My Review: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 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.
First, I have to tell you that I hate this title -- I truly feel like it has "girl" in the title as a marketing ploy, to link it to those famed other current novels with unreliable female narrators. Putting that aside, Zoe isn't really unreliable in this book. We don't know the entire history of her sister disappearing/her life since from the beginning but she is pretty sure of her own memory. It had moments when Zoe feels like she is cracking up a bit but nothing like a classic unreliable narrator. I liked the setting of this one -- an Island off Charleston, SC and some references to the native and mystical of that place (only in that charming Southern way that's just a bit superstitious). Zoe was a bit hard to figure out and just when you thought the book was about one thing, it turned into something else. Despite a hint of schizophrenia, this worked for me and I rather liked the prose.
If you're a fan of the thriller/mystery genre, this one is pretty good. I wouldn't compare it to the stream of current unreliable narrator/female thriller releases because it felt a bit unique -- it had almost a Rear Window/The Lovely Bones feeling. The Girl Who Stayed was released earlier this week on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, and you can purchase HERE.
For years after, until the fast fact on a milk carton was printed and tossed into the trash, Zoe had found herself standing in the dairy section of the grocery store, lifting up random cartons, just to see if she could find Hannah's face.
How many people remembered the name of the first kid to appear on one of those cartons? Zoe did. It was Etan Patz, a six-year-old from New York with golden hair and a crooked smile. He vanished one day in 1979, walking to his bus stop, two blocks from his house. Like Hannah, his body had never been found.