MADNESS, SECRETS, AND LIES
When their father descends into madness after the death of their mother, Verity Pruitt and her little sister Lilah find themselves on an orphan train to rural Arkansas.
In Wheeler, eleven-year-old Lilah is quickly adopted, but seventeen-year-old Verity is not. Desperate to stay close to her sister, Verity indentures herself as a farmhand. But even charming farm boy Abel Atchley can’t completely distract her from the sense that something is not quite right in this little town. Strange local superstitions abound, especially about the eerie old well at the center of the forest. The woods play tricks, unleashing heavy fog and bone-chilling cold…and sometimes visions of things that aren’t there.
But for Verity, perhaps most unsettling of all is the revelation that her own parents have a scandalous history in this very town. And as she tries to unearth the past, sinister secrets come with it—secrets that someone will go to violent lengths to protect….
A haunting tale of long-buried secrets, small-town scandal, and single-minded vengeance by talented debut novelist Sarah Goodman.”
After reading some heavy fantasy books, I was in the mood for something different, and the atmospheric cover and intriguing description of Eventide immediately caught my attention.
With Verity and her sister arriving on an orphan train in Wheeler and then sent to different families, you immediately sympathize with them. Small towns always seem to hold the biggest secrets, and this one is no exception. With the locals warning Verity not to venture into the woods, it reminded me of the movie The Village, which excited my supernatural-loving soul. From the first page, the author does a wonderful job establishing an atmospheric setting, and fans of this genre will be thrilled with several spine-tingling scenes.
The characters are all well-written, and Verity finds some very likeable, supportive friends, but I especially adored Big Tom and Hettie, the couple who take her in to work on their farm. The found family dynamic between them is so heart-warming, and one of my favorite parts of the story.
All of the long-buried secrets and scandals are revealed by the end, but the author holds back just enough to keep the reader guessing until almost the last page. With this book releasing in early October, it would be a perfect one to curl up with on a chilly autumn evening.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.