2016. 384 pp. ISBN#: 9780147517043.
Florine Gilham and Bud Warner have married young and immediately are expecting a baby. They are deeply in love and that love will be sorely tested through this story. Two parts of this novel stand out vividly – the depth and richness of this couple’s love and Florine’s intense love for The Point, part of the Maine shoreline, in all of its beautiful, powerful and raging moods as the seasons regularly change. One fact in Florine’s past, however, destroys any peace she finds.
Years ago Florine’s mother, Carlie, simply disappeared one day. While Bud believes Florine should put away her worrying and endless preoccupation with the mystery of her mother’s leaving, the reader understands Florine’s obsession. How could it be otherwise, to lose one’s mother so unexpectedly for no apparent reason?
Add to the mystery that Florine begins to receive anonymous letters with one or two sentences. At first Florine begins they are from Carlie but then more messages appear that are threatening. At Bud’s insistence, Florine turns them over to the town sheriff.
This young couple struggles with having two very young children and not enough time to love and dream of a better future. At the same time, Bud begins to question what he’s doing as a car mechanic, seeing no viable future of doing better. He begins to drink too much and he’s not a nice guy when sloshed.
Meanwhile there are some odd neighbors who begin to factor into the mystery of Carlie’s absence and the evolution into the truth is intense and eventually quite shocking in its unexpected truth.
Morgan Callan Rogers has written a fine romantic, mystery novel that is earthy in its humor and intensity, while maintaining the puzzling and frightening ambience of emerging mental illness and betrayal. Very nicely crafted, Ms. Rogers!