Sunday, April 15, 2018

Stranger by Keren David

Here is the first review from Midlife Singlemum Book Week. I've been waiting for this book for a few years. Ever since Keren, whom I follow on social media, mentioned that she was writing an historical novel about family intrigues, secrets from the past, and events that come back to haunt you. Strangers was finally published on April 5th and my copy arrived the same day from Amazon Prime.

So here's the thing. A hundred years ago in Canada a young girl, Emmy, finds a wild boy in the forest. From then on nothing about the town of Astor, and the families in it, is as straightforward as it seems. In more recent times Emmy's great-granddaughter, Megan, returns home to Astor and unravels all the secrets surrounding the townsfolk.

There are lots of interesting angles to consider when reading this book. One that struck me is that Megan is nursing her own secret, revealed to the reader right at the beginning, that she had a recent abortion. Just left school and abandoned by her boyfriend, it seemed like the most sensible option. She doesn't dare tell anyone in Astor where her great-great-grandparents were founding members of the town. A town full of her extended family and where the only minor scandal she's aware of is that her own parents are getting divorced.

Can you guess where I'm going with this? Oh my goodness! This town is awash with guilt, cover-ups and lies. Only they don't know it because in those days it was easier to keep things hidden. People were arriving from the Old World with no papers to prove or disprove anything. A neighbouring Province was like a remote and inaccessible, foreign country to most people. A person could seemingly appear out of nowhere and others could disappear and not be discovered for 90 years. It wasn't so much a more innocent time as a more secretive time. Believe me, 'Victorian Values' just means no one knew and they got away with it.

I think I've said enough except to recommend that you buy this book for yourselves and for your young adults. As always with Keren David, plenty of intrigue, twists, pleasure and loads to think about.

Follow the links here to read my other reviews of David's YA novels.

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