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In 1968, Annemarie Vanderhorst is happy to finally be free of her controlling mother’s societal expectations. She’s a college freshman, and she’s going to use her time at school wisely. It’s all about education—she wants to discover her destiny, not chase after boys and an M.R.S. But the very first day of class, a dark and handsome stranger takes over every waking thought. After a whirlwind romance is met with disapproval, Annemarie is forced to choose between Henry and her family. She’s just not sure she made the right choice.
In 2016, Claire James returns to Bennett, South Carolina after leaving her fiancé, determined to be independent for once in her life. After convincing her father to find a job for her in the family company, she realizes independence isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Coworkers regard her with jealousy and suspicion, her best friend is too busy with her own family to take care of Claire, and a terrifying secret she can’t admit even to herself holds her captive. How much more can she take?
The lives of these two women, decades apart but uncannily similar, intersect one fateful night. With broken hearts and hope for the future, they will wonder together—is it ever too late for love?
“Probably the biggest compliment I can pay to This Dread Road is that the characters became real to me. [They] are complex, multidimensional people who cannot be chalked up as simply ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ They make or have made poor decisions, but to the author’s credit, I never lost sympathy for them. On the contrary, their flaws and their inability to pave [for] themselves a clear path to happiness resonated with me . . . [This Dread Road] examines the brokenness in our lives, never loses heart, or more importantly, hope.” -Carolyn Astfalk, Author of Ornamental Graces and Stay With Me