After the sudden death of her mother, Joss Ryckman finds herself running away from everything―the life she did not choose of managing the family bakery in Brooklyn, the troubled relationship with her sometimes violent father, and her conflicts with Wyatt, a lover who always wants more. But when she flees to the country farm of her childhood in upstate New York, will she finally find the truth of dark events in her family’s past? Or will all that she has held at bay for twenty years come crashing down? As Joss comes to terms with her loss, she is forced to confront memories of a childhood steeped in both joy and sorrow. As the past seeps in through the rich farmland and the landscape of the treacherous, churning Stony Kill, Piecing together the broken past and her family’s dysfunction, the dark secrets of a family submerged in a history of violence and regret begin to take shape, and the reality of two brutal killings can no longer be denied. Joss must make her own choices and, ultimately, let go.Rich with beautiful language and immersed in powerful descriptions of Joss’s feelings, Stony Kill tells a powerful story of the heartbreak and suffering from violent acts of a dysfunctional family, and ultimately her hope and choice of a better life.  (Summary via Goodreads)


If you are looking for a book about family and the ups and downs they experience, than this is the book for you.  Stony Kill takes you from the present to the past trying to find the way to the future of one troubled woman.

Growing up Joss spent most of her time with her father while her older sister, Naomi, was with their mother.  Joss never fully understood the split but she was young so she went along with it.  Once Naomi was off on her own, their mother moved from the city where she ran the family bakery to her old family farmhouse taking Joss with her.  For a while Joss wasn’t the tomboy her father liked and was the girl she wanted to be with her mother.

Then Naomi moves to the farmhouse with her son, Haley.  They move into the cottage on the land and Joss’s mother moves in with them leaving the big farmhouse to Joss and her dad.  Luckily Miss Euphrates is there to oversee and nurture Joss.

In the present time, Joss’s mother has passed away suddenly leaving the bakery and the farm to Joss.  Joss travels from farmhouse to city running the bakery and trying to come to terms with life and what it all means.  Why is she always running like her mother ? Why is she pushing the man who loves her away ? Why does her father still scare her ?

Throughout the book, Joss will escape to the past for fun memories as well as try to come to terms with life and death.  There is a lot going on in Joss’s mind that she needs to come to terms with so she can stop running and start living with the people who love her.  Unfortunately some of the answers hidden in her past will come to light.  Can she be strong enough to work through them or will she keep running ???

Marie White Small has a knack for keeping you reading….even when there are monsters lurking in the dark.  There is a lot in this book that you will be able to relate too.  And really isn’t that what reading a book is ALL about ?  Connecting to the story……..

Review by Missi S.




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