Aubrey has moved from town to town her whole life. Her father has the job that no one wants: he’s the guy who swoops in to run a company when it’s on its last legs, the guy who mercilessly cuts payroll by half in order to salvage what’s left. As a result, he’s usually hated by most of the town—and, by extension, so is Aubrey.
When Aubrey moves to Alder Ferry, she expects more of the same. While out exploring the forest behind her new home one day, though, she meets Tommy, a quiet local boy who she immediately befriends. The two become inseparable and, over time, learn to lean on each other as they face some incredibly awful circumstances.
I absolutely do not understand the glowing reviews I’ve seen for this book. The first 25% of the story is torture to get through. I think the writing is meant to be poetic and meandering and moody, but I found it overwrought and boring. There are so many words, and yet nothing is actually said.
And then suddenly (SPOILER ALERT), bam, out of nowhere: physical abuse against a child, sexual abuse against a child, and finally child rape. There is zero story development between these abuses. It’s like the author just put that in there for shock value.
And yet I persevered. Halfway through, I told myself to be patient. Maybe the random change in tone meant the story was turning into some kind of whodunnit mystery or something?
But no. The first wave of crimes are solved almost immediately, and the author moves right back into pointless pontificating and MORE horrific abuses.
Three-quarters of the way through I was over it. I skimmed the rest of the book, and I can’t tell you how happy I am to be done with it. I’m definitely in the minority on this one, but nope. Nope, nope, nope.
Thanks to Brown Posey Press for the ARC.