Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Crown via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
Summary: Lane’s family has a secret. A secret that she ran away from at the age of 16. A secret that led to her mom’s suicide when Lane was just 15. A secret that eventually leads to the death or disappearance of all Roanoke girls, at least those that stay at the family estate. And now Lane’s cousin Allegra has gone missing, and their grandfather is calling her back home to help find her.
Review: It’s hard to talk about this book without giving anything away. The family secret is alluded to early in the book, so it isn’t much of a surprise when it’s revealed. And it is a bit VC Andrews without as much drama, not as extreme or entangled, but equally taboo. It’s also a little scary because you can understand the hold a charismatic loved one can have over you, and how the illness that convinces them that everything they are doing is out of love, also helps a child to be convinced that something that feels wrong isn’t. In the long run, that confusion blurs the lines of love, making it difficult to understand what real loves feels like, to accept it from others who offer it without expectations, without manipulation. And when that child grows older and realizes what has happened, they struggle to understand how they could have “let” it happen, how they couldn’t have known. How maybe they did know, but it was easier to pretend. As an adult Lane searches for her cousin Allegra, these are some of the demons she wrestles with, demons she’s been living with since that summer she went to live with her grandparents, a summer that she’d rather forget.
The perspective of this book was quite interesting. In using multiple generations of women, all suffering the same thing at the same hands, we are able to see the many different ways that people react to such abuses. I thought the relationship between Cooper and Lane was a little cliché. Perhaps I’ve read too many books where broken people get together and patch each other up, or perhaps support each other while they patch themselves up. Despite that, I liked them together.
Overall, a good read. It was a lot more introspection than mystery, and I can’t say that I was surprised about who did it. But the psychology of it all was intriguing.