The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster

by Scott Willbanks
Published by Blackstone
Contemporary Fiction

Narrator Tavia Gilbert sets a quick pace in this quirky story of a mystery that spans two time periods. When Annie buys an old book in San Francisco and leaves it in her backyard in 1995, she apparently opens a gateway to the 1890s and to Elsbeth, a retired teacher, whose Kansas cabin is now in Annie’s garden. Gilbert captures the persona of quirky Annie, who dresses in Victorian period clothing and whose patterns of speech are reminiscent of Jane Austen. As Annie engages in a correspondence with Elspeth through a brass letter box that appears on her back fence, they discover a murder that threatens them both. Gilbert adeptly handles the stammering of Annie’s friend, Christian, and the distinctive speech of various other colorful characters. AudioFile Magazine