NetGalley Top Reviewer

NetGalley Top Reviewer
NetGalley Top Reviewer

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Reunion by Samantha Hayes

Twenty years ago, August 1996, 13-year-old Lenni Lucas disappears while walking to get ice cream.
Claire Lucas, now Rodway, older sister to Lenni, was 18 years old at the time. She and her friends were splashing about in the water of Trevellin Bay, a normal day at the beach. When Lenni did not return, the Lucas family, their friends, relatives and the police searched and did all the normal things that people do when a child goes missing. To no avail. The only signs were a dropped ice cream cone and a pair of shorts. Lenni was gone.

The family somehow puts itself back together over the next 20 years without the baby of the family. Patrick, the patriarch, is a well-loved husband and father to the Lucas kids as well as to their childhood friends. Shona, mom to all, handles everything -- especially now that Patrick has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Claire and her brother Jason get on with their lives, marry, have their own families -- but still have so many questions. "In the end, our suffering came from not having anyone to blame, from not knowing what happened."

Claire decides that it would be a good time to get some of the old crowd together to help her dad with his memory issues. She has two children (Marcus and Amy) and her best friend from back then, Maggie, has a 15-year-old daughter, Rain. Old flame Nick -- Claire often wonders what might have happened between them had Lenni not vanished. Sets it all up for lots of potential drama considering that Claire has a son about Rain's age. All the relationships are complicated. The big impetus, however, is that Shona wants to sell the old farm because she can't take care of it and her husband too. So, a last little reunion to celebrate and reminisce. Things don't quite go as planned.

Wow, there's a LOT going on in this book. Many different characters and narrations from different points of view. It's hard to imagine all this happening to a single group of people in a small little town, but all the big themes are there. Deceit, betrayal, heartbreak. Not a single character in the book has an easy time of things. It was almost too much, if you know what I mean. I won't say more to prevent spoilers, but despite all the red herrings that the author uses to obfuscate, some things were obvious quickly but one took a little longer to become clear. I am sorry to say that I really didn't like any of the characters in the book very much. Couldn't relate to them. But it was a good family drama story. I am not sure I would call this a "thriller" but more a mystery. I didn't find it suspenseful or heartpounding, etc., but definitely the word I'd use is DRAMA. I did have a hard time putting it down as I wanted to see what was going to happen to this poor messed up group of people next! The ending came a bit abruptly and a few dangling ends were left to my imagination.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for this e-book ARC to read and review. I think most people will be fascinated by the train wreck that is the Lucas family! Enjoy!

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