Cedardale Court is a delightful romp through the high drama of parental paranoia, unrequited love, blackmail, and murder. The cast of characters are interesting and imperfect and I loved them.
Canner and Chloe are a father and daughter looking for a new and better life. Crippled by his fear of losing his daughter and haunted by visions of his dead wife, Canner is hoping that their move to his Uncle Henry’s home in Oregon will gain stability for Chloe.
Chloe is a smart and precocious ten year old wanting her father to be happy and will do whatever is needed to help him.
Henry has lived alone most of his life and is uncertain of how things will go. His secret love for his neighbor Jane has defined him and his actions for two decades leaving him unprepared for a new family. Jane has waited patiently for Henry but secrets of her own has made her decide to leave Cedardale Court forever.
The remaining cast are just as torn in their lives but are as wonderfully imagined as our main characters.
Nathan Lee Christensen weaves an entertaining soap opera of murder and mayhem that kept me enthralled throughout. He allows his readers to flit seamlessly into the minds of all of his characters giving us a point-of-view that pulls us in and makes us feel as if we were part of the story.
The author deserves every one of this 5 Star rating due to his mastery of immersing his reader completely and telling a complex story effortlessly. Plus, it was just plain fun.
Here is the Summary: Full of daring fools, haunting old flames, and brimming with panicked villainy, Cedardale Court captures the final days of Canner Connelly’s ten year struggle; his quiet avoidance of death. Despite his best efforts, and a well-intentioned move to the Oregon countryside, the safety and peace-of-mind he’s longed for since the passing of his wife, for him and his daughter, Chloe, finally appears to be within reach. But, upon waking the next morning, the promising start at Uncle Henry’s falls rather short as the sun comes up over the tree line, and the ever inept inhabitants of Cedardale Court begin to start their days. A domestic dispute, a little reckless driving, and a broken fire hydrant later, what normally might have been a very enjoyable Sunday quickly turns into a slightly darker affair as a severed human hand, well, half of one really, turns up in Uncle Henry’s bushes. Things only get messier, and more frightfully uncertain as, one by one, the secrets that have so carefully been kept, for so very long, start to unravel for everyone. For Canner and Chloe, amidst the drunkenness, burgling, kidnapping, extortions and murders of the people around them, suddenly it’s no longer a struggle to maintain normalcy, or even an attempt to deny the familiar ghosts lurking around every corner; it’s now a question of whether or not they’ll come out of this with their wits, or if they’ll even make it out at all. In the face of the monstrously absurd, this little neighborhood, this absolutely out of control cul-de-sac, might serve as the key to opening the door for Canner and Chloe’s new life, or it might be exactly what it appears to be; the gateway to the undoing of them all.