A young girl strives to learn from the dead and find the truth about her family’s darkest secrets.
This compelling mystery switches among three perspectives—those of Charlie Calloway, a young woman who attends an elite New England boarding school; Charlie’s mother, Grace, who disappeared from their lake house when Charlie was 7; and Charlie’s father, Alistair, a billionaire real estate mogul who many people believe killed Grace—and two time periods, 1996-’97 and 2017. Charlie has never known what happened to her mother, but she is determined to find out. When, at age 17, she's selected for the most exclusive secret club on her school's campus—the A’s—and, as an initiate, must perform a series of challenging and dangerous tasks, Charlie realizes that the club has something to do with her mother’s disappearance. As the layers are unpeeled, revealing the truth, so, too, are the protective layers Charlie had erected as a defense against love. Through most of the story, the thrill is true; but the ending swings from hackneyed—“Had he jumped of his own volition, or was he forced to his watery grave below?”—to unnecessarily melodramatic. The book is saved, however, by the candid and genuine relationships among the young characters. Charlie, an appealing protagonist, has a smart and gamine spirit; her exchanges with her cousin and fellow student, Leo, and with her friend and detective partner, Greyson, are especially jocular and sweet.
The story of a long-game revenge played out between generations.