Book Review of Alice's Notions

Alice's Notions
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Alice's Notions by Tamera Lynn Kraft is set in Burning Bush, West Virginia in April of 1946. Alice Morgan Brighton has returned to Burning Bush after the death of her husband, Joe in the war. She has decided to use her savings to open Alice's Notions. Burning Bush has not been doing well and needs something that will help attract tourists. Alice has come up an idea and runs it past Mr. & Mrs. Toliver. She wants to have a barn quilt tour. Quilt patches will be painted on various barns around the town and, hopefully, the tourists will stay to eat and shop. Gwendolyn Toliver is all in favor of the notion and immediately sets to planning. Rick Morrison, Alice's landlord, raises objections to Alice opening a shop and the tour. Rick is evasive about his business dealings, and he takes numerous out of town trips. Alice signed up to sponsor a European refugee, but Greta Engel from Germany is not what she expected. When Alice sprains her ankle just days before the opening of Alice's Notions, she has no choice but to let Greta stay. What should be a wonderful opportunity for the Burning Bush ends up dividing the townspeople and causing dissention. During the planning, Alice notices that some of her friends are becoming secretive and there is something off about the tour plans. Does someone have a different agenda for the barn tour? Who are they and what is their plan? Alice intends to find out, but she does not know who she can trust.

Alice's Notions is nicely written, and the story has a steady pace. It has a good flow and smooth transitions. Alice's Notions is a story with intrigue, mystery, suspense, romance, and overcoming prejudices and anger. The author captured the setting of a small town in a rural area along with how the people felt and acted. Ms. Kraft captured the time-period with the language, dress, and people's attitudes after the war. It helped that the slang from the 1940s was included along with films and books. I did, though, tire of Rick's use of âdameâ and âdollâ when referring to Alice (it was annoying). Greta Engel was a wonderful addition to Alice's Notions. In the story the author showed how people felt towards Germans after the war. Townspeople would call her Alice's servant or girl (and other derogatory names) which properly reflected how people felt (it wasn't right, but it was the attitude after the war based on fear and prejudice). Greta's misunderstanding of American slang added humor to the story (just the right touch). I enjoyed seeing the relationship progress between Greta and Alice. Alice changed over the course of the book as well. She returned home to Burning Bush because she was afraid to live alone in New York City without her husband. Alice was timid in the beginning. If she is to thwart the evil that has invaded her town, she must step up. The mystery was well constructed, and there will be twists that will surprise readers. There is romance (of course) but it was not over-the-top. There is one steamy kiss. Otherwise, the relationship progressed at a pace congruent to the era. I am giving Alice's Notions 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). Alice's Notions is an engaging novel that will sweep you back to a small town in 1946 that is the unlikely hotbed of a conspiracy.