cover image This Is Where It Ends

This Is Where It Ends

Cindy K. Sproles. Revell, $16.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-800-74079-5

A widow contends with the aftershocks of a buried secret from her late husband’s past in this bittersweet reflection on regret and God’s grace from Sproles (What Momma Left Behind). Minerva Jenkins is in her 60s when her husband Stately dies of a heart attack on their remote Kentucky farm in 1872. His last words to her aren’t a declaration of love but a desperate demand that Minerva continue to keep his “secret,” in the form of a box containing what she believes is stolen gold. Thirty years later, 94-year-old Minerva has faithfully protected it but as a result led an overwhelmingly reclusive life, and as her health fails, she fears she’s going to die alone. Then reporter Delano Rankin turns up at her cabin with questions about Stately and his possible links to the long-gone gold for a story he’s researching. His kindness leads Minerva to reflect on her faith and whether her marriage to Stately was truly a happy one, and she contemplates telling him about the box, but mysterious break-ins to her home suggest someone else may be hunting for the rumored riches. Feisty Minerva is an endearing narrator, though the plot tends to drag and the details of Stately’s secret are excessively teased. It should do the trick for the author’s fans, but newcomers will have a hard time staying involved. (June)