Title: The Wings of Poppy Pendleton
Author: Melanie Dobson
Major Themes: New York, Saint Lawrence River, Thousand Islands, Human Trafficking
Synopsis: Two missing or troubled girls, separated by over 85 years of history: Is there any way they can be connected, and if so, can finding the truth save lives?
As I read The Wings of Poppy Pendleton, I was reminded of why I like Melanie Dobson. It’s been several years since I read one of her books, but this one drew me in just as much as the others I have read. She is a master of writing split-time fiction!
1907—Amelia dearly loved her little daughter Penelope, or Poppy, as her husband insisted on calling the child, but she struggled with her love for her husband. Then, on the night before Poppy’s birthday, while her parents were having a party for New York’s rich and elite, Poppy disappeared—and her father was found dead.
1992—Chloe, though she lived on Koster Island from which Poppy Pendleton disappeared so many years ago, had no interest in the old unsolved mystery. All she wanted to think about was preserving the island, the house her grandparents left her on it, and the candy shop she inherited from them. Everything changes, though, when a young girl named Emma suddenly appears in her life with a scrapbook that mentions Penelope, and a reporter shows up wanting to dig into Poppy’s story. Though Chloe doesn’t want to think about it, she realizes soon that she might need to to keep Emma safe. Is it possible to find answers so many years later?
The Wings of Poppy Pendleton is the kind of mystery that I like best. It moved slowly enough that I didn’t find myself wanting to race through, but rather I was able to enjoy savoring it. I also liked that the romantic element was fairly low-key; my daughter asked me about it when I was at about 44% and I told her that the male protagonist had possibly shown up; I wasn’t sure yet. I also loved the way the author slowly revealed bits and pieces of the mystery and solution. Then, though the action ramped up enough in the last 10% or so of the book that I had trouble setting it down and getting on with my work, the ending was quite satisfactory.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
WARNING: Chapters 17 and 21: A man comes into a little girl’s bedroom at night. Later, there are veiled references to her being “old enough in a year or two.” Chapter 27: Pretty dern sure. Chapter 43: Pretty darn good. Several times: references to girls being trafficked. Overall: The male protagonist/love interest is divorced.