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Reviewed by Stefan Vucak for Readers' Favorite
Twenty-five-year-old Margaret Evans did not want pity from anyone, but for the last six years, everyone kept saying, ‘Poor Meg’. All because of her illegitimate little brat, Carin. Margaret considered herself special and wanted people to see it. She hated her parents, hated her stuck-up grandfather, did not want Carin, and hated being poor. At a local Baptist church ladies’ group, she told them she was raped, and that’s how she became pregnant. Instead of people whispering behind her back for being a slut, she basked in their sympathy. Not enough for her, she burned down the house her grandfather allowed her to live in and moved in with a friend, still figuring angles on how to advance herself and become special. Well, things did not turn out exactly as she expected.
With Underneath the Honeysuckle Vine, Cynthia Ulmer boldly thrusts readers into Margaret’s convoluted mind and mixed-up life. A short book, this is a little gem of a read, superbly written with engaging dialogue and narrative. Like her or dislike her, Margaret’s character takes charge, and readers cannot help turning pages to see what the fates have in store for her, or what little scheme she has in mind to achieve her dream of becoming special. Everything is somebody else’s fault, and she is a victim of circumstances. Underneath the Honeysuckle Vine is a simple story, but memorable, and readers will give a little sigh when they reach the end, wishing for more. Cynthia Ulmer is a gifted writer who managed to open a window into Margaret’s life that undoubtedly has a basis in someone’s reality.