From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying comes your next obsession. You’ll never feel the same about family again.
Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised . . . and curious.
Their parents are all clear on one point–not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother’s good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it’s immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious–and dark–their family’s past is.
The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn’t over–and this summer, the cousins will learn everything.
| Goodreads |
I’m very grateful to be part of the blog tour for this book, so thank you so much to The Writer Reads
I had an incredible time reading this book, now I can finally understand all the love there’s for the author and her works, I’m excited to read more of her in the future. This book has many factors that I love to find in mystery, from an incredible setting and solid characters to an addictive plot with surprising revelations. I also love the intrigue it generates and how the important points are slowly hinted at during the plot, it’s a very well constructed book.
In this story, we follow three characters, Milly, Aubrey & Jonah Story who are cousins, but they hardly know each other, as well as they don’t know their rich grandmother at all, who disinherited her parents before the boys were even born. But now each of them has received an invitation letter to go to work at their gran’s island resort throughout the summer. Their parents insist that they should go as an opportunity to return into Grandmother’s good graces, but once arrive on the island they realize that the plans that their grandmother had for them were different and the longer they stay they begin to realize that there are dark secrets in the family past, secrets that this summer will finally see the light.
I think what I enjoy the most about the book is the plot, the idea behind it’s extremely smart and is very well executed, so my applause for the author who has managed to give us an incredibly addictive story that’s very difficult to stop reading. I love how also during the plot some smaller secrets being to reveal and you begin to learn along with the characters some things that were happening with their family and all this information, despite not being the great ending or the great revelation, they also have their own weight. And I really liked how the author decided to reveal these little details to give us more clues because that way she manages to keep you on the edge of your seat trying to discover what really happened in the past of this family that managed to separate them forever.
I’m fascinated by plots focused on family conflicts, especially when it focuses on a mystery, I think there’s something in a family drama that hook me a lot. In this case, we can see some betrayals, many lies, cover-ups, fakers, and above all many secrets, all this involving the Story family, which also owns a huge legacy and a lot of money. It was fascinating to meet the family and each character, and I also really appreciate the family tree at the beginning of the book because when you first start reading, it can be confusing because there are many names and you have to remember who is whose child, so that was really helpful.
The fact that it’s located on an Island seems wonderful to me, you know that I’m trash for a good setting and when it’s an Island even better, I feel that this type of place can give a lot of character to the story and makes it feel much more atmospheric, which I love. We can visit beautiful beaches and mountain places, I love that. Also, all this focuses on a very wealthy woman who owns several hotels and tourist business, so the buildings and her house are all very elegant and majestic, I love that with my soul.
I really appreciate the author’s style, not only was it very easy for me to read the book, but I was also delighted to see how the times of descriptions, revelations, and information, in general, are handled. By this, I mean that everything is given in small and fair amounts, which I really liked, I think it may feel precipitated for other readers, but for me, it was perfect since I don’t usually enjoy over-descriptive books. I think that in summary everything is in its proper measure and nothing is exaggerated or too much.
The characters are obviously the center of the story, we get to know all the members of the Story family, but also other characters who work with Grandma Mildred, who also take important roles in the plot. I’ll talk briefly about them to tell you how I felt in general.
To start I want to start with Milly, she was my least favorite, not because her chapters weren’t enjoyable because they were, I think they’re also chapters with a lot of important information, but her personality doesn’t resonate with me, she reminded me a bit of Veronica Lodge from Riverdale for some reason lol, and I do like that Veronica, but at times Milly can be too superficial and full of herself for my taste. Even so, I think she’s an intelligent character who knows how to read people well and that helped the movement of the plot. On the other hand, we have Jonah, and he’s a very interesting character to explore although I cannot reveal too much about him, I think he gives a new meaning and another look at the family that’s interesting to explore, he’s also the protagonist of some very solid scenes. And the last cousin is Aubrey, and she’s my absolute favorite, I loved her from the first moment, I felt super protective over her, I know that she’s a girl who always needs the approval of others and lacks a lot of love and acceptance of her paternal family, it’s partly what brings her on this trip, and to all of them really, but in Aubrey I see the most sensitive and empathetic soul of all, and that made me love her immediately and I feel more identified with her in some way. It makes me happy to see that she’s who grows the most and seeing her get stronger and confidence made me very happy.
Then we have secondary characters, and I love how they all have an important role, and in some way, their own main scenes, the adults in the story, Mildred’s children are: Allison, Adam, Archer & Anders, all very interesting characters to explore, I think in general they’re all imperfect and unlikeable characters, especially Adam and Anders, characters that I hate, they have a lot of darkness in themselves and are the most egocentric of all. On the other hand, Allison is an interesting character for me because she gives a new perspective to the story itself, and I loved seeing her when she was young and seeing her eventually grow up and accept her own mistakes. Archer is my favorite of the four, he ends up being such a supportive character with his nephews and represents in some way the most innocent and sweet side of the Story family, I love him, and I love the role he takes in the whole situation. In addition, we also have many more characters that will give it a super interesting twist, and even quite creepy, which is worth discovering for yourself.
There’s romance happening, I can’t tell who they are because of spoilers, but it wasn’t something that I enjoyed, to be honest, I didn’t care much, I think it doesn’t have much depth or meaning for me, I was much more focused on the family and conflicts in itself than in this couple, so I have no opinion about it, it’s just not my favorite thing. On the other hand, I loved the relationship between Aubrey and Milly, I think there’s a genuine connection between them that I enjoy a lot, they have good interactions.
Something that I love in mystery is also the jumps in time, here we follow the POVs of the three main characters in the present, but also we follow a plotline that takes place in the 90 ‘a couple of years before all the conflict happened, and there we followed the boys’ parents as teenagers, which I LOVE! I think that this type of detail makes the plot better understood, makes the reader feel committed to the characters and what they’re going through, and also gives you a better perspective of how the family dynamics were at that time.
It’s always fun to go back in time to find out details of what happened and experience it right there with the characters, I love that, it’s a lot of fun.
Of course, I highly recommend this book, I can’t wait to read more by the author, she has a natural talent at the time of writing the genre, I love how addictive the story is, and how dynamic it is since there are things happening all the time and it keeps you wanting to know what will happen, I never lost the intrigue and it was able to keep my interest until the end, which is great. I really like the revelation at the end, I didn’t see it coming at all, so that’s always positive, but it’s also very well executed and thought out, nothing is left to chance, which feels very good for my brain lol. I loved where the plot went, and the ending is solid, so I know a lot of people will enjoy it.
In short, I know you would like if you enjoy the mystery genre, if you like multiple characters’ POVs, if you like a drama with many family secrets and lies & also if you enjoy an incredible setting.
I’m so glad I read it and I’m excited to read her next work, this was very entertaining from start to finish.