WILLOW POND by Carol Tibaldi

Virtual Tour and Review

BLURB:

The Roaring Twenties crumble into the Great Depression, but Virginia Kingsley, New York’s toughest and most successful speakeasy owner, is doing just fine. Now that the world is falling apart, bootlegging is a flourishing business, and she’s queen of that castle.

Then her infant nephew is kidnapped. Her niece, Laura, and Laura’s philandering movie star husband, are devastated. The police have few leads, and speculation and rumors abound in the media circus that follows the celebrity abduction.

Little Todd’s absence shapes everyone’s lives. When he is finally found, the discovery will bring disaster for some and revelation for others.

RHL CLASSIFICATIONS:

Historical mystery/suspense

Early 20th century

Review rating: 4 Stars

REVIEW BY KAREN:

Carol Tibaldi’s Willow Pond has all the elements of a great story.  It also has more than its fair share of possible dilemmas.  A divorced couple, a selfish actor, an aunt who runs a speak-easy and not to mention her connections with the seedy gangster underworld, set the scene for this tale. It has a whole tribe of characters, a few of whom you just want to slap!  Put all this together and you have the makings of a fabulous romp through the rich 1930’s New York society.

It is, however, a heart-rending kidnap of a little boy – Todd, which really rocks the boat and sets the story going, but I admit it was slow going.

The book is set in 1930, and I wasn’t sure about that until the author actually mentioned the date.  The roaring 20’s had just ended and the world was changing after the crash of ‘29.  I would have loved to see the author write more of the history that she knows so much about.  It would have added more to the story to be immersed more into the period.  The Author clearly knows her stuff, history-wise, writes well and I particularly loved the gangster side of this book.

The characters weren’t too developed, unfortunately, by the time the kidnap took place, so I hadn’t built up a rapport with the main character Laura.  In fact, she irritated me a lot by doing things that I believe were out of character for a mother. However, her Aunt, Virginia, is fun.  She’s edgy and a little bit dangerous.  She’s the kind of girl that can handle herself and a gun!  I would have liked to have seen more of her.

Philip, the father and ex-husband is an actor and stereo-typically irritating and self-centred.  I wanted him to be the one who was thrown in jail, simply because I didn’t like him!

The narration moves you slowly through the tale, leaving you suspecting each character in turn and egging Erich on to find the kidnapper.  There are parts that made me mad, some that made me laugh or smile, and others that surprised me (such as a distraught mother going out on a dinner-date).  I’m glad I read this book, and Carol Tibaldi is someone to watch out for in the future.

I am giving this a 4 star rating – it has all the ingredients, it’s well written, but it just doesn’t come together somehow.  I do, however, look forward to more from this author!

The Inspiration for Willow Pond by Carol Tibaldi

My road to becoming a published author was a long one. I couldn’t have been more than nine years old when I wrote my first short story. Actually it was a collection of several stories each one probably no more than a page or so long. I made a little booklet and presented it to my father. He was very proud and made a big fuss and that made me happy. I don’t remember what the stories were about, but I loved the look on his face when he read them.

It would be years before I even came close to achieving my goal. My teenage years were rough; my father died just before I turned thirteen and I became rebellious. My love of writing faded into the background. After graduating from high school I went to London with a friend. We lived there and made a feeble attempt to co-author a novel about a rock band. It was a disaster and we never discussed it again.

Back home I found myself floundering. I wanted to do something with my life, but what? One day I came across those stories I had written so many years ago. To my surprise my mother had saved them. My love of writing was renewed.

In college I decided I wanted to be a journalist and travel around the world investigating the biggest news stories. My main interest was investigating crimes especially when a child was involved. Those broke my heart.

For the subject of my freshman English research paper I chose the Lindbergh kidnapping. The case fascinated me and I sensed that the whole thing had been bungled from the beginning. I wanted to write a book about it, but it just never all came together.

I don’t remember when the idea for Willow Pond began to form in my mind. One day it was just there. It was a difficult journey and the book went through many different versions and had many different titles none of which sounded right to me. Finally the title just came to me and it felt right.

I don’t believe in ever giving up on your dreams. No matter how long it takes just keep pursuing it because I think if you believe in yourself your dreams can come true. Just keep working hard and never pay any attention to the naysayers who doubt you.

About the Author:

Carol Tibaldi was born and raised in Bayside, New York and attended Queens College of the City University of New York. She loves to travel and has lived in London and Los Angeles. For twenty five years she worked as a newspaper reporter and covered the crime beat. She is a history buff and loves to research different time periods having a special affinity of the prohibition era and the Civil War. Willow Pond is her first novel and she is hard at work on the sequel.

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