By Kimberly McCreight
Publication Date: 4/14/2015
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
From the author of the New York Times bestseller and 2014 Edgar and Anthony nominee Reconstructing Amelia comes another harrowing, gripping novel that marries psychological suspense with an emotionally powerful story about a community struggling with the consequences of a devastating discovery.
At the end of a long winter, in bucolic Ridgedale, New Jersey, the body of an infant is discovered in the woods near the town’s prestigious university campus. No one knows who the baby is, or how her body ended up out there. But there is no shortage of opinions.
When freelance journalist, and recent Ridgedale transplant, Molly Anderson is unexpectedly called upon to cover the story for the Ridegdale Reader, it’s a risk, given the severe depression that followed the loss of her own baby. But the bigger threat comes when Molly unearths some of Ridgedale’s darkest secrets, including a string of unreported sexual assaults that goes back twenty years.
Meanwhile, Sandy, a high school dropout, searches for her volatile and now missing mother, and PTA president Barbara struggles to help her young son, who’s suddenly having disturbing outbursts.
Told from the perspectives of Molly, Barbara, and Sandy, Kimberly McCreight’s taut and profoundly moving novel unwinds the tangled truth about the baby’s death revealing that these three women have far more in common than they realized. And that their lives are more intertwined with what happened to the baby than they ever could have imagined.
Kimberly McCreight, delivers a multi-layered suspense, psychological crime mystery thriller, WHERE THEY FOUND HER, leaving you page-turning into the night to discover the devastating secret of the lives connected to these dark secrets.
Set in an idyllic small suburban town of Ridgedale, NJ, we hear from different women with a multi-generational perspective.
Molly is a freelance journalist, and lives with her professor husband Justin and five year old daughter, Ella. Molly is assigned the story of a newborn discovered dead by Essex Bridge, adjacent to the college. This happens to be an emotional time for Molly as she lost her own baby two year earlier, while slipping into a deep depression. Justin does not like her bringing up old wounds by working on the story.
We also hear the recorded psychiatric sessions, and parts of a therapy journal, and published articles for the local paper. But when Molly discovers that the victim in the river is a newborn girl, Molly is forced to confront the haunting pain of her own baby's death; in the process, she uncovers dirty secrets about a town that strives to maintain its idealized image and some are too close for comfort.
In the meantime, we hear from two other characters: Sandy, is a high school drop out with a wacko crazy mom, Jenna, who vanishes and Barbara, PTA President and perfect mom of kindergarten classmate of Ella’s, Cole who is exhibiting troubling behavior. Barbara is completely obsessed with controlling her husband who is a cop and her kids.
There is quite the complex relationship between two teenage girls from different sides of the tracks. At sixteen, Sandy is more mature than her wild mother, Jenna, who brings men in and out of the house with drugs and sex constantly.After dropping out of school to help earn money for rent, Sandy is trying to get her GED diploma with the help of tutor Hannah Carlson, a high school senior whose is totally different. She is the daughter of Ridgedale's police chief, and a demanding mother, Hannah.
The more Molly digs into the town’s background, the parentage of the baby threatens to tear the town apart. We continue hearing from Molly, Barbara, and Sandy and how these lives become intertwined for a suspenseful climatic ending, as dark secrets come to the surface from one generation to another. Who is the unidentified newborn girl is found in the woods near the college campus? The more she digs she uncover decades old secrets which have been buried, including sexual assaults.
While listening to the audiobook, it gets a little confusing at first with the introduction of all the different characters. While I thought the book was suspenseful and well-written, it was narrated by: Tavia Gilbert, Lauren Fortgang, Rachel F. Hirsch, Therese Plummer; however, one of the girl’s voice was rather annoying and distracting; found myself constantly fast forwarding over her part. Would recommend reading versus listening.
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Photo Credit @ Beowulf Sheehan
About the Author
Kimberly McCreight is the New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia, which was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best First Novel as well as an Alex Award. Called Entertainment Weekly‘s Favorite Book of the Year,Reconstructing Amelia was one of CNN’s Reader Favorites for 2013, a finalist for Goodreads Best Mystery of the Year and a Book Club pick for Target, Books-a-Million and Indigo.
Reconstructing Amelia has also been optioned for film by HBO and Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films. McCreight’s second novel Where They Found Her, will be published by Harper in April 2015. Her teen trilogy The Outliers, to be published by Harper Teen in 2016, has been optioned for film by Lionsgate, Mandeville, and Reese Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard. She lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters. Website