The Longing of Wayward Girls
by Karen Brown
published by Washington Square Press
I received this book as a digital ARC from the publisher through Net Galley in return for an honest review.
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. (goodreads)
This is the third book I have read this month that I experienced a strange thing- a dislike of the characters and their decisions. The story alternates between the summer of 1979 and the summer of 2003, all set in a quaint New England town. Sadie Watkins is the main character and we go back and forth with her between these two pivotal summers. In 1979, the adolescent Sadie makes choices that will haunt her for the rest of her life. I actually enjoyed the descriptions of growing up in the 70’s. Though I am not as old as Sadie, I too grew up in the era. The flashbacks were honestly the more interesting parts of the book, though I had a hard time liking Sadie at any point. I would have enjoyed more of that story, rather than the constant sense of ennui and repeated poor choices of the adult Sadie. I found it easier to take a 12 year old doing stupid and harmful things than a grown women and mother of two children. That being said, the book was well written and I would look forward to reading more from this author. I did find the whole story line with Sadie’s mother captivating. It balanced out the Loomis storyline, which kind of went nowhere.
My Rating 3 out of 5