Things aren’t always what they seem . . .
On a semester-at-sea program for the arts, twin sisters Callie and Marnie Taylor suffer separate tragedies when a rogue wave broadsides their ship, the Rising Star. One twin struggles with autobiographical amnesia. The other has been lost at sea. Or has she?
Reconnect with the glamorous, tumultuous world of the extended Taylor family, including the ever-hopeful Ashleigh, who trusts her intuition and persists in learning the truth while protecting her three daughters; her grieving husband Conrad, the dedicated CEO who must also face the fate of Jordon’s employees in a changing retail climate; and spunky, college-aged Juliana, who kindles an even deeper appreciation among the sisters—and a far stronger perception of their cherished roles in each other’s lives.
Webs of Perception, the final novel in Darlene Quinn’s Webs series, takes the Taylor family on a gripping emotional journey, disembarking in New York, Paris, London, and Long Beach as they face their greatest challenges in love and loyalty.
“As is often the case as a book reviewer, I was able to start this wonderful series (see my reviews of the first three books), but got too busy with others to continue–a major disadvantage to opening myself to receiving requests for reviews! LOL I must say that I was surprised when I had the chance to read Webs of Perception. Sure, Darlene Quinn became an award-winning author from her first book, but here I was ten years later reading the close-out novel for her series! And I was thrilled with the fantastic book she presented! It is once again well written, epic–impressively great–with a long satisfying story at 510 pages. The story in this last book hones in much more on family drama, with very little on the business end of department store management, the theme which has run throughout the series. Instead, we enter into a extraordinary suspenseful tale where the characters have been caught in a Web like no other! And we readers get to watch as, first, the web is spread wider and wider, and then torn away slowly and tortuously for those involved…
The Taylor twins had signed up for onsite classes on the Rising Star. Marnie was studying to become a writer, while Callie was improving her skills for a dance career. When Ashleigh and Conrad got calls about what had happened, they had been at the Richard Rogers Theater for “Hamilton.” It was then that Ashleigh realized why she’d had that strange sense of foreboding.
They soon learned that a large rogue wave had overcome the ship on which their daughters had been traveling. The Rising Star had maintained control, but there had been much damage. One of their daughters had been flown by medevac to a hospital due to a head injury sustained…
She had lost her memory and the doctor’s could not give any guidance on how long it would last–or whether it would be permanent…
Only one daughter, Marnie, had been in their cabin. It had been reported on the news that it appeared two individuals were missing, possibly washed overboard. But Ashleigh refused to consider the possibility that she had lost a daughter–she knew she would know it!
It is quite easy for readers to learn what happened in the first few chapters, feel sympathy for the family, and especially the twin who had lost her memory. Not only because of the devastation of not being able to remember her life. But, also, because she was totally unable to help in telling the story of where her sister was. Ashleigh decided that she had never come back from their last stop, but there was nobody able to assure her. She asked that their friend and investigator begin a search to…find her…
I imagine that it must seem like life has stopped. One daughter didn’t know her parents–did not know how to relate to them. Even her name had no meaning for her and learning she was heading for further education for her writing career felt alien. She had no idea how to even consider writing a story…
Conrad was in the midst of a major change to their company–100 stores were to unfortunately close and he had planned to work with each as final arrangements were made. A short overview of what he planned was included in the story; however, Quinn included a final Author’s Note about her research on the continued viability of department stores. I especially found this interesting since my own memory holds the delightful visits to those large elegant stores in which I felt like I was visiting another world–a world of beautiful surroundings as well as beautiful clothes and more… Quinn discusses the growth of online sales and its effect; however, I had to agree that most of us want to actually see the clothes, shoes, etc., that we consider buying and because of that both will be important for the future!
The story splits as life continues at home, while the investigation into, hopefully, finding Callie begins… I think it is important that nothing else is shared; the enjoyment of reading the book is that readers know more about what is going on than the family. We sink into what is happening and hope things turn out, but, gradually, we also begin to question–Why? What? How?
There is a tense, waiting, atmosphere running throughout the book. Even when we know part of the story, the complexity, the emotional impact of each situation is sometimes disturbing, yet exciting to watch as the plot blossoms into the reality of what has happened.
Quinn writes with a steady fluidity that slowly reveals and pulls each item together; nothing is left hanging, although I would have liked to know a little more about life after the book closes… In fact, I realized that, though this series may be closing, I now believe that Quinn has a suspense thriller within her ability and hope that one series ending is not the end of her fantastic writing! Drama to Thriller – the challenge is given! LOL
Webs of Perception is Intriguing. It plays with our opinions of what perception is and how it plays out in our lives. The book is also fascinating, extraordinary in its simplicity. The concept may be simple, but the devastation, as well as family joy, runs the full gamut of what emotions erupt as day by day passes in this thing called Life…
Again, this last novel is free-standing but makes a wonderful finale for the series if you’ve been following Darlene Quinn. Kudos to her for sharing a unique part of all of our lives, Department Stores of the past, now and the future… Highly recommended.”
About Darlene Quinn
Darlene writes what she likes to read, which is page-turning-suspense, based on actual events, while never allowing the facts to get in the way of a good story. The stand-alone Web series explores love and loss, career and family, forgiveness and redemption. Fast-paced chapters propel unforgettable characters through the turmoil of overlapping and often conflicting commitments. As part of a nine-member management team for the Bullocks Wilshire Specialty Department Stores (West Coast Division of the former Federated Department Store conglomerate ~ now Macy’s Inc.) she has an insider’s perspective on the rise and fall of major department stores.
Quinn’s first published novel, Sizzling Cold Case, published in January of 2007, was a somewhat unusual collaboration as well as labor of love for her dear friend, Buddy Ebsen. His work-in-progress was a Barnaby Jones novel, which at his widow’s request, Quinn was thrilled to complete.
Darlene went on to write the highly acclaimed award-winning Web Series, Webs of Fate, Webs of Power, Twisted Webs, Unpredictable Webs, Conflicting Webs, and ending the series with Webs of Perception. Garnering prestigious award including: Beverly Hills Book Awards General Fiction, International Readers Favorite Awards for General Fiction, International Book Award Winner for Fiction and Literature, National Indie Excellence Award for General Fiction.
Darlene has two children, John and Jodie, six wonderful grandchildren, and lives with her husband and greatest supporter, Jack, in Long Beach and Big Bear, California.
Darlene is currently working on Just 10 Seconds, with a new caste of characters and challenges.
Visit Darlene Quinn’s website.