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A chilling psychological suspense novel, The Grave Tender explores the dark boundaries people cross to save loved ones, and the limits of family bonds tested by the deepest of betrayals.
Endless questions from a shadow-filled East Texas childhood haunt Hadley Dixon. People said her mother, Winnie, was never quite right, but with one single, irreparable act, life as Hadley knew it was shattered. The aftershocks of that moonlit night left her reeling, but the secrets and lies had started long before.
When a widowed and pregnant Hadley returns years later, it’s not the safe harbor she expects. The mysteries surrounding a local boy’s disappearance remain, and the townspeople still whisper about Hadley’s strange and reclusive Uncle Eli—whispers about a monster in their midst.
But Hadley’s father and grandmother, the cornerstones of everything safe in her world, avoid her questions. If Hadley stays here, will she be giving her children the family they need, or putting their lives in danger?
The hunt for answers takes a determined Hadley deep into the pine forests, in search of sunlight that will break through the canopy of lies long enough to reveal the truth.
Revised edition: This edition of The Grave Tender includes editorial revisions.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Eliza Maxwell writes fiction from her home in Texas, which she shares with her ever-patient husband, two impatient kids, a ridiculous English setter, and a bird named Sarah. Her second novel was The Kinfolk. An artist and writer, a dedicated introvert, and a British cop drama addict, she enjoys nothing more than sitting on the front porch with a good cup of coffee.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.5 Stars Does evil run in families? To what limits would you go to protect your children .. to keep the evil out of their lives? Hadley Dixon had a dysfunctional family ... or was it even worse? Her mother had never been 'right'. Hadley witnessed her mother douse herself with gasoline and set herself on fire. She had lost 4 previous baby boys and somewhere along the line, her mind just snapped. Hadley knew her father loved her. He showed her with everything he said and did. But he was also human .. and most humans have secrets. His secrets were deep and dark ..and he never wanted them brought out from the shadows. Her father's brother, Eli, lived a solitary life in the woods. He carries the scars of an abusive father on the outside .. and many more scars on the inside. Because he looked 'different' it seems he was always blamed for things he didn't do ... and most people were afraid of him. Hadley's grandmother had many years of secrets. When Hadley and her daughter, Kate, move back home after being widowed, will she be giving her child the best she can? Or is she leading her daughter right into a path of danger? Hadley takes a deep breath and seeks answers .. but are they the answers she really wants to hear? This a chilling psychological suspense novel about families and the bonds of love and loyalty that are sorely tested. Story subject is probably more common than any of us know ..or want to know. This is a well written novel with chiseled characters. Some characters might make you cry ..some will elicit a chuckle .. some will make you angry and feel helpless...and some you will empathize with .. and maybe some you will identify with. I wish to thank the author / Lake Union Publishing / Netgalley for the digital copy. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
The Grave Tender is a haunting and beautifully woven southern gothic about a broken family and the love that binds them together. The story starts slow as the story introduces Hadley, her friends, family, and their small town which on the surface seems idyllic. It’s the sort of town where everyone knows each other over generations, but the smiling town hides many secrets. What I loved most about this book was how it dealt with matters of appearance. It’s easy to point fingers and blame those that look the most guilty, who are the most eccentric. It’s the folly of letting appearances dictate our perception of the people around us. Evil is committed every day by seemingly normal people, and true monsters masquerade under the guise of banality. The book deals with some of the most horrifying situations a person can go through with extreme delicacy. Not everyone has a happy ending, sometimes there are crimes that go unpunished, victims never receive justice, some wounds heal but many more never do. I cried so much while reading this book because of how close to home it hit for me, I was honestly touched. I can’t say much more about the book because it’s really the sort of story that needs to be experienced without spoilers. I will however note that the content in this book is difficult to stomach. For a survivor of domestic abuse it can be either cathartic or utterly horrifying. I cautiously recommend this book for those ready for a poignant and unflinchingly honest exploration of domestic abuse.
The Grave Tender opens on a note of tension that underscores the full plot. Eliza Maxwell's psychological suspense novel explores the dark consequences of family secrets as a young woman comes home to face the past. Hadley Dixon didn't have an ideal home life; her mother was mentally ill and her uncle was the town freak. This complex story gives insight on Hadley's childhood as she viewed it. Further in the story readers are privy to the reality of her childhood as secrets are uncovered and the truth comes to light. The secrets unearthed change everything she thought about her family including her grandmother and father, the two she loved the most. The Grave Tender's unique narration and dark themes make this a story best read in one sitting. I couldn't take my eyes off the pages because of how quickly the story escalated. It's so easy to become absorbed in knowing the dark secrets that lie in Hadley's past. They affect so many of the characters in the story that you have to keep reading to see the full scope. The Grave Tender's thought-provoking conclusion will stay with you long after you've finished. This is a story I won't soon forget! *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review*