Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
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Summary from publisher:
A recently widowed mother of two, Sylvie Bates-McAllister finds her life upended by a late-night phone call from the headmaster of the prestigious private school founded by her grandfather where her adopted son Scott teaches. Allegations of Scott's involvement in a hazing scandal cause a ripple effect, throwing the entire family into chaos. For Charles, Sylvie's biological son, it dredges up a ghost from the past who is suddenly painfully present. For his wife Joanna, it forces her to reevaluate everything she's hoped for in the golden Bates-McAllisters. And for Scott, it illuminates harsh truths about a world he has never truly felt himself a part of.
But for all the Bates-McAllisters, the call exposes a tangled web of secrets that ties the family together: the mystery of the school hazing, the event that tore Charles and Scott apart the night of their high school awards ceremony, and the intended recipient of a certain bracelet. The quest to unravel the truth takes the family on individual journeys across state lines, into hospitals, through the Pennsylvania woods, and face-to-face with the long-dormant question: what if the life you always planned for and dreamed of isn't what you want after all?
This book kind of reminded me of the TV show Brothers & Sisters where the patriarch of the family dies and his death brings about revelations and secrets and his family is left to deal with the ramifications. This is much the same, The patriarch of the Bates-McAllister dies suddenly and his widow, Sylvie is left to deal with the secrets and drama that resulted from the death of her husband, James, as well as a hazing scandal at the school her adopted son, Scott, works at that he may or may not have been involved in. I am not going to give anything away but it’s definitely interesting and entertaining.
I love a good dramatic family story and this one definitely fit the bill. The Bates-McAllister family was something out of a soap opera. I couldn’t help but be completely riveted by the whole story. I did think at times the characters were a bit flat and one-dimensional. I did think their stories were all developed well but the personalities were a bit flat. Especially when compared to the drama of the plot. I have never read Shepard’s YA novels but I really loved her writing style in this one. There was a bleakness to the writing style that I really loved and it worked so well with this plot.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.