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February 25, 2024

A Storm of Infinite Beauty by Julianne MacLean ~ A Review

by Susan Roberts

An atmospheric tale of how one woman’s search for the truth uncovers long-hidden secrets and rocks the very foundation of her world.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of women's fiction novel A Storm of Infinite Beauty by Julianne MacLean

This novel, written in two time periods, gives a beautiful picture of Alaska.  The author describes the state so well that at times you feel like you're there.   Along with the setting of the novel, the use of dual time lines was very well done as the people in the current timeline try to solve a mystery from years before that could change their lives.  

1964 in Valdez, Alaska.  Valerie was desperate to get a letter to her boyfriend in Nova Scotia to let him know that her father had sent her to Alaska to have a baby that he didn't know about.   Her plans are changed when a huge earthquake hits the area and causes a tsunami that rips the baby out of her arms.  After that tragedy, she moved to Hollywood and became Scarlett Fontaine, a Hollywood legend who died tragically at 36 years old.

2017 in Nova Scotia.  Gwen operates a museum about her distant relative Scarlett and is the heir to her estate.  When a biographer shows up with some far-fetched claims about Scarlett, Gwen is interested enough to travel to Alaska with him to try to find out more about Scarlett's time in the state that no one even knew about.  As Gwen spends time with Peter trying to uncover the secrets of Scarlett's lost year, she finds herself healing from the end of her tumultuous marriage and heading towards happiness.

The author handles the two timelines very well and both were equally interesting.  Plus the way that the timelines come together at the end as the mystery of Scarlett's last year is finally brought to light provided a big surprise that I didn't see coming.

This book is about family - both good and bad.   It's about the people who become important in your life and are always there to help.  It's also a look at love and loss and how difficult it is to survive the loss of a child.  There is romance and happiness along with dealing with loss.  There is a mystery in Scarlett's life that Gwen and Peter work to solve that brings them closer together.  

Thanks to the author for a copy of this book that I won in a Facebook contest. She's a new author for me and due to my enjoyment of this book, I plan to read some of her earlier books.

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.   

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