Book Review! This Must Be the Place by Kate Racculia

Hello again!
Today I will be reviewing “This Must Be the Place” by Kate Racculia.

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Initial Thoughts:
I couldn’t remember why I put this book on my book list but after reading the author’s summary again, I was super intrigued! Hopefully after reading my review, you’ll be intrigued too & want to read the book for yourself! As usual, I’ll try to keep Spoilers to a minimum.

“This…” starts off with the death of Amy Rook. She’s a young woman in the prime of her life & her husband Arthur is absolutely devastated. In the wake of Amy’s death, he realizes he didn’t really know his wife’s past all that well when he finds an old shoebox of her things from before they met. Inside the shoebox he finds a mysterious postcard addressed to a woman he’s never heard of that lives in Amy’s hometown. Curious as to why Amy never sent the postcard, what it means, who the woman is, & why Amy never mentioned her, Arthur goes to Amy’s hometown to find answers. While trying to unravel the mystery of his wife’s past, Arthur eventually learns she’s not necessarily the wonderful woman he thought she was. When Amy’s past & present collide, we see how a decision Amy made in childhood effected the lives of those she cared about most, even years later, even after her death. As Arthur begins to pick up the pieces of the life Amy left behind he realizes you can never run from the past (even if it’s not your own!) – but that’s not always a bad thing. If you want to get into more specific plot points/spoilers, please feel free to comment below or email me!

– Not a specific quote because this occurred throughout the book…I love when authors “name drop” real locations. For example, in the beginning of the book, Arthur & Amy live in Los Angeles & he talks about them driving on Sunset Blvd, passing the Chateau Marmont, & eating at In-n-Out. This style of writing draws me into the story & helps me connect to the characters.
– Pg 341: “Would you like me to tell your fortune?…You will grow old & die…
…That’s a shitty fortune…
…On the contrary…It’s the single greatest thing that will ever happen to you”
I love quotes about how growing up/old is a great thing because I feel like many people are stuck wanting to be young forever, but I don’t agree. I’ve always wanted to grow up & see what my future held. Another favorite quote of mine that’s similar in theme is, “Do not regret growing old. It is a privilege denied to many”. There are so many people who will never have the opportunities I will have, so I don’t want to waste time thinking about how much better life would be if I had no responsibilities. While responsibilities can be a drag sometimes, they’re ultimately a reminder that we have a home/nice things/good health, etc – & bills/going to work/exercising etc, are the small prices we pay.

20 pages in & I couldn’t put this book down, I gave up sleep to keep reading! It had just enough mystery to keep you guessing & turning the pages, but it was realistic enough that it really made you think about the story & your own life. The theme of the novel speaks to the idea that people never really are who we think they are, life changes all of us so second chances are important.

Rating: B+
While I thought this book was great,  I had to rate it down a bit because I felt it dragged a bit in the middle & I didn’t love one of the stories involving the teenage characters. I understand why it was included, but at the same time, there were points where I was questioning if this was a Young Adult novel or a story meant for adults. Overall it’s a small issue, but some might not like a teenage romance being brought into play. The main plot twist is somewhat predictable, but it’s an entertaining ride to figure it out. This was a quick and easy read, just under 400 pages, and I highly recommend it. It might not become your favorite book, but it’s definitely worth reading.

Have you read “This Must Be the Place”? If so, what are your thoughts? Did you see the plot twist coming? Please feel free to share your thoughts & book suggestions with me in the comments below!

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