Review: ‘A Big Dose of Lucky’ by Marthe Jocelyn

Okay, time to get back to the blog! It’s been a hectic few months, but 2017 is hopefully going to be a more structured and manageable year. I started a bullet journal, so hopefully I’ll be more aware of where I spend my time. And now… on with the review!

During the release week of the Secret series (back in 2015), Eric Walters gathered up as many of the authors as possible and they travelled around to local stores to sign copies. It was pretty cool, and our little store was one of the stops. I decided to pick up 4 of the books to start with, but they have been sitting on my shelf this whole time! I’m on a mission to read more of my TBR mountain this year, so I’m starting with A Big Dose of Lucky.

Synopsis: In the summer of 1964, the only home that Malou has ever know, the Benevolent Home for Necessitous Girls, burned to the ground. While all the younger girls were sent to foster homes, the seven oldest are sent out into the world to discover their pasts. Handed an envelope with a single piece of evidence that may help her discover where she came home,  Malou heads to the little town of Parry Sound, where she finds a surprising number of young brown faces like hers. But are these her relatives? And why doesn’t anyone want to talk about it?

This book appealed to me the most out of all the Secrets series because it’s set in Parry Sound; a town that I have been in many times throughout my life. I grew up in Northern Ontario, so I was curious to read how the author would interpret the small town experience. She definitely got the atmosphere right with her description of what it’s like to drive through the dramatic landscape that few people take the time to appreciate. I always found the rock walls and surrounding trees of the north to be a sign that I had come home.

“And when the buildings dwindle away, there are fields and trees. Lots of fields and lots of trees. My eyes go blurry and I sleep again. When I wake up, wow! This part of the highway was made by cutting through gigantic rocks, so the road is often flanked by towering orange crags. Where the rock subsides, I get glimpses of inlets of glittering water dotted with islands, docks and boats and whitebarked trees.”

I personally found it difficult to accept that there were so many people of colour in this northern community in the ’60s, and that no one was interested in connecting the dots before Malou got there. I can honestly say that there were less than 10 families in my small town that weren’t white, and that everyone knew each other’s business in down to the most minute details. Keeping a secret in a small town is nearly impossible… let alone something as big as the one that the people of Parry Sound were keeping in this book.

I think this was a great first book to join the series, for me, but maybe someone else would prefer the paranormal spin that Kelly Armstrong did with The Unquiet Past, or the murder mystery of Eric Walters’ Innocent. I think there are many ways to get into this series, and so far they have all been good reads. I don’t know if I’ll write about every one of the books in the series, but I think it’s definitely worth checking out.

LC rating: 4-stars

Other books in this series:


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