I've decided to start doing the odd weekend book review as otherwise they all pile up into one big mad monthly review and that can often get a bit out of hand, depending on how much I actually read each month. Anyway, I've read loads this month and thought I'd review this one on it's own.
To start with, I was intrigued by the title for this and when I read the description it piqued my interest even more. On a sunny Summers day in the 80's, Anna's eighteen year old sister Rose goes missing from their back garden, leaving behind no clue as to where she could be gone.
Flash forward to the present day and Anna is in her early thirties and struggling to keep up with her peers; she's in a relationship but feels bored and stifled and can't see herself settling down like her friends into marriage and motherhood. At first she fails to realise why this is but when she really thinks about it, it's because the loss of her sister left such an impact on her life that she hasn't really moved on. Neither have her parents who both deal with her loss differently, with her mother appearing to become slightly unhinged as the years go on.
Anna decides to takes things into her own hands and investigate the disappearance of her enigmatic and beautiful sister all those years ago, primarily through looking up old school friends on Facebook.
That's as much as I can tell you really without ruining the storyline but what I can say is that you do get a resolution here as to what happened to Rose; which for me personally is pretty important, I can't stand reading books where you spend the entire time trying to figure out the mystery to be told at the end "oh well, I guess we'll never know". Grr.
All of the characters are well developed in this; even Rose via flashback is as clear as day to me and I love the sense of atmosphere the author creates; at times reading it actually felt like a Summers day in my own back garden in the 80's, growing up with my sisters around me and that's some fairly impressive imagery!
What was also great about this was that there was no reasonable way you could really solve the puzzle yourself because Newbery weaves in other secrets and surprises throughout the novel and dedicates each chapter to different characters as well as different eras; the 70's, the 80's, right up to nowadays. Even though there's a lot going on, I felt it moved along at a good pace and was a really enjoyable read. I really didn't want to put it down so I could find out what happened and I will say there's a big old twist in the tale that floored me a bit!
I think this is a great Summer read, it's captivating and you'll quickly become engrossed in it if you take it with you to the beach.
This was only just published on the 17th of this month so I got a little sneaky peek at it before then but as it's out now you've no excuse not to pick it up for your holidays!
*I received an advance copy of this from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review, which you are always guaranteed on my blog.