Strawberry Rhubarb Pie A family gathering mystery
David Marshall Hunt, author
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie A family gathering mystery by David Marshall Hunt is a psychological thriller and mystery with an attention-grabbing secret. Where is the best place to hide a family secret? Lost family and lost memories collide in this story set in the Pacific Northwest in the 1940's interrupted by war and continuing in the 1990's. The story features a twist on the family relationship theme of guilt and redemption. The narrative begins with Professor Daniel Matthew Jonson living in South Africa far from Spokane’s River Valley and the roots of his childhood. The death of his mother comes to him in a nightmare which triggers memories of his favorite storytelling uncle. The memories of Uncle Paul carry with them a growing sense of failure and guilt. The family farm, the hub of his childhood, is soon to be sold at auction adding a sense of urgency to his depression. Dr. Claire Parsons, a clinical psychologist and Daniel’s main squeeze, suggests a course of action to unblock his repressed childhood memories. Together they reenact a trail of events from his childhood. The trail takes them to the Jonson family farm and the telling of Uncle Paul’s last scary story to the children at the last gathering of the extended family before they are separated by the war. Daniel struggles to overcome his biggest enemy, father time, to recall other memories of his Uncle and the lost members of his extended family. Shortly before the war the Jonson’s adopted three children, two of Japanese and one of Chinese heritage. With Claire’s assistance Daniel remembers Uncle Paul soliciting a promise to spread the scary story throughout the neighborhood. He struggles to recall the secret reason behind why Paul created the story. If he can discover the secret, maybe he can keep the rest of his promise to his Uncle to find lost members and restore the family. Shortly after hearing Uncle Paul’s story, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Uncle Paul enlisted in the Navy and departed for the war in the Pacific. Three months later, President Roosevelt issues Executive Order #9066, evacuating, and incarcerating thousands of Japanese Americans. By wars end the family is scattered all over the globe. He remembers these events, but can he recall details and events from his childhood? Will he be able to overcome his guilt and reunite the family? Claire hopes he will regain his sense of family and curtail his wandering ways.