“Superb and subtle psychological suspense.”—Lee Child
A haunting novel from the author of The Weight of Blood about a young woman’s return to her childhood home—and her encounter with the memories and family secrets it holds
ITW THRILLER AWARD FINALIST
Arrowood is the most ornate and grand of the historical houses that line the Mississippi River in southern Iowa. But the house has a mystery it has never revealed: It’s where Arden Arrowood’s younger twin sisters vanished on her watch twenty years ago—never to be seen again. After the twins’ disappearance, Arden’s parents divorced and the Arrowoods left the big house that had been in their family for generations. And Arden’s own life has fallen apart: She can’t finish her master’s thesis, and a misguided love affair has ended badly. She has held on to the hope that her sisters are still alive, and it seems she can’t move forward until she finds them. When her father dies and she inherits Arrowood, Arden returns to her childhood home determined to discover what really happened to her sisters that traumatic summer.
Arden’s return to the town of Keokuk—and the now infamous house that bears her name—is greeted with curiosity. But she is welcomed back by her old neighbor and first love, Ben Ferris, whose family, she slowly learns, knows more about the Arrowoods’ secrets and their small, closed community than she ever realized. With the help of a young amateur investigator, Arden tracks down the man who was the prime suspect in the kidnapping. But the house and the surrounding town hold their secrets close—and the truth, when Arden finds it, is more devastating than she ever could have imagined.
Arrowood is a powerful and resonant novel that examines the ways in which our lives are shaped by memory. As with her award-winning debut novel, The Weight of Blood, Laura McHugh has written a thrilling novel in which nothing is as it seems, and in which our longing for the past can take hold of the present in insidious and haunting ways.
Praise for Arrowood
“This robust, old-fashioned gothic mystery has everything you’re looking for: a creepy old house, a tenant with a secret history, and even a few ghosts. Laura McHugh’s novel sits at the intersection of memory and history, astutely asking whether we carry the past or it carries us.”—Jodi Picoult
“An eloquently eerie tale.”—Booklist
“Poignant . . . lyrical.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A chilling, twisting tale of family, memory, and home . . . This engaging and thrilling tale about a young woman’s homecoming, the vagaries of memory, and the impact of tragedy on both a town and a family is a terrific choice for Laura Lippman and Sue Grafton readers.”—Library Journal (starred review)
A failed graduate student's return to the family mansion she inherited from her grandfather touches off a maelstrom of emotion, regret, and memories in McHugh's poignant second novel, which features just a smidgeon of the supernatural. Arden Arrowood's two-year-old twin sisters, Violet and Tabitha, were kidnapped from their front yard in the small town of Keokuk, Iowa, bordering the Mississippi River. Charged with watching the twins while their pill-addicted mother was sleeping, eight-year-old Arden stepped away for a minute before the toddlers went missing; all she remembers is chasing a gold car speeding away. The twins were never found and their disappearance fractured the family in ways Arden is just beginning to acknowledge. Settling into the mansion 20 years later, Arden deals with a floodgate of childhood memories as she inches toward the truth while pursued by Josh Kyle, who wants to write about the vanished twins on his website, Midwest Mysteries. Lyrical prose and in-depth character studies examine the reliability of memory, punctuated by believable suspense and aided by a careful look at a small town.
Suspenseful with a little fear factor.
A family is torn apart after the disappearance of the twins. Arden comes back to the home where the twins disappeared, and her life will never be the same. Josh gets her thinking about what she remembers until she starts looking at other people and thinking about what others tell her to get to the truth. The truth is revealed, and Arden must learn to accept everything. I liked this story and recommend this mystery.
I had an opportunity to read this story through Netgalley.