As Jane Green's Dune Road opens, Kit Hargrove is perched on her back porch with a glass of wine in one hand and a book in the other. Thanks to Cassandra Campbell's honest and elegant narration, we're a part of Kit's awakening. Very recently divorced from her college sweetheart, her children away for the weekend, she finds herself in her great big house alone not lonely, but gloriously and finally alone.
The British title for Dune Road is Girl Friday, and that's just who Kit is. She is the mom in your playgroup who always brings the snacks, the coworker who covers for you when you need a mental health day. Campbell's voice is perfect for Kit earnest, humble, and a little weary, but hopeful.
Green gives Kit a bit of time to get on her feet. She finds a beautiful little cottage and fills it with vases of fresh flowers and comfy couches for her kids Tory and Buckley to plop on. She discovers the soul-recuperative powers of yoga with her friends Tracy and Charlie. She finds joy and self-worth as an assistant to best-selling author and famous local recluse Robert McClure. As Kit lets go of the trappings of her Wall Street Widow uniform, she really starts to find herself. And here there is a stripped down quality to Campbell's narration, an honesty and an openness that allows us to hear Kit her hair pulled back in a ponytail, her makeup washed off putting her life back together.
Just when Kit achieves her "new normal", two people enter her life Steve, a dark, handsome romantic, and Annabelle, the younger sister she didn't even know she had. Both characters reignite passion in our emotionally exhausted heroine, but something just doesn't seem right. Campbell's Steve is slick, not to be trusted, and her Annabelle is a saucy young Brit; she skips and hops across the pond with ease, effecting American and English accents beautifully.
As the story progresses, it is Kit's resilience, her belief in the best intentions of others which threatens to take her to the edge, but loyally and safely brings her home. Dune Road is the story of one woman's journey to find what she really wants in life, and the realization that she doesn't have to go far to find it. Sarah Evans Hogeboom