This story didn’t go the direction I thought it would. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised.
Reba and Julie are completely opposites growing up in a small town in the south. Reba is good and pure, and Julie is reckless and lives on the edge. Reba’s life ends tragically when she is 17. Julie, too drunk to really remember, feels responsible even though Reba’s death is ruled a suicide. Julie runs off to New York to escape her past. As an adult 10 years later, Julie still can’t get over Reba’s death. She thinks she doesn’t deserve the happy life she has. When August, Reba’s old boyfriend, shows up saying that Julie must come back to their hometown and help him find Reba’s diary, Julie sees a real chance to make peace with her past. Believing the diary will help them both get closure, August and Julie travel back to Lawrence Mills and the Reba in the pages.
First, I have to talk about the writing in this book. The author has a rare talent that can transform the reader right to a place by description. The writing is really beautiful. I loved the small town of Lawrence Mills and the feel of this whole story. The mystery of what happened to Reba is the central theme of this book. The other thing this story really highlights is secrets. While everyone has something they hide, the people in this small town have more than most people. The characters in this story end up being not even close to how I originally saw them.
I have to admit I was scratching my head at why August would wait so long to pursue this diary. I also admit that I didn’t feel the sadness that a teenage death should have made me feel. There were a few convenient circumstances in this story that made me roll my eyes. If it wasn’t for the fact that I needed to find out what happened to Reba, I might have put this down. I am honestly glad I didn’t now because the good outweighs the bad.
Reba’s diary entries were a big highlight of this story for me. Reba doesn’t really sound like a 17 year old, but having the story in her own words really ties everything and everyone together. This story was really able to capture the feel of summer for me. Along with learning the truth about Reba, Julie comes to realize that she alone has the power to create her future. I liked the idea of this and I enjoyed this book for the most part. Everything and everyone in this story got wrapped up except for one thing, that has got me wondering how I would want Julie to choose.
Summer Reads Prize Pack (5 books).
US/CAN Only. Contest ends 6/15/2017. This contest is sponsored by the publisher.
A tender, yet thrilling suspense novel about a young woman who uncovers devastating secrets that will resurrect the people she lost and the lies she buried �- perfect for fans of Diane Chamberlain and Ellen Marie Wiseman
Ten years ago, Julie Portland accidentally killed her best friend, Reba. What's worse is she got away with it. Consumed by guilt, she left the small town of Lawrence Mill, Mississippi, and swore nothing would ever drag her back. Now, raising her daughter and struggling to make ends meet in Manhattan, Julie still can't forget the ghost of a girl with golden hair and a dangerous secret.
When August, Reba's first love, begs Julie to come home to find the diary that Reba kept all those years ago, Julie's past comes creeping back to haunt her. That diary could expose the shameful memories Julie has been running from, but it could also unearth the hidden truths that Reba left buried...and reveal that Julie isn't the only one who feels responsible for Reba's death.