Published by Atria Books (22nd July 2021)
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
2017: Tallulah goes out on a date with her boyfriend, this is the first date they’ve had in a while due to being young parents. They leave their son with Kim, Tallulah’s mother and she smiles as she watches them leave. The night gives way to the morning, and they’re still not home. Kim has no missed calls, nothing. She tries to call them but they don’t answer. After finding out that Tallulah and her boyfriend were heading to a party at Dark Place, she goes looking, but finds nothing. Tallulah is gone and there’s no trace of where. She doesn’t return.
2019: Sophie and her boyfriend have moved into a cottage near the boarding school where he’s just gotten a job as head teaches. While walking the property, she comes across a cardboard sign that says “DIG HERE”…
I am a sucker for a good mystery, and this one did not disappoint. I’ll admit, in the beginning, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get into the book, and I can’t even tell you why. But boy, did I get into the book, I got so far into it that it was difficult to find my way back out again when I had to do normal adult life things. This does start of a little stuttery, but trust me, it gets really good, so if you’re thinking in the beginning that it might not be for you, please stick with it, I thought the same.
So! This story is told through three timelines. We have 2017 which is told through Tallulah’s POV, it’s the lead up to her disappearance and this was the most engaging story line for me; 2018 is told through Tallulah’s mother, Kim’s, POV, and it’s basically her dealing with the aftermath of Tallulah’s disappearance and her becoming the sole care giver to her grandson; 2019 is told through Sophie’s POV, she’s the girlfriend of the new head teach of the boarding school the is the backdrop to where all of this went down, and it basically follows her as she starts to uncover things about Tallulah’s disappearance and becomes obsessed with it. I really enjoyed the format that this story took, it was great to jump between the timelines and see how things joined together and get a full look at the story and the picture that was being painted. I also feel like it helped with the unputdownability of the story because you just wanted to know what happened next in each story line. The mystery was so well thought out and I’ll admit, I had no idea what the ending was going to be, I had an idea of a certain aspect of the mystery but I didn’t know how it would be involved and it still gave no indication of the actual reveal or outcome of said mystery.
The characters were so well written. I was so invested in Tallulah’s story, I don’t want to go too much into things, but the slow revelation of her story and the slow decent into what was actually happening in her life was so well written and it really goes to show, you don’t know what someone else is dealing with, or going through. My heart ached for Tallulah, and Jewell did such a brilliant job at writing an oppressive, isolated atmosphere, I felt that in my soul. The heart wrenching pain that Tallulah’s mother went through after her disappearance was also so well written. Seeing the aftermath of the missing person, and the heartbreak that those left behind go through felt so real, the adjustment for Kim to become the mother figure to her Grandson, the struggles she faced trying to adjust to life not knowing what happened to her daughter. Sophie was a really enjoyable character, she’s an author of mystery novels and she’s made the move to the country for her partner and she ends up embroiled in this disappearance and becomes so obsessed with it that she starts hiding things from her partner.
The story really kept me engaged and the mystery was so well written, the way that everything tied together throughout the three time lines really worked brilliantly and the slow drip of revelations that came around ever turn was just amazing. It really kept me invested and trying to guess at what could have happened. All in all, this was such a fantastic read and I’m so glad that I picked it up, it’s another one that bookstagram made me buy! I was seeing it everywhere. I don’t want to go into too much detail on anything because I feel like it’s better to go into this story only knowing what’s given to you from the synopsis. It makes it that much better.
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