Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight was a book that seemed to take me forever to read. I've been having a bit of an issue reading books in print - timewise. Not sure what's going on with me, but in any case, I've been reading on this for over a week. The story kept my interest, but I kept putting my Kindle down and doing other things. I didn't dislike it at all, but somehow, not so much reading. Just a bit before bedtime. And then, finally, finally, I hit the spot - you know the one - where you cannot put it down. And raced to the end. So happy for that!
Last year, I read McCreight's first book, Reconstructing Amelia. I was kind of on a 'teen girl as character' reading binge somehow. I did like it a lot, and I was glad to see that this second book was published this year.
So, what's it about? Well, Molly and her husband, Justin, live in Ridgedale, New Jersey with their little daughter. They have come here from New York so that Justin can teach at a local university. Molly, a lawyer by profession but now working as a freelance journalist for the local newspaper, is startled to be asked by her boss to cover a breaking story. An infant girl's body has been discovered in the woods near the university campus. No one knows who she is or how she came to be there. All the other newspaper staff members are unavailable. Could Molly cover this story? The death of a baby is probably the worst thing that Molly could be asked to report on because she lost a child and experienced severe depression because of it. Though this is a really tough situation, Molly agrees. Who did the baby belong to? How did she come to be in the woods? Who was the mother, the father? All questions that need to be answered.
Where They Found Her is told from several points of view. Molly tells part of the story. Sandy, a teen girl that lives in the area with her mother, Jenna, is the second narrator. Jenna is a single mother and she and Sandy barely make ends meet, even with both of them working. Jenna, who lived in Ridgedale growing up, has a part of the narration through diary entries. The third narrator is Barbara, the police chief's wife. Other aspects of the story come out through Molly's news articles and also some transcripts of her therapy appointments.
Ridgedale is an affluent community with white picket fences. The secrets are everywhere, but well hidden. In many houses, more goes on than anyone imagines and Molly must pick her way through the lies and half-lies in order to try to figure out what she needs to know. The story moves at a good enough pace, but for quite a while it's tough to know how any of the strands the author gives us are related. I kept thinking I knew and then I'd be wrong. And then I'd have another idea and get shot down again. I give the author credit for keeping me guessing, although there were indeed hints throughout.
The only quibble I might have is that when the various storylines begin to draw together, the pace moves very fast. And then the end is there. Boom. Abrupt. Maybe a little too abrupt for me. It's a minor thing and was probably just how Kimberly McCreight planned it. Would I read another book by her? Absolutely. Is this one recommended? Yes. Bring your puzzler mindset and see what you can figure out.
Sarah at Sarah's Book Shelves wrote a very nice spoiler-free review here back in April. And then she also wrote another one that included a spoiler discussion here. Feel free to join in!