Friday, September 3, 2021

The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor

 
Reverend Jack Brooks, along with her 14-year-old daughter, Flo, just got reassigned to Chapel Croft, a remote, insular village in Sussex, England. When she gets there, Jack is surprised to learn that the previous vicar killed himself inside the church. Chapel Croft is also known for the Sussex Martyrs--eight protestants who were burned at the stake 500 years ago. And only thirty years ago, two teenage girls went missing from Chapel Croft. No one knows what happened to them, although the former vicar seems to have been looking into their disappearance.

While Jack tries to fit in to her new parish life, her daughter, Flo, is having her own troubles. She meets a lanky boy named Wrigley who she kind of likes, gets bullied by two local teens, and has a terrifying vision of one of the Sussex Martyrs burning. Is it a portent of what's to come? Jack hopes not. But there are strange things happening in the village. She just hopes it doesn't have anything to do with the old exorcism kit that someone left for her.

In The Burning Girls, C.J. Tudor weaves together a myriad of threads--past secrets, present lies, murder, an exorcism gone wrong, rumors of ghosts, and anonymous threats--into one suspenseful tapestry. I had no idea where this book was headed when I began reading it, but I was content to sit back and watch the events unfold one by one. Tudor writes so well! And she's created two very human characters in Jack and Flo. They're both unconventional and independent individuals; I really liked their mother/daughter relationship. Hints of ghosts aside, there isn't much of the supernatural in this book. It's mostly a mystery, with several good twists and turns along the way. I found it to be a very compelling read. And that ending! It blew me away. I liked how all the different pieces came together, even though I wasn't expecting half of the revelations. This was another fun buddy read with Melody. Be sure to check out her review.

Happy Reading!


Melody's questions to me about this book:
1. There's quite a few elements and layers that weave into this suspense thriller, such as the macabre history of the burnt martyrs, the disappearance case of Merry and Joy, and the apparitions that are believed to haunt the old chapel, in which not not one of these is fully explained or showed in tons in this story. Which one of these do you wish the author would write more?

I wish the author had written a little more about Merry and Joy and who they were, and about their disappearance. Especially since that story line figures so prominently at the end of the book. It would have been nice to have known a little more of their story a little sooner. 

2. In three words, sum up how you feel about this book.  Impressed, Entertained, & Satisfied.

35 comments:

  1. Great review, Lark! I loved the various threads Tudor weaves here; and the relationship/banter between Jack and Flo was another great read. I really enjoyed reading this book and I'm glad we read it together. :)

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    1. Jack and Flo made a great mother/daughter team. I seeing them together. :)

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  2. I've been curious about this book and your review has me even more intrigued. I'll have to check my library for it. :)

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    1. It's a good read. I think you'd like it. :)

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  3. This sounds so good! I was going to ask if there was a supernatural aspect but you answered that. Off to see if they have in my library. Great review, Lark!

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    1. Thanks, Rachel! Hope you're able to get a copy. :)

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  4. I really enjoyed this one-- my first Best Read of this year!

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    1. I can see why! It's very well done. I liked it a lot. :)

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  5. I have not read CJ Tudor yet ... but her books look nice and spooky. Glad you two read them together, fun!

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    1. Buddy reads are the best. And we got lucky this time with a really good book. :)

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  6. Lovely review Lark, It sounds like it's packed with action and story lines.

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    1. It's a compelling read and hard to put down once you get started.

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  7. Great review - this sounds intriguing. I love when I don't know where a book is going to take me!

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    1. All through this one I wasn't sure where the author was headed, but she writes a very compelling and twisty story.

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  8. Wow this sounds really good. Love the sound of the village. Just a bit of spookiness to keep things edgy. :)

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    1. I wanted a little more spookiness to be honest, but even without that this was a very good book!

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  9. That's a very interesting (and eerie) premise. I'm all for plot twists, so looks like this one delivered!

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    1. It did! That ending was filled with twists and I loved them all. :)

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    1. It's a good one. I think you'd really like it. :)

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  11. The title of this one really jumped out at me, and because I prefer my "ghosts" to tread kind of lightly, this one sounds pretty good.

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    1. This will definitely not be too ghostly. It's mostly just secrets, mystery and suspense in a small English village. :)

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  12. An exorcism gone wrong is kinda sad. This sounds like a good book though.

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  13. Everything about this makes me want to read it.

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    1. If you do, I'd love to know what you think of it! :)

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  14. I love when you and Melody do the 'buddy read' thing. Also enjoyed what you said here. Think I'll try this one later this month or next for the R.I.P. Challenge. I really liked The Chalk Man by this author.

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    1. And I think this one is even better than The Chalk Man! so I think you'll really like it. :)

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  15. I've been wanting to read this one for a while now and it sounds even better than I hoped it would. Glad it was a great read for you!

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    1. It's really good! I hope you get a chance to read it. :)

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  16. Wait, I didn’t even realise there was another CJ Tudor book out? It sounds awesome — and Jack and Flo such great characters.

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    1. I really liked both Jack and Flo and their relationship. :)

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  17. I really like the sound of this one and it would be a great choice for R.I.P.!

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