Crown, 2017; 288 pages
Following her mother’s suicide, fifteen-year-old Lane Roanoke comes to live with her maternal grandparents and cousin, Allegra, at the Roanoke family estate in rural Osage Flats, Kansas, a labyrinthine farmhouse which Lane describes as, “equal parts horrifying and mesmerizing.” She knows little of her mother’s family, other than the fact that her mother ran away years before and cut off all contact with her parents. Allegra, abandoned by her own mother at birth and raised by her grandparents, introduces Lane to small-town life and the benefits of being one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But there is darkness at the heart of the Roanoke family and when Lane discovers its insidious pull she has no choice but to run, as far and as fast as she can.
Eleven years later, Lane is scraping by in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls with the news that Allegra has gone missing. “Come home,” he beckons. Unable to resist the pull, Lane returns, determined to find her cousin and assuage her own guilt at having left Allegra behind all those years ago. Her homecoming might mean a second chance with Cooper, the boyfriend whom she loved and destroyed that fateful summer. But it also means facing the terrible secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.
This was a VERY dark tale. The publisher calls it "boundary-pushing and provocative" and claims it will keep readers "turning pages even when you want to look away."
Well, it's certainly provocative. I read an advance copy of the book, from NetGalley, and felt obligated to finish it. If it weren't for that, I'm not sure I could have plowed through the whole mess. There were things I liked about it, but they were overshadowed by the subject matter and the way it was presented. Don't want to say too much more — the book's impact really depends on its twists and turns and shocking revelations. But I will say that this one is definitely not an easy read.
(Note: I received my copy of this book from the publisher, free of charge, through the NetGalley website. No other compensation was received, and no one tried to influence my opinion of the book.)
Qualifies for the following reading challenges: eBook Challenge; New Authors Challenge; New to Me Challenge.