Abandoned children, missing children, a missing mom, a marriage in crisis, a ne’er-do-well brother… there’s a lot going on in The Stillwater Girls.
Wren and Sage live off-the-grid with their mother and little sister, Evie. When Evie became ill, their mom bundled her up and left to find help, admonishing her teenage daughters to open the door to no one.
That was two months ago.
Winter is on the way, and the girls are running out of food… and hope.
Wren and Sage don’t know what electricity is, have never seen a phone, and only know about television from the stories their mother told them about “the outside world.” But she’s also told them the world is a cruel and evil place and they’re never to go into the woods surrounding their little shack.
So, they don’t.
However, while there are many things nineteen-year-old Wren doesn’t know, she knows how to survive.
When a stranger appears at their front door, Wren bides her time and plots a way out for her and Sage.
This girl is resourceful! Her mama told many lies, but she taught the girls well.
Nicolette Gideon is affluent, married to the love of her life and living a charmed existence.
Or so it would appear.
Unable to have children, Nic is pushing her husband, Brant, to become foster parents. She’s desperate to be a mother and wants Brant on-board fully.
She blames his lack of interest on the up-and-coming artist’s preoccupation with his first gallery show.
Until she finds the photo of a little girl hidden in his sock drawer and money is being removed from her trust fund account.
Is Brant already a father?
Two stories become one when the girls’ escape leads them through the forbidden woods and into Nic’s life—and distract her from her marital woes, but not for long.
Questions lead to more questions no one can answer until a mega-reveal in the story weaves loose ends together… and I felt like someone doused me with ice water.
It did not work for me and left me disappointed and angry.
I have no problem suspending belief for a book, but this felt more like bent reality.
I don’t do spoilers, but I will say this—family and friends conspiring to keep a secret is plausible. But the town isn’t a party to the conspiracy, yet say nothing… for a decade?
No, that’s a bridge too far for me.
The Stillwater Girls IS a good story. Suspenseful writing will pull you in right from the beginning, and the alternating POVs of Wren and Nicolette only heighten the suspense. While the plot twist didn’t work for me, I’m sure readers of crime fiction and thrillers will enjoy this read.
Two sisters raised in fear are about to find out why in a chilling novel of psychological suspense from the author of The Thinnest Air.
Ignorant of civilization and cautioned against its evils, nineteen-year-old Wren and her two sisters, Sage and Evie, were raised in off-the-grid isolation in a primitive cabin in upstate New York. When the youngest grows gravely ill, their mother leaves with the child to get help from a nearby town. And they never return.
As months pass, hope vanishes. Supplies are low. Livestock are dying. A brutal winter is bearing down. Then comes the stranger. He claims to be looking for the girls’ mother, and he’s not leaving without them.
To escape, Wren and her sister must break the rule they’ve grown up with: never go beyond the forest.
Past the thicket of dread, they come upon a house on the other side of the pines. This is where Wren and Sage must confront something more chilling than the unknowable. They’ll discover what’s been hidden from them, what they’re running from, and the secrets that have left them in the dark their entire lives.
Amazon – smarturl.it/StillwaterGirlsMK
Goodreads – http://bit.ly/2YSl5QJ