You know how a good book sticks with you? I couldn't get this one out of my mind.
From Goodreads: The Dane family's roots tangle deep in the Ozark Mountain town of Henbane, but that doesn't keep sixteen-year-old Lucy Dane from being treated like an outsider. Folks still whisper about her mother, a bewitching young stranger who inspired local myths when she vanished years ago. When one of Lucy's few friends, slow-minded Cheri, is found murdered, Lucy feels haunted by the two lost girls-the mother she never knew and the friend she couldn't protect. Everything changes when Lucy stumbles across Cheri's necklace in an abandoned trailer and finds herself drawn into a search for answers.
Lucy and Lila are two female characters who are linked in a mother-daughter relationship that always hits an emotional note with readers (or at least it always does with me). What's great about this book is that the author does an amazing job making Lucy and Lila's relationship powerful enough without ever having to the two really meet. Lucy doesn't remember her mother, who disappeared when she was just a baby. But with amazing storytelling and switching characters in such a talented story telling style that doesn't confuse the reader, McHugh connects the mother and daughter over generations.
What is happening in Lucy's small town and even smaller world around her was actually way more guttural than I thought it would be. I really didn't see the twists coming. Honestly, I would have enjoyed the book without the deep secrets that explained Lila's disappearance and the murder of Lucy's childhood friend. That's how great the writing was. I didn't even need a plot. I just wanted to read more about the town, the neighbors, the interesting characters...I loved how the stories intertwined with each other. One character's chapter would leave some questions unanswered but in the next chapter, another character would unknowingly give me the answers I needed.
You will read about Lucy's curiosity, and about how her beautiful mother ended up in the small town and how her best friend was murdered(and more importantly, why). You'll be jealous of her friendships but be just as relieved you don't have some of her questionable relatives. There are so many holes in Lucy's past that you'll want to find answers just as much as she does.
Read this book if you love great character development, if you appreciate small town complexities, mysterious paths and family connections. Don't be afraid to read this book if you like a little danger and mystery but be weary if you have a weak stomach because even though the good people in this book are good people, the bad ones are really bad.