You know that cliché about the setting being a character in its own right? In Providence Oaks, it’s the other way round. The entirety of Lake’s worldbuild­ing is in the dozen or so faces regularly encountere­d on your route. The teenage mechanic. The maternal diner owner. The farmer-turned-radioperso­nality. An old best friend almost forgotten. Two love interests. And the year’s most unexpected cameo. They’re broadly drawn, but Gamious has picked its details shrewdly.

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