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July 7, 2020

The Good Luck Stone by Heather Bell Adams ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts


Wearing the brooch was a risk, but surely no one would recognize it. Audrey Thorpe lingered by the wall in the lobby of Savannah's Jepson Center for the Arts. Waiters circulated with trays of champagne and bite-sized crab cakes while the museum's donors mingled and congratulated themselves on another fine exhibition. (p. 3)
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The Good Luck Stone by Heather Bell Adams
July 2020; Haywire Books; 978-1950182046
ebooks, print (296 pages); southern fiction
The Good Luck Stones 
is Heather Bell Adams's sophomore novel. I loved her first book, Maranatha Road (read my review), so I had high hopes for her new book. I was thrilled to read it and find out that it was another fantastic novel by this wonderful new North Carolina author.

The Good Luck Stone is told in two time periods by Audrey Thorpe. In the present day, Audrey is 90 years old and living on her own in a grand old house in Savannah Georgia. Her heath and memory are beginning to fade so her granddaughter hires a caregiver to stay with her. Laurel and Audrey get along very well and  Laurel becomes more like a friend than a caregiver.

Seventy years earlier, Audrey was a nurse in the Philippines as the Japanese Army started taking over the Pacific Islands. She made two good friends on her first day there as a nurse and they helped each other through the long days of treating soldiers and their fear about the war. The friendship between Kat, Penny, and Audrey was important that they all bought jade brooches that they wore when they were out of uniform. They choose jade because 'it promotes healing and surrounds the wearer with a shield of protection."

Even though her time in the Philippines was such an important part of her life, she's never shared it with anyone in her family. She had been keeping a secret from her time as a nurse that she had never shared in her 70 years. Her secret still bothered her  and she thought of it often until one morning she disappeared from her home without telling anyone to see someone that she needed forgiveness from. She found out late in her life that you can only outrun your secrets for so long.

I loved the character of Audrey - both as a young nurse being brave and caring during a terrible time and as an older woman who needs help to accomplish every day duties but who is too proud to admit that she needs help.  Laurel is also an important person in the novel who offers Audrey friendship and is a very caring person.

This is one of those few books that I wanted to get to the end to find out the secret that Audrey had kept for 70 years but I also wanted to read slowly to enjoy the writing and the character development.   This is a book about war and survival, family and love, and most importantly about the importance of friendship  This is another fantastic book from Heather Bell Adams and I can't wait to read her future books.

Buy The Good Luck Stone at Amazon

Two more teasers:

Audrey Present Day:  "Surely Audrey had a few good years left.  Preparing for the day took longer than it used to.  Getting in and out of the bath was a laborious process and the shaking in her hands made putting on makeup painstaking slow.  She didn't cook much anymore, the LeCreuset pots and pans too heavy for her to handle, food labels impossible to decipher. (loc 128)

Audrey in the 1940s  "From the ship, the islands of the Philippines looked like stepping stones of impenetrable jungle and jagged cliffs.  Barely past her twenty-first birthday and fresh out of nursing school, Audrey stared out at the Pacific.  With no way to know what was in store, she could only worry that she'd made a mistake, the biggest mistake of her life. (loc 142)


Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling. She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter.


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5 comments:

  1. I love dual time line stories. Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “FRIENDS & STRANGERS”

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  2. Sounds interesting, I like dual story lines.

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  3. HI Susan! Sounds like you really enjoyed this, and I am sure I would too - from your review and these snippets.

    Here's my Tuesday post!

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  4. This is a new-to-me author. I'll be taking a closer look at this and her debut as well.

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  5. This sounds good. I've never read this author before.

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