Book Reviews

Portrait of a Crossroads by Kelly Rand at Riptide Publishing

Genre Lesbian / Contemporary / Law Enforcement / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by jj on 09-June-2013

Book Blurb

Since finding her father’s body at the bottom of the basement stairs, Annette’s been drifting through her days, watching cars pass down the rural Ontario crossroads beside her house. Her brothers have no great ambitions, but Annette remembers a time when she did. She just can’t remember what they are.

Then she meets her neighbour, Sadie, a tattooed, world-weary, newly single portrait artist. Something about Sadie awakens something in Annette—the essence she captures in her subjects, perhaps, or the way the old familiar crossroads seem so fresh and promising from the view out Sadie’s window.

Annette begins to help Sadie, cleaning brushes and filing invoices between long lazy afternoons of conversations and shared silences. Soon, though, Annette wants more from her enigmatic neighbor, and their slowly heating friendship melts into passionate nights. Somewhere along the way, Annette discovers that her lover has illuminated for her, as with the people Sadie paints, not just her essence but her own endless worlds of possibilities.


Book Review

This story has such hidden charm. I hope that the gentle pace and down-home nature of the setting in rural Ontario serves to draw other readers in as it pulled in me. One gets to share in some very fine human blossoming on an intersection with six houses making up one corner and farm fields making up the other three. A somewhat mysterious but personable artist befriends (and then some) a young woman who is moving through a stifling fog and is way too alone in her time of grief.

Annette is painfully stuck within the misty, shadowy time following the tragic death of her father. She shares the family home with her two older brothers and though she can still feel comfort in their presence is quite adrift in her pain and disillusionment. She knows she used to hold firm to her sense of self and her future, but now it seems as if high school just ended too soon.

Sadie has broken up with her partner, now her ex-partner as Sadie calls her, and she has moved out. Sadie was helpful in coordinating the movers and making her ex’s leaving smooth and expeditious. From Annette’s initial vantage point as she watches Sadie trim the hedges on her property, there doesn’t appear to be anything traumatic going on at her neighbor's. Sadie makes eye contact with Annette several times while she is puttering. We only know that this eye contact sets Annette’s heart atwitter.

As Annette puts it, she just sort of finds herself on the other side of the hedges saying “Hello” to Sadie as Sadie puzzles the less than fine outcome of her trimming work. Annette knows they are both lesbians, but the idea or concept hardly created a ripple within Annette. She was simply drawn to her neighbor. The way Annette and Sadie begin, evolve, and become was like watching Sadie paint one of her portraits…a blank canvas slowly and patiently becomes a beautiful masterpiece. The masterpiece involving Annette and Sadie comes with richness, warmth, and electrifying passion. I was completely swept away and enjoyed sharing their 'becoming'.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Riptide Publishing for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Short Story, 10200 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 20-May-2013
Price $2.99 ebook
Buy Link