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This Must Be the Place by Kat Racculia

This Must Be the Place by Kat Racculia

Amy Henderson could not wait to leave Ruby Falls, New York, and start her life in This Must Be the Place, by Kate Racculia.  She wants to go to Los Angeles and make monsters—her hero is Ray Harryhausen, talented maker of special effects with stop-action animation and creator of the Kraken in the 1981 version of Clash of the Titans. But like many a movie monster, Amy Henderson leaves disaster in her wake.

Amy does get to make monsters, but she dies at 31 of a freak electrical accident on a movie set. She leaves her totally devastated husband Arthur, a pink shoebox full of memorabilia of her life and a postcard with a cryptic message addressed to her best friend Desdemona Jones in Ruby Falls. Amy writes that she left the best of herself there. Arthur makes a journey to find out the secrets in Amy’s life. What hadn’t she told him? What else didn’t he know about his wife?

Back in Ruby Falls, Mona and her teenaged daughter Oneida (No, she was not named after a spoon!) still live in the family-owned boarding house full of eccentric characters.  Mona takes in the shattered Arthur and Amy’s cat, who is of course named after Ray Harryhousen. Sharing Amy’s childhood with Arthur will lay the past to rest, help Mona and Arthur move on, and change Oneida’s life. They all learn Ruby Falls is the perfect place to call home.

The characters are likable, and the dialogue real and often funny. With elements of a coming-of-age story and romantic chic lit, this is a fun read with well-developed characters and good writing.