Annie Crow Knoll-Sunrise is the story of a place where people come to restore their spirits, heal their pain and reclaim their lives.
Annie is a determined young woman who is left to run her family's property after the death of her parents. Managing fourteen summer cottages with only the help of a family friend, she struggles to survive on her own. When she meets Drew, a young college professor, Annie thinks she's finally found a love she can trust.
But years of conflict and pain destroy their bond and leave Annie alone again, unless she can find lasting peace and passion in the most unlikely arms.
In this family saga, love, loss and history twine together the people whose lives are changed by Annie's determination and the magic of her knoll nestled along the head-waters of the Chesapeake Bay.
'Annie Crow Knoll' is one of those family sagas that leaves you with a warm and fuzzy feeling in your stomach as you join the main character along her journey. We first meet Annie as a headstrong nine year-old, peddling her bicycle off the end of the dock. Immediately we know that she has no fear and a mind of her own. These qualities can get her into trouble when she is a little kid, but serve her well throughout her life. She has a tenacious desire to fight for what is hers and she wants. She also has a heart of gold that softens the edge of that stubborn streak, and makes people love her more.
Annie loses her parents way too young and is thrust into a grown-up world that she isn't quite ready to undertake. Yet, she is able to do so with grace and that ever-present determination. Her clients have watched her grow up and are rooting for her. Her best friend from childhood is dedicated to her. She also has a confident mystique that is attractive to many men through her life. These men cause a rollercoaster of feelings in her life, but she is able to take what they throw at her with maturity, and without the drama that some women would display.
Annie is known as Annie Crow, because she has a pet crow that she takes everywhere with her. The crow is a creature that represents fearlessness and determination, insight and intelligence, mischief and magic. The balance of these characteristics is a perfect description of Annie, making the crow the best spirit animal to be a part of her life. Her relationship with the crow is one that haunts her and others in her community for the entire book, and helps to make her story come full circle.
The descriptions of the knoll make your feel like you are right there experiencing her oasis with her. I found myself wanting to dive into the book, to see the magic for myself. It also made me flash back to summers as a kid, when I would get a weekend away with family.
I thought this book was well-written, though the story arc was somewhat predictable. Even though you pretty much knew where it was headed, you still wanted to read on for the minute details that make this story a unique version of a common tale. You root for her success and wish her happiness in her life. When she does find her happy ending, you want to continue the story. But that is going to have to wait for the sequel.
Gail Priest lives in New Jersey and summers in Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay with her husband and their cockatiel. In addition to writing novels, plays and screenplays, she teaches and directs in a high school performing arts program. She loves theatre, reading, birding and being out in nature
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