Julia is at her father's house after her mother passes away from Alzheimers when she hears the phone ring. When she finally finds the phone, it is the voice of her best middle school friend and the call makes no sense. Her friend was talking about something that happened nearly forty years ago. A day later, she's clearing out her mother's closet and runs across a tape of her last middle school band concert. She decides to look up her old band director and give him the tape because also on the tape was the presentation of a significant award he and the band had earned. On her way to band director's house, she stops by her high school. What she sees when she gets there are the friends she had in high school--ones who died way too soon and she wanted to talk to them and tell them that there were things in life that were worth their taking care of themselves. But they couldn't see her.
Insert Twilight Zone theme here. After talking to her former director, she understands (by his direction) that God is trying to speak to her and she needs to listen. From here on out, she becomes Sister Mary Sunshine with an over-the-top perky personality: she rescues her best childhood friend--Margaret--from suicide, she takes in her friend and gives her a safe haven, she begins to volunteer at the local nursing home where the man who abused her friend is now living--but through all of this, she's got a perky attitude and helps her friend see how God is speaking to her.
While I was in the beginning chapters of the book, I was a bit disturbed by the "time travel" aspects early on in the book. I went to Amazon to see what other reviewers said about The Gates Manor Band. All of the reviews I read talked about how this book was so hard to put down. So I decided to continue on. I finished the book only because it didn't take very long to read it. I've not read any other books by Jan Hemby, and I will have to wait and see if I will read others by her in the future.
The most believable character is the son of the abuser--Joseph. He wants to buy the Manor house from Margaret and her brother, Preston, to make it a rehab center for all kinds of addictions. I can only give this book two stars.
My thanks to Booktrope for allowing me to read and review this book.