#FridayBookShare: “Arrowood” by Laura McHugh

TGIF!

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My #FridayBookShare pick this week is one that I’m sure all of my friends and family are getting tired of hearing about, but I can’t recall another recent read I’ve enjoyed and haven’t shared so far on my blog.

#FridayBookShare is the brain child of Shelley Wilson. Here’s how it works:

First line of the book.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb.

Introduce the main character using only three words.

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)

Your favourite line/scene.

 

First line of the book

“I used to play a game where I imagined that someone had abandoned me in a strange, unknown place and I had to find my way back home.”

 

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb

“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

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

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.

Introduce the main character in three words

Arden Arrowood is haunted, nostalgic and determined.

 

Delightful design

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Audience appeal

Perfect for fans of twisty suspense, Midwest settings and a moderate dose of romance.

 

Your favorite line/scene

“… nostalgia was once thought to be a mental illness or a physical affliction; for me, it was both.”

 

Have you read “Arrowood”? If so, what did you think?

 

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11 thoughts on “#FridayBookShare: “Arrowood” by Laura McHugh

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