After I finished this book I agonized about how to review it. Saying anything I would say about this book would give away what makes it suspenseful and what gives it a twist ending. So I’m just going to make this a short review and give you three things I enjoyed about the book and one that I didn’t.
- I enjoyed the friendship described in the book. I love that these children are relatives and also fast friends that look forward to spending time together in the summer. Something I lack in my own life is closeness to family, including sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc so living vicariously through these characters was a pleasant experience for me.
- I was glad that E.Lockhart (Emily Jenkins) explored how even opulent families can fall apart and fall prey to infighting. This traditional idea of being an heiress or heir to a rich patriarch is presented as a very stressful situation, both for the parents and the children. The children are used like pawns to gain favor with the grandfather and they do not appreciate it one bit.
- Lockhart also explores the plot through the main character’s use of short fairy tales. This idea that there is a king or a rich merchant with 3 daughters who are each different and dealt with in different ways. It was always a lovely break to the story and reminded me that this story as a whole mirrored a fairy tale, but would be much more real with actual consequences. Very Brothers Grimm-style.
- The only thing I didn’t like was that these people are filthy rich. I mean, they have four full size houses on their own private island off the coast of Massachusetts because living on (not in) Martha’s Vineyard wasn’t enough of a status symbol. After trying to read Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam and stopping about 30% in, and then reading this book, I have discovered an aversion to books involving spoiled brats that complain about their place in life. I have loads of empathy and I have none to spare for the bitch that can’t afford the occasional $1,500 designer handbag. I mean, I agree that the plot relies on there being wealth in question, which allowed me to get through (and enjoy) the book, but it almost put me off it in the beginning.
This book was a fast read, and the twist at the end made it all worth it. Something happens and you spend the whole book figuring it out. There is an accident. There are consequences. Go find this book and read it, it was very interesting.