The Deepest Dark - Joan Hall Hovey, Author

6:08 AM Posted by Martha A Cheves



Joan Hall Hovey's Dark and Stormy
  Date Squares

1 pkg. pitted dates
1 1/2 cups of orange juice
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups of rolled oats
1/3 cup water

In a pan, cook dates together with orange juice, 1/3 cup brown sugar and water.  Set aside.
Cream butter with remaining 2/3 cup of brown sugar.  Stir in flour, and add oats.  Mix until crumbly.  (It's easiest if you use your fingers.)  Press half of the mixture into the bottom of a lightly buttered 9" glass dish.  Spread date filling over crust.  Lightly press remaining mixture on top.  Bake in a 350 degree oven 25-30 minutes ( until light brown).  Makes 64 1" squares.



The Deepest Dark - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish - (I couldn't put this book down!)

She had started for the kitchen when she stopped in the doorway between the living room and kitchen, thinking she'd heard a noise outside.  She listened.  Heard it again.  A squeaking of the porch swing chain?...Hearing nothing further, but still wearing the same uneasy frown on her face, she continued on to the kitchen.  She was reaching into the drawer for a knife to cut the pie with when she heard the noise again.  She looked in the direction of the sound and that's when she saw the grinning face in the window.  Her heart lurched painfully but before she could cry out, something crashed against the back door.  It burst open and three men strode into her kitchen, big as life.  Three men she had never seen before.

Ethel and Hartley have raised their daughter and still lived in their country home where neighbors were not a walk away but a drive away.  In their 80's they had grown use to their solitude so when their uninvited visitors bust through their door they are at a total loss.

Abby used the facilities, washed her hands and splashed warm water on her face, patting it dry with rough brown paper.  When she came back out of the washroom, the woman was behind the counter. "Help yourself to the coffee, dear," she said.  "Freshly made."... "Thanks.  I needed that."  "You're welcome.  Don't know about you, but this rain is getting me down.  Awful about those three escapees, isn't it?"

Abby is on her way to the lake cabin her husband had bought for their secret get-away.  After the disasters she had faced just a few months earlier she wasn't sure of her real reason for going there.  She needed time away from everyone but with the bottle of pills in her purse, along with her depression, she just might make this her final resting place.

This book is one for the movies.  As the author brings the Ethel and Hartley, Abby, and the three men together it becomes a book that I had hard time putting down.  I actually read it in just three nights.  I hurt for Abby and her previous problems.  I felt for Ethel and Hartley as they are subdued by the three men.  I feared the three men as they prompted fear on everyone that came into contact with them.  But I learn something from reading this book.  There have been times that I go to the mountains alone just for the quiet.  As with Abby's lake cabin, my favorite place had no telephones and no TV... just peace and quiet.  Never again will I visit my favorite cabin without a phone!

So, if you want a real page turning, grip the edge of the chair and leave the lights burning read, you will surely have it with The Deepest Dark.




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