Author: Laura McHugh
Then: "My little sisters were neither alive nor dead, hovering somewhere in between, in the hazy purgatory of the missing. I had been the sole witness to their kidnapping when I was eight years old, and I had spent my childhood wondering if the man who took them might come back for me. He was never arrested, and no bodies were ever found."
Now: Leaving her master's thesis unfinished, Arden Arrowood returns to her family's ancestral home, Arrowood, in Keokuk, Iowa, to the very house from which her twin sisters disappeared seventeen years ago. The house itself feels the same, and Ben Ferris, her first love, still lives nearby, but so many other things have changed. Even her memories of that fateful September afternoon when Violet and Tabitha went missing don't feel so reliable any more. And when Josh Kyle shows up investigating the mystery of her sisters' disappearance for a book he's writing, Arden can't help wondering where the truth actually lies. Only not everyone in Keokuk wants her digging up those long-buried secrets from the past.
My thoughts: What a great read! I loved McHugh's words and imagery, and the way she builds such quiet suspense all the way through to the end of the book. And her characters are very well-written: Ben and Josh are likeable, Heaney, the care-taker, is a little creepy, Arden's mother is so passive and superficial it made me want to slap her, and Arden herself, who hasn't been able to move forward or find her own happiness because of what happened to her sisters and her own sense of guilt over it, felt very authentic and real. I liked her a lot. I would definitely recommend this mystery to anyone who enjoys a good story.