The Girl Who Stayed
Tanya Anne Crosby
The Story Plant
April 19, 2016
also available as ebook
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK
Another “girl” in a new book title, and it’s also very good! I discovered Tanya Anne Crosby when she approached me to translate her novels in French. I have so far translated four and am in the process of translating the fifth. So it was good reading The Girl Who Stayed, just for the fun of it.
The book opens indeed on an element reminiscent of Gone Girl, with the disappearance of a young girl (much younger than Amy) in a dysfunctional family. But the neat and spooky descriptions of Sullivan’s Island (near Charleston, SC) made me also think of Kate Morton, especially as Zoe, the main character, goes back to her old family home to try to understand her past and what happened to her younger sister, almost 30 years before.
Zoe was 10 when her sister Hannah, 8, disappeared. At 39, Zoe still feels guilty for being alive.
Though successful in her profession, she’s a broken woman, after a tough childhood and a crazy boyfriend whose anger only matched her father’s.
During a 3 month leave of absence, she goes back to the family home she left when she was 18, to fix it and try to finally resolve the mystery of her sister’s disappearance that has poisoned all her life.
The house was deserted but, like hidden data on a reformatted computer, memories crowded every inch
What will she discover on the island? Will police Chief McWhorter be able to help after so many years, or his son Ethan, or her strange neighbor Walter?
And then, more girls disappear…
I enjoyed particularly the awesome descriptions of the ocean (its beauty but also its dangers — tidal currents, sand bars, tunnels, cf Edgar Poe and Annabel Lee!) and the scenes of suspense. Having translated several books by Crosby, I can say I’m a fan at how she manages to convey spookiness.
The author has also a knack for exploring the psyche of her characters and for creating very vivid true to life dialogs.
The book is particularly fantastic if you enjoy stories about dysfunctional families. I don’t much, but this does not take away the fact of the great writing of the novel.
I need to mention also a sexually disturbing scene for me in chapter 15.
EN DEUX MOTS :
Un autre excellent roman de Crosby, avec ses dialogues si vivants et ses descriptions très évocatrices tant des lieux que des personnages.
VERDICT: Awesome suspense as Zoe revisits her disturbing past and its shadows.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT
Zoe Rutherford wasn’t sure what she was expecting when she returned to Sullivan’s Island. The house on Sullivan’s hadn’t represented home to her in decades. It was the place where she endured her father’s cruelty. It was the place where her mother closed herself off from the world. It was the place where her sister disappeared. But now that her parents are gone, Zoe needs to return to the house, to close it down and prepare it for sale. She intends to get this done as quickly as possible and get on with her life, even though that life seems clouded by her past, both distant and recent. But what she discovers when she gets there is far beyond her imagining and will change her in profound ways.
THE GIRL WHO STAYED is a remarkable exploration of the soul by a writer with a rare talent for reaching into the hearts of her characters and her readers, a novel of transformation that will leave you moved and breathless.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tanya Anne Crosby
is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-five novels. She has been featured in magazines, such as People, Romantic Times and Publisher’s Weekly, and her books have been translated into eight languages. Her first novel was published in 1992 by Avon Books, where Tanya was hailed as “one of Avon’s fastest rising stars.” Her fourth book was chosen to launch the company’s Avon Romantic Treasure imprint. Known for stories charged with emotion and humor and filled with flawed characters, Tanya is an award-winning author, journalist, and editor, and her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews. In 2013, she penned her first romantic suspense novel, Speak No Evil, which appeared on the USA Today list. The Girl Who Stayed brings her full circle to work with Lou Aronica, President and Publisher of The Story Plant, who first published Tanya at Avon Books. Tanya and her writer husband split their time between Charleston, SC, where she was raised, and northern Michigan, where the couple make their home. (from The Story Plant)