THE LOST GIRLS
Written by Heather Young
JULY 26, 2016; 352 Pages
William Morrow, Harper Collins
Genre: suspense, mystery
(I received an ARC from the EDELWEISS in exchange for an honest review.)
"In 1935, six-year-old Emily Evans vanishes from her family’s vacation home on a remote Minnesota lake. Her disappearance destroys the family—her father commits suicide, and her mother and two older sisters spend the rest of their lives at the lake house, keeping a decades-long vigil for the lost child.
Sixty years later, Lucy, the quiet and watchful middle sister, lives in the lake house alone. Before her death, she writes the story of that devastating summer in a notebook that she leaves, along with the house, to the only person who might care: her grandniece, Justine.
For Justine, the lake house offers freedom and stability—a way to escape her manipulative boyfriend and give her daughters the home she never had. But the long Minnesota winter is just beginning. The house is cold and dilapidated. The dark, silent lake is isolated and eerie. Her only neighbor is a strange old man who seems to know more about the summer of 1935 than he’s telling.
Soon Justine’s troubled oldest daughter becomes obsessed with Emily’s disappearance, her mother arrives to steal her inheritance, and the man she left launches a dangerous plan to get her back. In a house haunted by the sorrows of the women who came before her, Justine must overcome their tragic legacy if she hopes to save herself and her children." (on Book Jacket)
I went into this novel thinking it was more of a suspense thriller than a fiction book with a mystery. Right off the bat, I will admit other than the young girls, Melanie and Angela, I didn't really connect with the characters. While what happened to Emily was plausible, it seemed a bit too flippant. Almost like, oh right, Emily died and we have to give some sort of ending. There were certain plotlines that Young was trying to hint at without saying but it seemed too much in your face. I'd rather have just known right out about the secrets. The dancing around the secret got a bit tedious and then I just didn't care when it was revealed as it felt like you already knew. Even the description above is more of a summary than a synopsis.
It took me a bit to get into the novel as the story takes awhile to heat up. It is one of the reason why there is no real suspense. There was a mystery but even that wasn't mentioned as much as I thought it would. BUT I am glad I stuck with it as I dis enjoy Young's writing and her intentions from this novel. While her characters seem either very harsh and out for themselves or quiet pushovers - I did not feel any connection - good or bad towards them. I am interested in seeing what Young writes next...I will try not to have expectations of a certain genre.
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