A review of Carol Tibaldi’s Willow Pond

A kidnapped child, a grief stricken mother, a self-centered actor, a determined reporter and a bootlegging aunt that has ties to the mob take you on an adventure through the 1930’s. Laura Kingsley Austin is a beautiful woman in her early twenties who decides to leave her husband, actor Phillip Austin, and start a new life with her one year old son, Todd. Laura pursues a career as a writer, and makes a home for herself and her son. All that crumbles away when Todd is kidnapped from her husband’s home, Willow Pond, while he was there visiting his father. Virginia Kingsley, Laura’s aunt, was the owner of a speakeasy that has ties to bootlegging and the mob.  Erich, the reporter, follows the trail of the story and ends up involved in more than just his next article. With not many clues to work with, no one knows who the kidnapper is, though there are many different theories. Could the kidnapping be related to Virginia’s business affairs, Phillip’s acting career, or even a publicity stunt gone wrong? The police are no help and the trail is growing cold. This story is a long one that draws you into a world of speakeasies and flapper dresses, murder, mayhem and whirlwind romances.

This is Carol Tibaldi’s debut novel, and she did a great job on character development and the story line. As a mother, I did have a problem with Laura. She just seemed not real as a grief stricken mother. She purses a romance with Erich quickly, going out on the town and dancing when I feel I never would have left my house or the phone if my child would have been kidnapped. Also, the time in the story seemed off. It went from a few weeks after Todd was kidnapped to a year without any real sense that a year had passed. Other than that, this story grabbed you in and made you have to keep flipping pages to know what is going to happen next.

Virginia was my favorite character. Her image on the cover reminds me of someone, but I cannot think of whom. I like her attitude and the fact that she dominated as a woman in a man’s profession. She demanded respect and she got it. She kept looking for Todd, and did anything to get him back.

Laura, as I said, was not my favorite character, but she had good traits and bad. She continuously thought of her son, and even after another huge event changes her life, you can still tell all she wants is Todd back so that he can share in it with her. Though she is a little selfish, she tries to help people throughout the whole story, and her love for Erich rings true.

As for Todd’s father, I just wanted to slap him out of his self-centered world, and remind him that his son should be more important than his career. Erich, the reporter, was a lovely man and I thought his character was well defined. He went through a lot in this story, and there was never a moment I was not rooting for him.

I even felt for Todd’s kidnapper. I could relate to the kidnapper’s story. When Todd was finally found, I cried for the kidnapper as well as for Laura. I could picture the scene so clearly when Todd sang his little poem.

I did like the way Carol Tibaldi flipped back and forth in the story from Laura, Virginia, Erich, and Todd’s kidnapper. It helped the book feel more in depth by having the perspective of more than one character. If you like romantic suspense with a historical setting, this is the book for you. I did not want to post too may spoilers, but there is so much more to this book than what I described. It is life at its fullest, with many twists and turns, and many, many events that I never saw coming.  You will have to read to understand the whole story, because it is complex and intricately woven.

Carol Tibaldi broke into the writing scene with her debut novel, and she did not disappoint. I cannot wait to see her evolve as she writes more, and I am looking forward to reading more from her.

Once again, if I have talked you into reading this book, please leave a review where you bought it. Every review helps the author. I am inserting a link for the book below.  I hope you give it a chance.


Kindle Version:
Willow Pond

Paperback Version:
Willow Pond

Posted on June 20, 2012, in BOOK REVIEWS and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Excellent job as usual! I cannot see the picture very well, but from what I could see does she remind you of the actress that plays Daphne’s Mom on Switched at Birth?

  2. Carol Tibaldi

    Thank you for the great review, Cynthia. Now I’m trying to figure who Virginia reminds me of. I’ve spent so much time with these characters they are like real people to me.

    • You are so welcome. It is still bugging me who she looks like. If will come to me when I am not thinking about it so hard! I cannot wait for another book by you. =)

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