There’s nothing quite like revisiting your childhood and remembering everything that happened. I feel it poignantly whenever I go back home and run into people I knew in high school. Memories, the good and the bad, resurface.
It’s similar to what happens in Karen Brown’s novel, The Longings of Wayward Girls, when a boy from Sadie’s past comes back and memories of the summer twenty years ago resurface, bringing up the nightmares of that summer and mysteries start to unfold themselves.
Sadie was an precocious child that seemingly idyllic summer and it was posed to be that way until Sadie and her friend decide to play an other-wise harmless prank on a neighborhood girl. Soon after, the neighborhood girl goes missing and is never heard from again. Sadie’s life changes forever that summer.
Years later, Sadie is married and is a mother, still living in the same town that she lived in when she was a girl. Her life is still idyllic but her boredom with her husband, grief from her stillborn daughter and her suffocating life is about to do her over until a boy that she had a crush on when she was young comes back into her life.
Interspersed with flashbacks back to Sadie’s past, The Longings of Wayward Girls is a book that made me nostalgic for carefree summers. While I got annoyed at Sadie at times throughout the book since I couldn’t understand why she needed to be so reckless or stupid sometimes, I still liked The Longing of Wayward Girls since Sadie was trying to make sense of the past to make sense of the present. Brown's writing was engaging as well as Brown has a mastery of tone and emotion and she weaves complex and realistic characters throughout the story.
The novel was a bit eerie and dark at times, but it’s a great read for the long winter nights that are sure to come ahead.
Review copy provided by the publisher