The Longings of Wayward Girls

( 8 )

Overview

It's an idyllic New England summer, and Sadie is a precocious only child on the edge of adolescence. It seems like July and August will pass lazily by, just as they have every year before. But one day, Sadie and her best friend play a seemingly harmless prank on a neighborhood girl. Soon after, that same little girl disappears from a backyard barbecue—and she is never seen again. Twenty years pass, and Sadie is still living in the same quiet suburb. She's married to a good man, has two beautiful children, and ...

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The Longings of Wayward Girls: A Novel

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Overview

It's an idyllic New England summer, and Sadie is a precocious only child on the edge of adolescence. It seems like July and August will pass lazily by, just as they have every year before. But one day, Sadie and her best friend play a seemingly harmless prank on a neighborhood girl. Soon after, that same little girl disappears from a backyard barbecue—and she is never seen again. Twenty years pass, and Sadie is still living in the same quiet suburb. She's married to a good man, has two beautiful children, and seems to have put her past behind her. But when a boy from her old neighborhood returns to town, the nightmares of that summer will begin to resurface, and its unsolved mysteries will finally become clear.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A nerve-racking, psychologically complex novel sure to haunt [listeners]—-especially those with dark secrets of their own." —-Booklist Starred Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452666747
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/30/2013
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: MP3 - Unabridged CD
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Brown is the author of Little Sinners and Other Stories, which was named a Best Book of 2012 by Publishers Weekly, and Pins and Needles: Stories, which was the recipient of AWP's Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction.

Arielle DeLisle has been a voice actor and commercial producer for over a decade. Her titles span many genres, including science fiction, romance, and thriller, including Michael Wallace's Righteous series.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Dark, Thought provoking

    Did you ever wonder what happened to the kids you went to school with? Were you part of the “in crowd,” a leader, a follower, or maybe you were the outcast, the one that others saw as fodder for cruelty for any number of reasons. No matter where you stood in the social pecking order, our youth and our actions, reactions or lack of action, affects our adulthood, if we try to bury it. Sadie is now a troubled adult, rightfully depressed by a recent miscarriage, but her problems go much deeper, and as her past resurfaces, memories and guilt of a long ago summer come back to haunt her as she continues to make self-destructive choices.

    The Longings of Wayward Girls by Karen Brown is a dark, psychological mystery that spans three time periods, each involving Sadie, each leaving a mark on her emotionally and mentally. Current Sadie’s “perfect” façade is crumbling. Like a raw onion, the layers of her life and the events of her past are painfully peeled back. Karen Brown has re-created the 70s with vivid detail, like climbing into a time capsule and going back. Her characters are not always likeable, but as the timelines converge, they do become understandable, making this an intriguingly thought-provoking, often disturbing read!


    An ARC edition was provided by NetGalley and Atria Books in exchange for my honest review.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Most of the big review publications love this book, using such


    Most of the big review publications love this book, using such terms as nervewracking, haunting, absorbing, tension, suspense. I’m sorry to say none of these words come to mind when I think about The Longings of Wayward Girls. It’s not that it’s a bad book—it really isn’t—but to say it’s full of suspense and tension is miles apart from what most mystery readers are looking for.

    We know from the jacket copy that two children have gone missing but getting to any real information about those disappearances is a chore. The second instance, which is the real focus, doesn’t actually happen until more than two thirds through the story and that is simply far too long for the mystery reader to wait. In essence, the only real tension is caused by wondering when on earth we’ll be told anything about this second disappearance beyond the fact that it happened. To make matters worse, there’s no real resolution to that second crime because we’re left wondering whether it really was a crime or rather jealousy gone out of control leading to unintended consequences.

    On the other hand, as a look at a woman’s life and how her adulthood is so heavily influenced by her childhood, this hits the mark. Speaking personally, I couldn’t like Sadie very much—she’s remarkably self-centered as a child and as an adult—but she has some reason to be that way. If I had thought this would be a personality study that happens to include a couple of mysteries, I might have enjoyed it very much because Ms. Brown is a fine writer, particularly when it comes to evoking a sense of setting. Unfortunately, the description makes it sound much more like suspense is the overriding theme and that just isn’t the case. The publisher should come up with a more accurate description for future editions to prevent disappointing readers looking for a solid crime drama.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The woods were a place of imaginative games and innocent wandere

    The woods were a place of imaginative games and innocent wanderers. The swampy area was a harmless place until nine-year-old Laura Loomis went missing in 1974. The search continued for days with no clues found. A few years later, Sadie and her best friend are playing a harmless prank on a girl from the neighborhood. The result...the neighborhood girl disappears like Laura Loomis did.
    Fast forward to 2002 and Sadie Watkins is used to being mistaken for one of the missing girls. In fact, saying "I'm not Laura Loomis" has become second nature to her. A boy from her old neighborhood comes to town sparking all of Sadie's old memories. The unsolved mystery and summer prank resurfaces.
    The Longings of Wayward Girls had so much potential. The guilt of a grown woman over the disappearance of a girl, possibly her fault. The same grown woman grieving over a miscarriage while figuring out what really happened that summer. I really wanted to like this book. I realize I am in the minority with not caring for it. The premise sounded really good but it fell flat. There was no climax. My reaction to the ending was, "Oh." -___- Reiterating, this is just my opinion that does not mirror the majority. I longed for a better story line to The Longings of Wayward Girls but others may enjoy it.
    Literary Marie of Precision Reviews

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2013

    Meh

    I didnt finish this book i found that with only 50 pages left that i really did not care how it ended

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 15, 2013

    What can I say about this book? It was brilliant in its subtleti

    What can I say about this book? It was brilliant in its subtleties, but a little clumsy in its presentation. I thoroughly appreciated the way Ms. Brown unwrapped the characters by unwrapping their relationships, but the back and forth between time periods, between characters, and between events made it difficult to follow at times. I found myself going back a few times to figure out which girl/woman/man I was reading about.

    Ms. Brown masterfully SHOWED us reasons for characters' behavior without TELLING us - she leaves it up to the intelligence of the reader to put the puzzle pieces together.

    Yes, I'd recommend this, but I would suggest setting aside time to sit and read this without too many distractions.

    This book was given to me for the purpose of this review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Sadie grew up differently, her mother often "sick" or

    Sadie grew up differently, her mother often "sick" or "too tired" to drag herself out of bed. in 1979 a young girl that looked startlingly like her disappeared. She had a fairly normal childhood otherwise, playing for long hours with her friends, until the day her mother left permanently.

    In present day, 2002, Sadie is a Mom herself. Her husband loves her, her children need her, but after the loss of her baby girl, perfect, but stillborn, she feels disconnected from her life. She meets up with a man from her past, a boy that featured in many of her girlish fantasies, now grown and just as enticing. The story bounces back and forth between the girl and woman as we learn more about the dark places in hidden corners of her mind. She finds some surprising and painful connections to her mother. The last person she ever wanted to be like. A darkly interesting tale.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2013

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings A different tak

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings

    A different take on small town life, by having the main character stay in town and tell the story both in the past and in the present and the changes and similarities in the town and its people.  I loved the concept and the overall plot of the book.  I love small town books and I loved the mystery and intrigue about girls going missing in this small town.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2013

    Great book from an amazing writer, one of the best books I have

    Great book from an amazing writer, one of the best books I have read in years!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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