Monday, September 28, 2020


This book is dressed in the trappings of a mystery novel, following the heinous murder of two little girls in a tiny town in the Ozarks. But at its heart, it’s a thoughtful, moody tragedy where we witness a mother work out her grief while dedicating herself to finding her daughter’s killer. 
Little girls were never safe. I should know; I used to be one of them.
A reviewer described this book as Sharp Objects meets Winter’s Bone, which is a pretty accurate description, but I’ll also add that it also has the atmosphere of Mystic River, and that’s pretty high praise indeed. More than just a murder mystery, it’s also an exploration of grief and a sharp critique of the unfair expectations of women during times of mourning. All of this is written with real skill and a memorable, complex protagonist in Eve Taggert. But the most fascinating thing about this story is its look at the legacy of motherhood. Eve resents her abusive mother and knows that she’s responsible for much of the hardship in her life, but at the same time, Eve knows that the hard darkness in her mom might be the only thing that could lead Eve to any sort of justice. It’s a challenging tale of morality and retribution and is the best book I’ve read so far this year. 
The baby snuffled a little, burrowing against her chest, seeking. She had the sudden urge to pinch her daughter, show her, right from the start, that the world was full of ugly things.