Something About Sophie by Mary Kay McComas
March is celebrated as Women’s History Month, so I decided that I would read seven books by seven women. Something About Sophie: A Novel (P.S.) by Mary Kay McComas is one of the seven books along with Children of the Jacaranda Tree by Sahar Delijani and The Women He Loved Before. I bought the three books because they sounded interesting and it didn’t hurt that there was a sale – three books for $10. All three books are very well written, but they deal with pretty heavy topics.
After reading the first two of the three books, I started the third, but put it down for a bit because I needed a bit of a break. It’s too much to read books like that right after each other. Today, I am writing about my reactions to Something About Sophie by Mary Kay McComas. The story is about rape, love, loss, love, redemption, and the power of forgiveness. The characters in Something About Sophie by Mary Kay McComas are full of life, and for an active reader like myself, you are right there in the story. You cannot help but immerse yourself into the story. I also thought that Sophie Shepard’s character could be a bit stronger. I like strong female characters.
Sophie Shepard, a kindergarten teacher from a small town, Marion in Ohio, gets a summons to Arthur Cubeck’s deathbed. Because of guilt and feelings of remorse, Arthur, a Unitarian minister, decides to speak out about an injustice that happened nearly 30 years ago. Sophie was adopted as a baby, and raised by loving parents. The only mother she has known, died a year earlier from cancer, which is heartbreaking for her. Although Sophie knows that she is adopted, unlike many children who are adopted, she has never yearned to find her birth parents. Sophie doesn’t know the man who summons her – to her, he is a stranger to her.
Before she gets to Arthur to find out what is so important, the dying man is having a conversation with an unnamed person. This person in the room with him, wants the secret to stay hidden because it will destroy him or her. When Arthur is firm about telling Sophie what happened nearly three decades ago, his companion snuffs the life out of him to protect the secret.
By the time Sophie Shepard arrives at the hospital, Drew McCarren, Arthur’s doctor, informs her that his patient died a few days ago. There is an instant attraction between Sophie and the doctor. She could have arrived earlier, but decided on some sightseeing. After all, it’s her summer vacation. She asks Drew if Arthur left a note for her, and he agrees to check and get back to her. He recommends that she stays at Halleron House, a bed and breakfast establishment. Her plan is to stay overnight, then return home. As fate would have it, news travels very fast in a small town, so Graham Metzer, Arthur’s lawyer hears about her arrival and requests that she stays a few more days for the reading of the will. This baffles her, but she extends her stay. Arthur’s death sets off a series of events.
At the reading of the will, she learns that she has inherited Belle-Ellen, which has been in the Cubeck family for generations. Some family members are upset about it, and are baffled by Arthur Cubeck’s behavior. Since Sophie is adopted, she is wondering if Arthur Cubeck is her birth father. Arthur’s son Hollis is thinking the same thing, so both he and Sophie decide to take a DNA test. The results are negative, so the question remains, “What would possess Arthur Cubeck to leave a family property to a stranger?”
Something About Sophie by Mary Kay McComas is a good book to read to hone your problem-solving skills. Jesse Halleron, the proprietor of the Bed and Breakfast, mentions more than once that Sophie reminds her of someone. The reader realizes that perhaps Sophie’s birth mother is from Clearfield, Virginia. When she enters the pharmacy, Maury Weims starts acting weird and does the disappearing act. Cliff Pomeroy, who has been stalking Sophie ends up dead and he has a camera with a lot of photos of Sophie. What is their connection to Sophie?
As the story unfolds, Sophie Shepard starts to learn about the secret behind her birth, things her birth parents hadn’t known. She learns that her birth mother, a happy, kind-hearted person, who was a slow learner, was raped. How does someone get over learning that she is the product of rape? How does Sophie move forward with her life? Can she and Drew have a relationship, now that they know a member of his family, didn’t only know about the rape, but killed to keep it a secret?
Although Something About Sophie by Mary Kay McComas is not an easy book to read, it is a book worth reading.
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