Zoe Rutherford wasn't sure what she was expecting when she returned to Sullivan's Island. The house on Sullivan's hadn't represented home to her in decades. It was the place where she endured her father's cruelty. It was the place where her mother closed herself off from the world. It was the place where her sister disappeared. But now that her parents are gone, Zoe needs to return to the house, to close it down and prepare it for sale. She intends to get this done as quickly as possible and get on with the rest of her life, even though that life seems clouded by her past, both distant and recent. But what she discovers when she gets there is far beyond her imagining and will change her in profound ways.
THE GIRL WHO STAYED is a remarkable exploration of the soul by a writer with a rare talent for reaching into the hearts of her characters and her readers, a novel of transformation that will leave you moved and breathless.
“A beautifully written, page-turning novel packed with emotion.”
– #1 New York Times bestselling author Barbara Freethy
"THE GIRL WHO STAYED is a deeply moving story. I am fascinated by the concept and by Tanya Crosby's stunning storytelling."
– Stella Cameron, New York Times bestselling author
“THE GIRL WHO STAYED defies type. Crosby’s tale is honest and sen- sitive, eerie and tragic. It’s a homecoming tale of a past ever with us and irrevocably lost forever. A haunting vision of that chasm between life and death we call ‘missing.’”
– Pamela Morsi, bestselling author of SIMPLE JESS
“An intense, mesmerizing Southern drama about a young woman who returns to her coastal home to put to rest the haunting ghost of her sister’s tragic past. Told in the rich, lyrical style of Siddons and Conroy, THE GIRL WHO STAYED is a woman’s story of discovery and acceptance, redefined by Tanya Anne Crosby’s dramatic storytelling, sharp characters, and well-defined plot. A must read for any woman who believes she can never go back home. Fabulous, rich and evocative!”
– New York Times bestselling author Jill Barnett
Customer ReviewsSee All
Awesome suspense as Zoe revisits her disturbing past and its shadows.
Another “girl” in a new book title, and it’s also very good! I discovered Tanya Anne Crosby when she approached me to translate her novels in French. I have so far translated four and am in the process of translating the fifth. So it was good reading The Girl Who Stayed, just for the fun of it.
The book opens indeed on an element reminiscent of Gone Girl, with the disappearance of a young girl (much younger than Amy) in a dysfunctional family. But the neat and spooky descriptions of Sullivan’s Island (near Charleston, SC) made me also think of Kate Morton, especially as Zoe, the main character, goes back to her old family home to try to understand her past and what happened to her younger sister, almost 30 years before.
Zoe was 10 when her sister Hannah, 8, disappeared. At 39, Zoe still feels guilty for being alive.
Though successful in her profession, she’s a broken woman, after a tough childhood and a crazy boyfriend whose anger only matched her father’s.
During a 3 month leave of absence, she goes back to the family home she left when she was 18, to fix it and try to finally resolve the mystery of her sister’s disappearance that has poisoned all her life.
What will she discover on the island? Will police Chief McWhorter be able to help after so many years, or his son Ethan, or her strange neighbor Walter?
And then, more girls disappear…
I enjoyed particularly the awesome descriptions of the ocean (its beauty but also its dangers — tidal currents, sand bars, tunnels, cf Edgar Poe and Annabel Lee!) and the scenes of suspense. Having translated several books by Crosby, I can say I’m a fan at how she manages to convey spookiness.
The author has also a knack for exploring the psyche of her characters and for creating very vivid true to life dialogs.
The book is particularly fantastic if you enjoy stories about dysfunctional families.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The storyline was engrossing and while the ending didn't give me the closure I would have liked, it was still a great book.
Writing At Its Best
If you’re looking for a sweet read, tied up with a pretty pink bow, this book is not for you.
Tanya Anne Crosby has outdone herself with The Girl Who Stayed. It is my fervent belief that this is her best book to date. Don’t get me wrong; I love her historical romance novels. But this book? It surpasses all her others not only with the writing style, but also with a unique voice that draws you in and doesn’t let you go until the very last sentence.
It’s gritty, honest, kick-you-in-the-gut kind of writing. It defies genre or type even though it’s packed with suspense and intrigue. TGWS is about closure and what a person is willing to accept when something bad happens to someone they love. Is the 'not knowing' worse than knowing? Would you rather know every single, sordid, ugly detail? Or would you simply be content knowing that, in the end, the bad guy got what he deserved?
Whether or not you prefer stories with a 'happily ever after' ending and neat and tidy bows, you cannot deny that this book is beyond well written. Masterfully woven, gripping, and intense. It has everything I want in a great fiction novel.