After inhaling All Around the Town, a novel by Mary Higgins Clark, in one weekend, I decided to try another of her mystery-suspense stories and pulled the only available audiobook out of the local library: No Place Like Home.
I was immediately put off by the book’s outlandish premise: A woman who killed her mother accidentally at age 10 while protecting her from her brutal stepfather has pledged to her dying first husband not to reveal her past to anyone again – and her second husband just happens to buy her a new house for her birthday that just happens to be the childhood home where her mother died.
The monstrous coincidence – which I presumed would turn out not to be a coincidence – and the character’s reticence to tell her husband the truth (her husband!!!), almost put me off to continuing the story.
But then the narrator explained where the story is set: It all comes down in Mendham, New Jersey, less than five miles from where I spent the second half of my childhood. What are the odds, of all the books in the world, I would randomly pick up one that was set in my hometown?
If that kind of coincidence is possible in the real world, why not the crazy coincidence Clark asks me to accept in hers? So off we went …