Carmel has been returned home after being abducted and spending years with a travelling mad man and his cult. Now 21, she is trying to return to her old life, and find out who she is, who she has become, and who she was before she was kidnapped. Her mother Beth still can’t believe she has her daughter back. She finds herself tiptoeing around the house, trying to regain a relationship with her, afraid of saying the wrong thing, or the wrong action causing an argument. They don’t know how to be mother and daughter any more.
As Carmel tries to dig into her memories and figure out who she is, she starts to realise she may not have been the only lost girl. She is haunted by this and she spirals into deeper and deeper manic thinking trying to figure out who these other girls are. Meanwhile Beth does all she can to not lose her daughter again.
This is a follow on from Kate Hamer’s Girl in the Red Coat. While it will give more context to the characters and what they are suffering from if you have read the previous book, it stands relatively well as a stand alone. The book works in a series of flashbacks in different characters’ point of view, and slowly pieces together the picture of what exactly happened to the lost girls.
It was an interesting read, but for a main character you would imagine you would have much sympathy for, Carmel is very unlikable at times. She is very self centred and doesn’t consider how her mother may be feeling, or anyone else in all of this. She does what she wants, when she wants, regardless of the consequences. She acts very childlike for someone of her age, and you ask yourself is it due to the upbringing she had. In general it was an interesting read, a little slow and dragged out in places, but a good story overall.
*I received this copy from NetGalley for review, but all opinions are my own.