It’s an idyllic New England summer, and Sadie is a precocious only child on the edge of adolescence. It seems like July and August will pass lazily by, just as they have every year before. But one day, Sadie and her best friend play a seemingly harmless prank on a neighborhood girl. Soon after, that same little girl disappears from a backyard barbecue—and she is never seen again. Twenty years pass, and Sadie is still living in the same quiet suburb. She’s married to a good man, has two beautiful children, and seems to have put her past behind her. But when a boy from her old neighborhood returns to town, the nightmares of that summer will begin to resurface, and its unsolved mysteries will finally become clear.
Sabrina-Kate - 4 Star
I liked The Longings of Wayward Girls a lot though it did take me awhile to get into it. There are a lot of characters and each chapter alternates between the past and present which made it quite difficult to follow at first.The story is quite a complex one so I found it very challenging to be able to stick with it and, in fact, it took me until about halfway through the book, or even a bit more, before I found a rhythm in the story that I could work with.
All that being said, this story is worth reading. For anyone who likes a good mysterious, suspenseful story, this is definitely one you would enjoy. Part love story (but only in the most abstract of ways) and part reminiscence, The Longings of Wayward Girls has many twists and unexpected developments which is partly its strength but also partly what made it difficult to follow.
The characters could be a bit more developed. I found it interesting how the younger characters, that is to say, the characters in the chapters dealing with the past, seemed to be older than their years or perhaps a bit wiser than they should have been. Perhaps though, the disappearance of another girl forced them to grow up too soon. I found myself questioning reactions and things the characters said, trying to figure out the reasons behind them which I quite liked.
So this story was a challenge in many ways but it had many good points though I found it hard to follow at times. Ultimately though, it was an enjoyable read and I was happy I stuck with it.
Thank you to Washington Square Press for our review copy. All opinions are our own.
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