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Reviewed by Lorraine Cobcroft for Readers' Favorite
Anne Moose opens House of Fragile Dreams with a brief chapter in which the protagonist, Rachel, is sitting in a police interrogation room, desperate to talk to someone to ‘explain her actions’. We get well into the story before we learn why she was there, but Moose had me hooked right from the opening sentence. I couldn’t put the book down. The story is told in the first person, with Rachel as the narrator. She quickly wins the reader’s empathy as we learn that she is struggling to recover from a divorce and a tragic loss. Her chance meeting with an African-American veteran, Nate, who is raising an adorable five-year-old son, stirs Rachel’s hope for a new beginning.
Rachel inherited the beautiful ‘House of Fragile Dreams’ from her mother and an African-American step-father, William, who was her guide and mentor. Even after his death, William’s ghost is a constant companion and wise adviser. But Rachel’s much older brother, Dan, didn’t adjust well to their mother’s remarriage and grew to be a deeply troubled man. He presents serious problems for Rachel, who can’t bring herself to abandon him. His actions and Rachel’s own ill-advised choices in response put her new relationship with Nate at grave risk. But Rachel eventually learns that it was much more than her relationship she put at risk for Dan.
In House of Fragile Dreams, Anne Moose explores issues of love, grief, racial hate, social division, and violent white supremacy. It’s a love story, but one filled with suspense. It is also a deeply thought-provoking work that tackles some difficult issues in a sensitive and compassionate way. I loved this story. I have no hesitation in rating it five stars and giving it the highest recommendation. I will look for more works by this very talented author.