Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
When 15-year-old Lane Roanoke is sent to live with her grandparents and her cousin Allegra in their rambling Kansas mansion, she secretly hopes she'll finally find the sense of home and family she never had with her own mother. Instead, she uncovers secrets darker and more dangerous than she could ever have imagined. Ten years later, Lane is drawn back to the family home to help solve the mystery of Allegra's disappearance. Alternating between the narrative present and Lane's first summer in Kansas, Engel (The Book of Ivy) skillfully builds suspense and unfolds mysteries bit by bit. The vivid characters are made all the more complex by the horrors they're sucked into, and even the lighter notes of the novel-first loves, rekindled relationships-are tainted with the darkness that threatens to engulf them all. Tension runs through the novel from beginning to end and teases out the basic human emotions-guilt, love, jealousy, and fear. The themes and characters come to life through Brittany Pressley's gifted narration. She uses a thoughtful and straightforward tone the reader can imagine coming directly from Lane herself. -VERDICT Surprisingly easy to listen to despite its dark subject matter, this gripping work is a definite recommendation for fans of mystery, romance, and coming-of-age novels. ["Atmospheric and unsettling tale of the secrets and bonds of family, set against the backdrop of small-town Kansas": LJ 12/16 review of the Crown hc.]-Samantha Facciolo, New York © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
YA author Engel (The Book of Ivy) makes her adult debut with a gripping if creepy thriller set on the Kansas prairie. Lane Roanoke fervently hoped she had seen the last of Roanoke, the family homestead, when she fled Kansas for Los Angeles as a desperate 16-year-old, but now a decade later the disappearance of her cousin Allegra, the only kin to whom she feels a connection, compels her to return against her better judgment. Indeed, with local law enforcement stymied, it seems that the only hope of solving the mystery lies with Lane and whatever clues she can dredge up from memories of the traumatic summer the two cousins shared as teens. Skipping lightly between past and present, including Lane's efforts to finally come to terms with the two most influential men in her life-dangerously seductive family patriarch Yates and roguish Cooper Sullivan, her never-forgotten first love-this gothic page-turner speeds inexorably toward the kinds of devastating revelations readers won't soon forget. Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
After her mother commits suicide, 16-year-old Lane Roanoke moves from New York to Osage Flats, Kansas, to live with her grandparents and her cousin Allegra. Both girls' mothers left Lane's grandparents years earlier. Over the course of the summer, Lane and Allegra explore their places in the line of Roanoke girls their mothers, aunts, and grandmother who all lived in Osage Flats. Soon, Lane uncovers the reason her mother fled the family and runs away herself, abandoning Allegra. Ten years later, her grandfather calls to tell her that Allegra is missing. Lane returns to confront her tangled past and search for her beloved cousin. Engel tells Lane's story in chapters that alternate between Then and Now and includes single chapters from each of the other Roanoke girls. The story is partially a modern mystery and partially an exploration of traumatic family dynamics and the nature of love. In Engel's (The Book of Ivy, 2014) first novel for adults, she succeeds in creating an emotionally captivating story that will leave readers reaching for her earlier, young adult work.--Chanoux, Laura Copyright 2017 Booklist