Review of Covenant by Ann McMan
Covenant takes us deep into the hearts and souls of the people we have come to know and love in this Jericho series. At the end of my review for Goldenrod I mentioned that darkness hangs over Jericho’s community. I recommend you read the first three to fully appreciate the mastery that has gone into this (I assume) final book in the series.
Mayor Gerald Watson has died under suspicious circumstances and an inquest has begun to determine if he died of natural causes or was murdered at the Fourth of July party in Jericho. Witnesses and suspects are being interviewed and tensions are running high in this small Virginia town. Dorothy is staying with Maddie’s mother, Celine, who is encouraging Dorothy’s interest in the piano along with enjoying Dorothy’s biscuit-making skills. Celine is also admitting her attraction to Byron, the town sheriff. Henry is struggling at school and often stays with Syd and Maddie while his father is away on long-haul trucking assignments. David and Syd are planning the wedding of the century much to Maddie’s horror. Roma Jean Freemantle is spending more time with her girlfriend Charlie but someone from Charlie’s past has returned, adding a new level of risk in their relationship.
Ann McMan pulls all these storylines together buffering the sadness with humour and the obscene with kindness and caring. She allows us to peek into the backstories of some of her most beloved characters to show us that abuse is often but not always sexual. It can also take the form of neglect or rejection by the ones meant to care and protect us.
In the midst of this darkness, the author shows us the good which still exists in this world and she does so with the one character we have laughed at and with throughout the series, Roma Jean Freemantle. Her attraction to Charlie and the way her small-town parents reluctantly begin to accept Charlie into their family gives us hope that there are good people and good parents in the world. Not all children who come out to their parents are rejected. Roma Jean’s parents make the effort, support their daughter and stand up to her tormentors. The kindness of strangers is exemplified by Celine who introduces Dorothy to the beauty and restorative power of music. Maddie and Syd will always love and be there for Henry and his father. Their ever-expanding Taco Tuesdays will continue long after we’ve said goodbye to the good folks of Jericho.
Well crafted and memorable, Covenant succeeds in reminding us that love and acceptance can be found in this world full of cruelty and ignorance. My rating: 5 stars
A copy of this book was given to LezReviewBooks for an honest review.