BOOK REVIEW: LOOKING FOR PEYTON PLACE
I have never read Peyton Place so the words contained in that book were never known to me. Yes, I had heard that it was a promiscuous book for its day. I have, however, read quite a few of Barbara Delinsky’s books and enjoyed them all. So I ventured on to read, “Looking for Peyton Place.”
Annie Barnes grew up in Middle River. She was not a popular girl. After school Annie moved away to Washington to begin her adventure as she delved into writing. She lived with a friend, Greg Steele, who worked for national television. Greg was just a friend, not a boyfriend. Annie had fairly good success with her first three books but in her mind she thought she needed and wanted to go back to Middle River and possibly write another book. Annie knew that there were many similar circumstances and events in Middle River that mirrored Grace Metalious' Peyton Place and figured it contained a good story for her there.
Annie’s mother had died recently from what was thought to be Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. Annie found out her sister, Phoebe, was showing the same symptoms as her mother had. Annie figured there was something going on in middle River that was affecting those that lived there. Off she went to Middle River. Annie was considered a nosy person that was going to interrupt their lives so most wanted nothing to do with her, including some in her own family. Annie started making inquiries and she researched every area where she could learn some history of the past years and what the citizens symptoms were that made them sick, most leading to early death.
Middle River is the home to Northwood Mill, a huge paper manufacturing plant that employed most of the towns working residents. The Meade family ran the mill and the town. They had control over everything from law enforcement to the doctor, to the schools and their administration, and everyone working at the mill. Annie started to delve into people’s minds trying to get answers to questions regarding the reasons for the declining health of the people in the town. She butted heads with the Meade’s every turn she attempted to take.
Annie Barnes would not relent. Through various occurrences in the town, she worked her way into some of the families and finally got some answers. How she did this and her follow through makes for a very interesting story with many surprises on her way. Plenty of love, sex, harassment, and knowledge are contained in Looking for Peyton Place. No, Looking for Peyton Place is not an intense murder mystery, but it has plenty of suspense in many other ways.
REVIEWED BY CY HILTERMAN
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