Sunday, July 24, 2016
Arroweed by Laura McHugh
What a delicious modern day Gothic mystery complete with an old, decaying family mansion and dark secrets. It has all the elements that create a sense of foreboding as Arden Arrowood returns to her childhood home when she inherits it after her father's death. The Arrowood family had left this house for a fresh start after her 20-month-old twin sisters disappeared while in her care when she was 8 years old. Though Arden witnessed the abduction, describing the gold car, the owner of that vehicle was never charged with the kidnapping.
Now, at 26, Arden is sort of lost -- she still feels the anguish of not knowing what happened to her sisters as no trace of them was ever found. She settles in, determined to hold on to the few memories she has, and hoping that she can somehow reconnect with herself and her roots there in the historic family home in Iowa by the Mississippi River. Her old friend, Ben Ferris, is still around -- he was the only other person to have seen that gold car on the fateful day. Her neighbor, her first love -- can she somehow get back to where they left off? She wants closure in order to get on with her life and suffers from the "bittersweet longing for a time and place left behind."
Home is not what it once was, however, as the town of Keokuk has deteriorated and many people still remember the Arrowoods and their tragedy. Josh Kyle, the founder of a website called Midwest Mysteries, is also interested in the unsolved case of the twins and contacts her saying that he doesn't think that the driver of that gold car is the one who abducted the twins. Could Arden be confused about what she saw?
Arden finds her answers, but not in the way that she expected, and learns the truth -- the answer she got was not the one she wanted.
I sat down this afternoon intending only to get started on this one and then put it aside to finish some other projects I was working on, but did not put it down until I finished. I thoroughly enjoyed this gripping novel. I liked the characters and the atmospheric setting. Loved the descriptions of the house and the family history. Liked the sense of menace and, though I thought I had figured it all out, I was still caught off a bit off guard. I did read the other book by this author as well and Laura McHugh has a fan in me!
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for the e-book ARC to review.