This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
In Countenance by Joy Ross Davis, 38-year-old Nealey Monaghan's life is turned upside-down when her husband Hank, their two children Nicholas and Lauren, and her sister Naomi are killed by Naomi’s estranged ex-husband. A year later, her charmingly eccentric and cookbook author Aunt Sylvie Wolcott made her co-owner of the Playhouse Inn Bed and Breakfast in the hills of Tennessee, hoping it would help Nealey start living her life again. However, Nealey is about to find out that it isn’t easy to run the business, especially with the inn’s ghostly tenants.
There is history as well as secrets to be discovered and the arrival of a guest named Max Leighton makes everything more complicated. I love a good mystery, and Davis did well to entice readers with the secrets that Sylvie is about to share with her niece. Before her death, Nealey’s mother made her daughter swear not to go back to Playhouse Inn. Intriguingly, something happened to her mother when she and Nealey spent the night at the inn.
The characterization is good; Sylvie, Benton, brothers Worthy and Noble, the ghosts, as well as Lulu the Irish wolfhound (my favorite member of the group) make an odd but intriguing ensemble. The prose is evocative; the description of the inn is wonderful and it makes me want to go there myself. Some parts of the story progress at an unhurried pace, but the twists and turns of the central characters will keep readers engrossed. It’s a great mix of good versus evil and a ghost story. On the whole, Countenance is a solid novel from Davis.