Publish Date: June 18, 2019
“I have never seen so many liars in one place.” — The Last House Guest
Littleport, Maine, has always felt like two separate towns: an ideal vacation enclave for the wealthy, whose summer homes line the coastline; and a simple harbor community for the year-round residents whose livelihoods rely on service to the visitors.
Typically, fierce friendships never develop between a local and a summer girl—but that’s just what happens with visitor Sadie Loman and Littleport resident Avery Greer. Each summer for almost a decade, the girls are inseparable—until Sadie is found dead. While the police rule the death a suicide, Avery can’t help but feel there are those in the community, including a local detective and Sadie’s brother, Parker, who blame her. Someone knows more than they’re saying, and Avery is intent on clearing her name, before the facts get twisted against her.
Sadie Loman and Avery Greer are BFFs from different sides of the tracks. They are thick as thieves and Avery is entwined in the Loman family’s lives. Avery’s world is shook when Sadie ends up dead. Was it suicide, an accident, or murder?
The mystery is captivating and I was enthralled with the dynamics of Avery and Sadie’s complicated friendship. The characters are complex, and the plot has so many twists and turns. The writing is descriptive and atmospheric, and there is a lot of suspense and strong character development.
Megan Miranda is a master at creating dark, creepy, and foreboding atmospheres in her books. Her skills are honed with each book that she writes. She describes the scenery and houses as vividly as her characters and they are central to the plot. These places always have a dark and haunting feel to them. Her writing makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. You know what I mean if you’ve read All the Missing Girls or The Perfect Stranger. The creep factor is amped up in this book even more than the others.
The town of Littleport is a strange mix of two classes, where society’s elite vacation seasonally alongside year-round, hard working local people who’ve lived in the area for generations. The dynamics are highlighted in this book, and they’re fascinating. It touches into the issues of class conflict and disparity.
Here are my favorite quotes:
“That was the problem with a place like this: Everything was right out in the open, including the life you could never have.”
“But that was the thing about loving someone – an apology only counted when your knew their flaws and made it anyway.”
“Every family has secrets, Avery.”
“I have never seen so many liars in one place.”
“That was the trick, I understood. Not to change the angle or the story, or to take a step forward or back – but to change yourself.”
This book is about friendship, secrets, death, grief, money, class, social structure, discrimination, home, tragedy, and love. This is the 3rd book by Megan Miranda, and in my opinion, it’s the best so far. Megan Miranda is so good at building suspense and examining tricky friendship dynamics. Her stories are creative, unusual, and make you want to binge read them ’till the end.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Note: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.