In my opinion...
You know those nights when you can't stop reading, and wake up with your book on your head?
Last night was one of those nights.
This novel shocks and has the reader hooked from the start by its dark yet humorous opening chapter.
The brooding storm that hangs over the town seems to be a metaphor for the gathering dark mood within the community when Summer goes missing, as a cast of disfunctional yet fascinating characters is gradually introduced; no-one is quite whom they appear to be.
This book is well written with fabulous, evocative descriptions and the style makes it very easy to read, in spite of the use of Southern dialect, which normally I would dislike. Credit to Chris Whitaker, a Brit, not only does it flow, even when switching viewpoints, I would not have guessed it was written by a male author, writing about teenage girls.
I loved the apt choice of the sisters’ names ,indeed all the characters and place names are so considered from Grace to Hell's Gate. There is much to relish about this book, at times I found myself comparing it with great classics, it will make a great book group read for discussion. I enjoy a challenge, and reading so many books often pick up the signposts of the ending en route, but this plot was not revealed easily.It is both an extremely thoughtful book and thought provoking, as you are forced to journey through this claustrophobic, small town environment.
A fascinating read, now I'm off to order Mr Whitaker's first novel Tall Oaks, and looking forward to what he has up his sleeve for his third. Certainly an author to look out for.
Thank you ReadersFirst and Bonnier Zaffre for my ARC
Want to know more?
"Raine sometimes complains that nothing exciting is ever gonna happen in Grace again. Daddy told her careful what you wish for."
Everyone loves Summer Ryan. A model student and musical prodigy, she's a ray of light in the struggling small town of Grace, Alabama - especially compared to her troubled sister, Raine.
Then Summer goes missing. Grace is already simmering, and with this new tragedy the police have their hands full keeping the peace. Only Raine throws herself into the search, supported by a most unlikely ally.
But perhaps there was always more to Summer than met the eye . . .
An extremely well deserved four glasses of bubbles, am sure Chris Whitaker will be cracking open many bottles in celebration of a great novel