July 21-25, 2021
This genre-defying thriller/mystery begins with a car ride. At her wit’s end with the bickering, Faye tells her pre-teen daughter to get out of the car and walk the six miles home, despite the impending darkness. Hours pass and tiny Ellen still isn’t home. What happens next is equal part coming-of-age story and shocking mystery.
5 stars for A Crooked Tree because this book was so unexpectedly brilliant and written with such haunting precision. I fully expected this to be a “missing child” story, but within the first few chapters, little Ellen returns home. This is more of an atmospheric coming-of-age story than anything else, although if you love a good mystery – you’ll enjoy this, too! If you were ever a young girl who had to navigate the confusing expectations of what to say and what not to say, both to the adults in your life and to your peers, this book will take you back and possibly even help you unpack some heavy stuff.
I had forgotten how difficult it can be for a teen to tell their parents things that their parents ABSOLUTELY need to know! Or how out of control it can feel to try to manage your reputation with boys while also maintaining friendships when different kids are at different stages of their social development and everything is just so confusing. After reading this book, all I can say is, MY GOD, HOW DID WE SURVIVE IT?
I adored this book and I’m disappointed that it will probably be somewhat underrated (although I hope I’m wrong) simply because it’s not at all what you expect. It’s so, so much more.
Do you want to work through some of your teenage trauma? Pick up this one.