Everyone has often heard or used the phrase, ‘Looks can be deceptive’. This phrase exactly fits this book. The Old Black Curtain by CJ Paxton is a tour de force. The book cover is does not reflect what goes on in the book. At first glance I thought it must be some mystery, but was taken by sheer surprise by the author. The book delivers more than it seemed it would. Paxton as an author has not only written from the heart but also manages to reach the heart of the reader.
A very simple story takes unexpected turns leaving you on the edge of your seat wanting to know what happened. The novel begins with the main character Michael Murphy getting over his divorce proceedings, which leaves him battered and heart broken. This was not enough of a blow from life; he then receives news about the death of his aunts who had practically raised him and his elder brother. The aunts have left him their legacy – a quaint bookshop in Victoria left in charge of a young lady, Catherine Miller. The plot then catches pace when Michael reaches Victoria to pay respects to his aunts and to look after the bookshop. Little had he expected that he would fall for the librarian cum book keeper Ms. Miller. Ms. Miller is anything but enigmatic, a mystery in herself. She does not let people come close and keeps her guard up. The ensuing pages left me warm fuzzy feeling as their romance brewed, fresh like spring. The love is pure and developed on the foundation of trust and respect. Do not be fooled though as not all is a bed of roses. Catherine has a secret that made her lose trust in people and always watch over her shoulder. What is the secret? Will it come in the way of their beautiful relationship? That needs to read, I will not spoil the fun.
Paxton as author has written a beautiful book that seems real as characters are life like and not blown out of proportions. Their emotions, struggles and insecurities are something each reader can identify with. The title seems to be a metaphor for the insecurity each one of us has that stops us from meeting our true potential/heights. Michael’s presence bolsters Catherine’s confidence. We too have people/friends who act as catalyst in our lives.
The book throws some meaningful insights about friendship and relationship where it teaches us to have mutual respect for each other and to let the other person open up at their own pace. There are life lessons too for the readers that will make you come back and read the book. The songs in the book are not only heart rendering but also perfectly depict the struggles and turmoil of Catherine.
The ending though was like a kick in the gut, unexpected and left me gasping for air. Pick this book for sure and you will not be disappointed. It’s a mature romance between real people with real emotions and real struggles. Do carry some tissues, it will play with your heart.
I received an ARC of the book in exchange of an honest review. My views are unbiased and not influenced by the author or publisher.