The Longings of Wayward Girls #Giveaway

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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  1. Patricia says

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

  2. Sandra K321 says

    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.

  3. amyc says

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

  4. Laura says

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

  5. Ellen B says

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

  6. says

    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!

  7. Brandy W. says

    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

  8. says

    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!

  9. Kerrie Mayans says

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

  10. Heather says

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

  11. Tammy S says

    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.

  12. michele p says

    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

  13. Anne Lehnick says

    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.

  14. Anita Yancey says

    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.

  15. Tia says

    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.

  16. Mary Dailey says

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

  17. Brigette Streeper says

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

  18. Aimee Marie says

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

  19. Elizabeth Bevins says

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

    Thanks for the entry!

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