This Must Be the Place
By Kate Racculia
368 pages; Henry Holt
When his wife, Amy, accidentally electrocutes herself, Arthur Rook realizes he doesn't know whether she "wanted to rest in the ground or flame out into a million tiny particles." What else, he wonders, didn't he know about her? That question drives Kate Racculia's engaging novel, This Must Be the Place
, in which a cryptic message on a never-sent postcard leads Arthur to his late wife's hometown in rural upstate New York. There he meets the postcard's intended recipient, Mona Jones—a pretty single mom who runs a boardinghouse—and her teenage daughter, Oneida. Mona and Amy were best friends in high school and shared a bombshell secret, but hadn't spoken in 16 years. Despite its tendency to overforeshadow, this often witty debut, with its cast of appealing characters, is a smart exploration of love, friendship, and the secrets we keep, even from ourselves.