No Spoiler Book Review
Release date: June 23, 2020
The Girl from Widow Hills is a “Baby Jessica” story. The details are a little different, there is an underground drainage system instead of a well and there is sleepwalking involved, but you get the gist. Arden/Olivia is six years old when she sleepwalks into an open grate on a stormy night and is lost for days in the drainage system. She unwillingly becomes a media darling and symbol of hope for the nation when she is miraculously rescued. The Girl from Widow Hills begins twenty years later.
I was lucky enough to receive an advance reader’s copy of this book and I was excited to get approved. I love the concept, who doesn’t love a good rescue story? Plus, anything about sleepwalking is so interesting!
Overall, I did like this book, my Goodreads rating for it is three stars. It was good enough to finish and will be great for the right reader. However, I did have a few issues with the book, which ultimately all come down to pacing.
I felt like the story took too long to develop, and was too slow. Another reviewer posted that this book got better at the half way point, so I kept reading and reading and reading. Finally at the 90% mark, everything happened at once. It was good enough for me to keep reading, but too slow paced for my current mood.
There was too much repetition of Arden’s rescue story. There were SO MANY back-flashes, police reports, and eye-witness accounts of Arden’s disappearance. It was just too much repetition of the facts. I would have preferred if the author had focused more on the present, which would have made the book seem more urgent.
I try not to do negative reviews*, and I feel like this is pretty negative, the truth is I did like this book. Megan Miranda is a strong writer, she is technically very capable. She created some great imagery, I felt like I could “see” what she was writing. There are some strong quotes from this book that I thought were profound. Miranda’s writing and the story almost "feels" like Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train, it’s just not quite there yet. I would consider reading another book by Miranda.
The Girl from Widow Hills is for fans of mystery and thrillers. Anyone that enjoys real-life rescue stories or finds sleep walking interesting, may enjoy this book. If this book sounds like something you might like, you may also enjoy Pretty Things.
*I only finish, rate and review books that I personally enjoy.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers of this book for allowing me advance access in exchange for this honest review.
A suspense novel about a young woman plagued by night terrors after a childhood trauma who wakes one evening to find a corpse at her feet.
Everyone knows the story of “the girl from Widow Hills.”
Arden Maynor was just a child when she was swept away while sleepwalking during a terrifying rainstorm and went missing for days. Strangers and friends, neighbors and rescue workers, set up search parties and held vigils, praying for her safe return. Against all odds, she was found, alive, clinging to a storm drain. The girl from Widow Hills was a living miracle. Arden’s mother wrote a book. Fame followed. Fans and fan letters, creeps, and stalkers. And every year, the anniversary. It all became too much. As soon as she was old enough, Arden changed her name and disappeared from the public eye.
Now a young woman living hundreds of miles away, Arden goes by Olivia. She’s managed to stay off the radar for the last few years. But with the twentieth anniversary of her rescue approaching, the media will inevitably renew its interest in Arden. Where is she now? Soon Olivia feels like she’s being watched and begins sleepwalking again, like she did long ago, even waking outside her home. Until late one night she jolts awake in her yard. At her feet is the corpse of a man she knows—from her previous life, as Arden Maynor.
And now, the girl from Widow Hills is about to become the center of the story, once again.
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