Author: Emily Carpenter
Narrator: Kate Orsini
Published: April 2016, Brilliance Audio
Length: 10 hours 1 minute
Source: Personal copy via Audible
Althea Bell is still heartbroken by her mother’s tragic, premature death—and tormented by the last, frantic words she whispered into young Althea’s ear: Wait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She’ll find you, I think, but if she doesn’t, you find her.
Adrift ever since, Althea is now fresh out of rehab and returning to her family home in Mobile, Alabama, determined to reconnect with her estranged, ailing father. While Althea doesn’t expect him, or her politically ambitious brother, to welcome her with open arms, she’s not prepared for the chilling revelation of a grim, long-buried family secret. Fragile and desperate, Althea escapes with an old flame to uncover the truth about her lineage. Drawn deeper into her ancestors’ lives, Althea begins to unearth their disturbing history…and the part she’s meant to play in it.
Gripping and visceral, this unforgettable debut delves straight into the heart of dark family secrets and into one woman’s emotional journey to save herself from a sinister inheritance.
My thoughts: Lately I've been doing pretty well with the Audible Daily Deals...and this was another winner!!! This was such a beautiful, haunting, Southern gothic mystery that will keep you engaged from start to finish.
I'm a huge fan of the dual narrative and usually find that one tends to be a bit more engaging than the other, but that was definitely not the case in this story. Both these story lines were equally engaging and equally intriguing.
Althea is determined to find out what what has happened to the women in her family when they turn 30 as she is on the cusp of doing so. Family lore says these women - her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother - all suffered a mental breakdown and then passed away. Is it some type of schizophrenia? Or is it that someone is causing these women to have their breakdowns? Whatever the case might be, Althea is determined to find out.
I loved Althea's character - she's headstrong and full of determination. I also enjoyed this mystery surrounding her family. It really kept me engaged in this story - and the little bit of magical realism thrown in here and there throughout the book just added that little extra something to make the book stand out - I just loved that! This book will have you going through lots of emotions - anger at the way these women were treated, hope that Althea will be able to find a way past it all, joy, sorrow - you name it and you will probably feel it at some point!
This was such a great debut novel and I will certainly be keeping an eye out for Emily Carpenter...I can't wait to see what comes next from her!
Audio thoughts: This is the first time I've listened to Kate Orsini and I thought she did a fantastic job with this audio book. She brought this story to life. Between her Southern accent and just the right use of inflection, emotion and even excitement was perfect. She really enhanced the story perfectly. I really hope to see her name on more audio books soon!