In the midst of my tears, I write this review. I just finished the last page and it has been a very long time since I have read a book that touched my soul as this one did.
The Sinclair family is old money, beautiful, traditional. The grandparents own an island just off the coast of Massachusetts and it the site where their three daughters and their families spend their summers. Cadence is the eldest grandchild. In the spring of Cadence’s fifteenth year, her father leaves and her grandmother passes away, which sets into motion a series of events. That summer, what should be a joyful celebration with her two cousins and true love, Gat, (the four of them have deemed themselves “the liars”) instead ends in what she and her mother refer to as “the accident”. Two years later, still with no memory of what happened, Cady returns to Beechwood Island in hopes of overcoming her crippling migraines and restoring her memory of that fateful summer…
Lockhart does a fantastic job of getting inside Cadence’s head and portraying her thoughts. Cadence’s mind works in a different way than the average person, not to mention her suffering from terrible migraines and pain. When Cadence’s father leaves her mother, they are standing in front of their house. Lockhart describes her father actually drawing a gun and shooting Cadence in the chest… but rather than blood spilling out of her onto the lawn, it is her life-force, her love. It was an incredibly jarring moment—a perfect description of what it must feel like to have a parent walk out of your life.
Her mother then tells her to snap out of it—the Sinclair family does not talk about pain, they simply get over it. This idea runs throughout the book when characters have to deal with loss, but bottling their emotions takes its toll as the family begins to fight with each other.
Gat, Cadence’s true love, is of Indian descent, the nephew of her aunt’s boyfriend. Both the aunt’s boyfriend and Gat are never truly accepted into the family, and they must also deal with the racism that permeates the family’s old-money lifestyle.
I do not want to give too much away, but I suspected from the very beginning that there had been a death. But even expecting it did not prepare me for the true pain and emotion that would come from unearthing that death once more at the end of the book.
A truly great read.
Plot 4 stars
Characters 5 stars
Believability 4 stars
Suspense 4 stars
Romance 3 stars
Minor Characters 5 stars
Well-Written 4 stars
Ease of Read 4 stars
Overall 4.1 stars