Since finding her father’s body at the bottom of the basement stairs, Annette’s been drifting through her days, watching cars pass down the rural Ontario crossroads beside her house. Her brothers have no great ambitions, but Annette remembers a time when she did. She just can’t remember what they are.
Then she meets her neighbour, Sadie, a tattooed, world-weary, newly single portrait artist. Something about Sadie awakens something in Annette—the essence she captures in her subjects, perhaps, or the way the old familiar crossroads seem so fresh and promising from the view out Sadie’s window.
Annette begins to help Sadie, cleaning brushes and filing invoices between long lazy afternoons of conversations and shared silences. Soon, though, Annette wants more from her enigmatic neighbor, and their slowly heating friendship melts into passionate nights. Somewhere along the way, Annette discovers that her lover has illuminated for her, as with the people Sadie paints, not just her essence but her own endless worlds of possibilities
Remember how I used to go on and on about how I hate short stories? How they don’t have enough character development, blah, blah, blah? Well apparently I just needed to start reading the RIGHT short stories because yet again I have been blown away.
Portrait of a Crossroads by Kelly Rand is an excellent coming of age story about a girl that is struggling with the aimlessness of her present and plans for the future. Annette has been coasting through life in a bit of a haze since finding her father’s body. She used to have hobbies and interests but now spends most of her time watching the sparse activity that happens at the rural crossroads she lives on. While peering outside, Annette sees that one of the women next door is moving out. After that Annette takes the first step in getting to know her neighbor. Their simple and easy friendship blossoms into more and gives Annette the fearlessness and freedom she needs to make the first steps in creating her future.
This was a lovely story with just the perfect amount of steamy and sexy thrown in. I highly recommend it if you are looking for an engaging fast read.
Thank you to Riptide publishing for providing this title for review on NetGalley.