"Saskia was a damaged, lonely teenager when she arrived at the lakeside commune called Home. She was entranced by the tang of sourdough starter; the midnight call of the loons; the triumph of foraging wild mushrooms from the forest floor. But most of all she was taken with Abraham, Home's charismatic leader, the North Star to Saskia and the four other teens who lived there, her best and only friends.
Two decades later, Saskia is shuttered in her Connecticut estate, estranged from the others. Her carefully walled life is torn open by threatening letters. Unless she and her former friends return to the land in rural Maine, the terrible thing they did as teenagers—their last-ditch attempt to save Home—will be revealed.
From vastly different lives, the five return to confront their blackmailer and reckon with the horror that split them apart. How far will they go to bury their secret forever?"
I'm having trouble writing up my thoughts on this one which makes it sound like I didn't like it which wasn't the case. I just don't know how to put into words how I felt about this book so be patient with me. This book is dark. Like dark, I didn't expect it to go there even when I had inklings, dark. It won't be for everyone. But it was also really good and such a compelling read. In this book it is basically told from two different storylines: the present day where Saskia is being faced with having to return Home being the first storyline, a place that she once loved but where things ended very badly for her and her friends, and then also the storyline where we see Saskia as a young teenage girl and how she ended up at Home and her experiences living there. I'm trying to be as deliberately vague as possible so I don't spoil anything. The book goes back and forth between those two storylines seamlessly. And the entire time I was reading there was this feeling of dread almost that was present in both of the storylines. That feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop so to speak. It really ratcheted up the tension and feelings of suspense that were present throughout the book. Throughout the book I could never get a full read or understanding of Saskia. I knew that there must be more to her story but wasn't exactly sure what it could be. And the author drops these hints....enough that you know as the reader that something really terrible happened in her past even if you don't have the full story yet. Just wait. Because this is a compelling read that kept me engrossed within its' pages even if I wasn't sure that I wanted to be there. And the ending...whew. Even when I had parts figured out, I cannot begin to explain how I felt about that ending. It left me clearly at a loss for words even now. I'm actually eager to see what other readers think of this one and to discuss it. This is an author that I will definitely be watching from more of because wow - she crafted a story that I won't be forgetting about any time soon!
Overall, it feels wrong to say that I enjoyed this one due to the content but I do still think it was a really good read. I don't think it will be for everyone and message me if you need some specific content warnings before going into it. But if you enjoy books about cults, character focused books, and a suspenseful read that you won't forget about anytime soon then pick this one up. Recommended!
Bottom Line: A dark but very compelling read!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher. Honest thoughts are my own.
Nice review, thanks for sharing your thoughtsReplyDelete
Great review! It sounds like one that was complicated to write. I do typically enjoy books about cults but this one looks like a bit too dark for me - at least right now. I am going to add it to my list for when I'm in the mood for something a bit deeper.ReplyDelete
Really glad to hear you enjoyed this one. I got and advance review and can't wait to read it!ReplyDelete
I'm intrigued! This one sounds quite different than her last book, June.ReplyDelete
I have read books (and stories) that I did not "enjoy" but that kept me riveted. This book sounds very intense. Excellent review, Samantha! I hope you've been having a good summer.ReplyDelete