Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite
Where Petals Fall is a beautifully written mystery that follows Junie Olson on an emotional journey back to her home town of Gettysburg. When we first meet Junie, it seems as though her life is quintessentially perfect. She has a great husband, an adorable daughter and the achievement of a lifelong career goal, her beloved bakery. But when her little girl, Sarah, stops talking and seems to regress, it starts to affect her seemingly perfect marriage. To make matters worse, Junie goes home after the death of her father, which brings forth memories of the disappearance of her friend Ellen, which she has never gotten over. Melissa Foster has expertly penned this emotional story of the layers that make up human relationships. Rarely are relationships or people what they seem and this intricately woven tale highlights that truth.
It takes a moment to really begin to understand Junie’s motivations because her life unravels so spectacularly all at once. By the time she’d found her bearings, I was totally hooked on the story. In Where Petals Fall, the death of Junie’s father forces her to acknowledge that maybe he wasn’t the man she assumed he was, and that perhaps there are other reasons for her husband’s emotional distance. The way in which Melissa Foster weaves in the story of Ellen’s disappearance is done perfectly, particularly in showing just how much one little girl’s absence impacts so many people’s lives today. Between the secrets, hidden emotions, lies and the mystery, Foster doesn’t judge or preach but rather presents problems and forces us all to reach our own answers to these moral dilemmas.