Former best friends reunite to solve the mystery of their babysitter.
It’s been nine years since Charlotte and Nora’s babysitter Rose disappeared. During that time, Nora has married and become a potter kept busy at craft fairs, while Charlotte, after floundering a bit, has become a schoolteacher. Their friendship has withered, and the days when they scanned arcane texts in hope of divining what happened to Rose are only distant childhood memories when Charlotte calls and announces that Rose’s body, folded into a wicker trunk, has surfaced. So Nora returns to Waverly, Conn., to pick up the friendship and the mystery of Rose, a task that wends past anonymous poems in The Looking Glass, the Waverly Literary magazine; a crippling accident that Rose witnessed; and a vow of silence taken by four joyriders out for a little fun. The backward journey must also investigate a suicide attempt, inexplicable mood swings and childhood rivalries, jealousies and thoughtless cruelties before reaching its sad conclusion.
Arsenault (The Broken Teaglass, 2009) spins a tale that’s sensitive, chilling and compellingly told in chapters alternating the troubled present with the even more turbulent past.