The Longings of Wayward Girls #Giveaway

by NancyT

The real-life disappearance of a girl in 1970s Connecticut sets the stage for this great summer read. Children can be amazingly cruel and I’m sure we all have our own stories of events from our childhoods (7th grade was particularly rough for me).  The Longings of Wayward Girls highlights what can happen when things go too far.

Sadie Watkins has an amazing imagination, leading the neighborhood kids in many ventures including a Haunted Woods, using local legends and ghost stories as the backdrop. The disappearance of Laura Loomis 5 years earlier hangs over the children of Wintonbury, but they quickly ignore their parents’ mandates to stay out of the woods. Sadie and her best friend, Betty, bored and nostalgic for their younger years, play elaborate dress-up games, and what starts out as a harmless prank ends with another girl disappearing.  Sadie also has to deal with the townspeople mistaking her for Laura due to her resemblance to the missing girl, a mother who drowns her sorrows in alcohol, and being forced to spend time with Beth, the daughter of her mother’s friend, all while harboring a crush on Beth’s brother Ray.

24 years later Sadie is married, with 2 amazing kiddos — Sylvia, who has followed in her footsteps and lives in a world of fairies and fairy tales, and Max, a happy-go-lucky four-year-old — but has just suffered the devastating stillbirth of a baby girl.  When Ray walks back into her life, Sadie is caught off guard.  Sadie has a pretty good life, with loving children, supportive friends and a good marriage, but losing her child, combined with unresolved issues from her childhood, leads her down an unwise path with Ray, who she finds has unresolved issues of his own related to Sadie’s mother.

The Longings of Wayward Girls flips between Sadie’s present and past, both 1974, the year of Laura’s disappearance, and 1979, when Sadie is in the throes of adolescence,  and the transitions are sometimes jarring, and while I had some trouble getting into it in the beginning, the story eventually unfolds, with enough suspense to keep the reader on tenterhooks. It’s clear nothing good will come of Sadie and Betty’s prank, as well as Sadie’s relationship with Ray, and it’s also clear that something’s not right with Beth, though it’s never really revealed exactly what.  The carefree childhood of the 70′s, as well as the more structured times we live in today, are both well represented.

This is an excellent effort for first-time novelist Karen Brown and I look forward to her future efforts.

Win it!

One of you (U.S. only) can win a copy. Use the rafflecopter below to enter this giveaway. New to Rafflecopter? Watch this 45-second video on how to enter!

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Patricia June 30, 2013 at 7:04 pm

I’m really eager to read this.


2 Patricia June 30, 2013 at 7:08 pm

I grew up in Connecticut so this story has a special appeal for me. I usually read fiction by women.


3 Sandra K321 June 30, 2013 at 8:53 pm

I usually read historical fiction. I have lived in Connecticut all my life and I really don’t remember the incident this is based on so I am curious.


4 amyc June 30, 2013 at 9:20 pm

I will read just about anything. Mostly lean more to historical fiction.
This sounds like a good intriguing drama.


5 Anne June 30, 2013 at 10:08 pm

This story sounds compelling. I enjoy family sagas and historicals set during World War 11.


6 Laura July 1, 2013 at 12:31 am

I usually like utopia/dystopia, but this sounds interesting. I like the switching between different time periods.


7 Liz July 1, 2013 at 11:19 am

I love to read about women with strong friendships.


8 Jessica T July 1, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Realistic characters – this book looks amazing


9 Debby Chandler July 1, 2013 at 12:49 pm

I like a lot of different genres.


10 DEBIJOT July 1, 2013 at 1:14 pm

I usually reach for Stephen King type books but this one sounds like a good read.


11 Jessica To July 1, 2013 at 3:55 pm

I like to read suspense books. I like this because it is based on real life happenings.


12 Ellen B July 1, 2013 at 5:38 pm

looks like a good book – I haven’t been reading lately so this would be great to start up again


13 Idaho Jill July 1, 2013 at 6:29 pm

I love all kinds of books, esp. mysteries and time travel fiction…but I don’t like reading the same kind of book one after the other, and this one looks like a nice change of pace!


14 Patricia Wojnar Crowley July 1, 2013 at 6:45 pm

I like period dramas!


15 Rachel July 1, 2013 at 6:53 pm

I usually like to read historical fiction. This sounds like a good story though


16 Cindy B July 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Mysteries are one of my favorite genres and that’s what appeals to me about this book.


17 Brandy W. July 2, 2013 at 8:47 pm

A variety is always great but I like stories that I can specifically relate to or have a lot of suspense and this one sounds right up the correct alley lol


18 Laura Kay July 3, 2013 at 9:30 am

I usually reach for contemporary women’s fiction, but I have a huge interest in multiple genres. I love that this book sounds dark and compelling!


19 Kerrie Mayans July 3, 2013 at 10:25 am

I usually reach for mysteries because I like to be able to solve it. This book looks dark and awesome for a beach read.


20 Heather July 3, 2013 at 10:43 am

This sounds like my kind of book! I like stories about kids and I never can put down a good mysteries!


21 Susan P. July 3, 2013 at 3:17 pm

I like suspense, mysteries and thrillers. This sounds like an interesting suspense.


22 Sadie B. July 4, 2013 at 9:53 am

I like to read historical fiction.


23 Nicole July 4, 2013 at 4:22 pm

I like historical romance.


24 Sue July 5, 2013 at 2:25 am

I love mysteries and suspense. Also True Crime. This sounds like it combines a little of all that. :)


25 Paula Rowell July 5, 2013 at 12:22 pm

spent time in CT would love to read


26 karenk July 6, 2013 at 5:43 am

thanks for the chance to read this novel ;)


27 Tammy S July 6, 2013 at 10:32 am

I love to read mysteries so this would be a good fit for me. I like books that have a lot of back story to them that lead up to the decisions people make.


28 michele p July 6, 2013 at 10:22 pm

I usually read suspense and horror… this sounds great since I remember my own childhood in the 70′s and can relate… but it also sounds full of suspense and like a book I want to read


29 Nannypanpan July 6, 2013 at 10:33 pm

I like mysteries and I like its about ct


30 Madonna July 7, 2013 at 11:25 am

I like historical fiction but I also like women sleuth fiction


31 Anne Lehnick July 7, 2013 at 12:14 pm

I usually like mysteries in my fiction books. This book sounds like it has a lot of suspense, though, so I would probably like it as well.


32 Anita Yancey July 8, 2013 at 10:57 am

I usually read thrillers, and mysteries. What appeals to me about this book is it is set in the 1970′s, which is at a time I was growing up so I always like reading about that time period. Thanks for having this giveaway.


33 Tia July 8, 2013 at 10:19 pm

I gravitate toward mysteries. What appeals to me about this book is that it takes place in the 70′s and in Connecticut. I was born in the 70′s and I live in New Hampshire.


34 Charlene S July 9, 2013 at 1:53 pm

I like mysteries. I like that goes back a few decades.


35 Mary Dailey July 9, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Honestly, I like Jane Austen type books, but this one interests me because this stuff is going on right now.


36 Lina July 9, 2013 at 10:31 pm

I read all sorts of fiction, but I especially enjoy thrillers, contemporary fiction, and YA.


37 Allison July 10, 2013 at 2:21 pm

the setting and the time period appeal to me


38 Kayla Rose July 10, 2013 at 2:25 pm

I like horror novels, the creepier the better, and this seems kinda creepy.


39 Ben Recinos July 10, 2013 at 2:29 pm

I like sci-fi, but the fact that this is historical fiction interests me.


40 Lauren July 11, 2013 at 8:07 am

I like that it represents the “carefree childhood of the 70s” – when I grew up!


41 Claire July 12, 2013 at 10:51 am

I really liked the title of this book; I usually reach for young adult fiction lol.


42 Diana Hatch July 12, 2013 at 11:41 am

I love a good mystery


43 Brigette Streeper July 12, 2013 at 12:38 pm

I usually reach for crime. This book looks like it may have a touch of realism which I also love.


44 Aimee Marie July 12, 2013 at 2:18 pm

I reach for just about any genre of fiction. The title of the book caught is what caught my attention on this one


45 Kristie July 12, 2013 at 3:23 pm

I like love stories and mysteries taking place in the 1800′s or early 1900′s


46 kathy dalton July 12, 2013 at 4:41 pm

i love mysteries and thrillers. I would love to read this book because i love reality books


47 Elizabeth Bevins July 12, 2013 at 9:18 pm

I want to read this because the cover is intriguing. I love books and the cover does matter. :)

Thanks for the entry!


48 laurie brown July 12, 2013 at 9:55 pm

I like all genres and mostly women authors. Would love to read this book


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