THE LYING WOODS by Ashley Elston
Kirkus Star


Age Range: 14 - 17
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A teen is unprepared for the truths his father’s disappearance uncovers in Elston’s (This Is Our Story, 2016, etc.) latest.

Senior Owen Foster, long-cloistered in affluence and his upscale New Orleans boarding school, can barely comprehend the shocking news from his mother: His father has been embezzling for years and now has disappeared, leaving his company, his employees’ lives, and his family in shambles. Returning home, Owen finds himself the target of the town’s rage; he gets threatening, unnerving messages accusing him and his mother of collusion. He tries to escape the endless demands to know where his father and the money are by working in an orchard with a nonjudgmental pecan farmer and by picking up the threads of an old friendship, but Owen is keeping his own secret from everyone—his dad sent him a letter right before he disappeared, suggesting they meet over Thanksgiving. Fans who have come to expect Elston’s mastery of situational tension, double narratives, and enthralling mystery will not be disappointed with this newest tale that alternates between past and present perspectives as it barrels toward a stunning reveal. Owen’s fall from a grace he never knew was funded by stolen money is visceral as he negotiates humility and defensiveness while relearning what he thought he knew about his father and himself. Characters are assumed white.

Readers won’t even notice the steady pull to the edges of their seats. (Fiction. 14-17)

Pub Date: Nov. 13th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-368-01478-6
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2018


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