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No Place to Hide

 

By:  Susan Lewis

ISBN:  9780345549556

Publisher:  Random House/Ballantine

Publication Date:  7/28/2015 

Format:  Paperback

My Rating:  4 Stars

 

Perfect for readers of Jodi Picoult, Diane Chamberlain, and Heather Gudenkauf, No Place to Hide is an intimate and deeply moving story of one woman's desperate attempt to escape a troubled past—and the haunting mystery she's forced to confront.

 

Fleeing her native England with her three-year-old daughter, Justine Cantrell gives herself a new name and a new life in America. In a quiet midwestern town on the shores of glittering Lake Maxinkuckee, Justine hopes to recapture the fleeting days of happiness in the long-ago summers she spent with her grandmother. And though her memories of that time are scant, Justine knows they must have shared a special bond. After all, the power of her grandmother's love has pulled her back to this haven in search of a new beginning.

 

But fate has other plans. The more Justine gets to know the small town and its people, the more she realizes that her grandmother had her own devastating secrets—secrets that will soon threaten Justine just as surely as her own dark memories.

 

 

 

About the Author

I was born in 1956, in Bristol. My father was a Welsh miner, a poet, an engineer and a thinker. My mother was one of 13 children who, at 20, persuaded my father to spend his bonus on an engagement ring instead of a motorbike. We were a normal, happy, nuclear family, living in a spanking new council house on the outskirts of town – my mother’s pride and joy. But we were going to do better, my mother had made up her mind about that. My father, an unabashed communist, was writing a book, I was signed up for ballet, elocution, piano and eventually a private boarding school, and my brother, (the real great love of my mother’s life) was going to succeed at everything he set his mind to.  Read More 

 

Connect with Susan:  Website    Twitter   Goodreads 

 

 

My Review

 

A special thank you to Random House/Ballantine, NetGalley, and LibraryThing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

 

Susan Lewis’s NO PLACE TO HIDE reveals dark family secrets of the past for an emotionally-charged complex tale of social issues, family, psychological suspense, mystery—secrets, tragedy and forgiveness.

Justine Cantrell (Justine McQuillan) is running; haunted by the past. Fleeing from England, from her marriage and her life. A mysterious and horrific tragedy—she hopes to find a new start, and escapes to her grandmother’s hometown of Culiver, Indiana.

Having spent some happy times here as a child with her grandmother May, set in the idyllic town and surrounded by the mesmerizing Lake Maxincuckee (Max)-- she longs for the peaceful moments and the calming ocean. Justine wants to go where no one knows her. A new name and a new beginning. 

She and her younger brother, Rob used to come to Culver for summer vacations. And their busy parents used to hand them over to Grandma May each June. However, they stopped coming around the time Justine was six and Rob was four. Their father’s job had taken the family to London and she did not recall May ever having come to London, nor had they returned to Lake Max. She felt her grandmother calling her back, even though she had passed on some thirty years ago. 

She and her daughter, Lula try and settle into their new life in American in the quaint town. However, it wasn’t what she expected. It is a town of contrasts, hidden stories, troubled history— settling on a lake that glistened like a lost jewel in the middle of nowhere. 

Flashing back and forth from America to England, from different time periods, before it all went wrong. Readers learn about a time eighteen years earlier in London, with her husband Matt, and their family with two other children---a tragedy which has left Justine with devastation, guilt, regret, and remorse, the constant reliving of a crime—where did things go wrong? What kind of malice had been at play when fate had mapped out their ways? Will she now have to re-live another nightmare?

With many twists and turns, and another family secret as all the dots connect the two storylines, before the book ends. An ideal choice for book clubs and discussions—how you would react in a a similar situation, with a variety of perspectives, and what ifs. Susan delivers a tale ultimately of hope and uplifting inspiration. 

What I enjoyed about Susan’s writing--she delves into the deep emotions of her characters, without her main protagonist coming off as weak or whinny. She is strong, facing circumstances any mother should not have to face. The settings are vivid, drawing you into the time and place, which is sometimes difficult for authors writing about areas, other than their own home familiar territory, and she pulls it off nicely. 

A poignant, and thought-provoking novel of friendship, family and the strong power of love, overcoming adversity and tragedy. Delving into some devastating social issues and two generations of family secrets, making for an intriguing and suspenseful story. 

NO PLACE TO HIDE is my first book by Lewis and look forward to reading more from the talented British author. 

Readers get a sneak preview of upcoming TOO CLOSE TO HOME, coming Dec 2015—delving into a modern family’s harrowing encounter with the complex world of cyberbullying.Keeping my fingers crossed for an ARC; sounds intriguing--am hooked! 
 

"Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all"—Emily Dickinson

 

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