FINALIST FOR THE 2018 MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD
An addictive novel of psychological suspense from the award-winning author of Night Night, Sleep Tight, about three generations of women haunted by a little girl’s disappearance, and the porcelain doll that may hold the key to the truth . . .
Seven-year-old Lissie Woodham and her four-year-old sister Janey were playing with their porcelain dolls in the front yard when an adorable puppy scampered by. Eager to pet the pretty dog, Lissie chased after the pup as it ran down the street. When she returned to the yard, Janey’s precious doll was gone . . . and so was Janey.
Forty years after Janey went missing, Lis—now a mother with a college-age daughter of her own—still blames herself for what happened. Every year on the anniversary of her sister’s disappearance, their mother, Miss Sorrel, places a classified ad in the local paper with a picture of the toy Janey had with her that day—a one-of-a-kind porcelain doll—offering a generous cash reward for its return. For years, there’s been no response. But this year, the doll came home.
It is the first clue in a decades-old mystery that is about to turn into something far more sinister—endangering Lis and the lives of her mother and daughter as well. Someone knows the truth about what happened all those years ago, and is desperate to keep it hidden.
In this character-driven page-turner from Ephron (Night Night, Sleep Tight), Lis Woodman was seven years old when her four-year-old sister, Janey Woodham, disappeared from their yard in sleepy Bonsecours, S.C. Decades later, what could be the first significant clue finally surfaces in the form of Janey's look-alike handmade doll that vanished along with her, one of the first of the highly prized creations that would turn the home workshop of the girls' mother, known as Miss Sorrel, into a collectors' mecca. Just hours after the doll's arrival, the workshop explodes, and most of Miss Sorrel's doll collection is stolen. With local law enforcement none too interested in investigating, it falls to Lis and her grown daughter, Vanessa, a grad student researching sleep, to hunt for answers if they dare. Ephron overcomes some plot issues the story starts slowly and several big surprises in the home stretch prove less than plausible with her engaging portrait of three generations of bickering, bull-headed, but loving women challenged to become their bravest and best selves.