My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Sea of Lost Girls by Carol Goodman begins with a similarity to The Lake of Dead Languages which I had read quite recently. It had same boarding school scenario on the edge of a lake, same set up of an alumni teacher, a teacher with a disturbing past and hidden lies surrounded by legends and missing girls that until about 30% into the story I never felt invested. But Carol Goodman then surprised me by revealing Tess’s ugly past early into the story and from then on, it was an engrossing and captivating read. And of course, if you have read the author’s previous works, you are probably aware that Carol Goodman uses the setting of the story excellently; coastal Maine and the legend of the nine sisters adding to the atmospheric brilliance.
The Sea of Lost Girls focusses on a mother’s love and the length that she would go to for the sake of their child. It was what comes across from the experiences of Jean and Tess, the choices that they undertake even when knowing it is wrong to protect their children. The student-teacher relation is one of the sacred in the world but when someone in power begins to abuse the system preying on vulnerable girls, it collapses the faith of that revered relationship. Tess is a very complex and flawed character and I couldn’t agree with her decision to keep her son from therapy seeing as that even at 17, it becomes fairly obvious that he’s disturbed and has severe anger management issues.
The suspense of the Lila’s murder and the masks that hide behind the tweets gets revealed slowly and the untangling of all the secrets was literally gripping.
Another awesome thriller from Carol Goodman!
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A story set in a prestigious prep school in which one woman’s carefully hidden past might destroy her future.
Tess has worked hard to keep her past buried, where it belongs. Now she’s the wife to a respected professor at an elite boarding school, where she also teaches. Her seventeen-year-old son, Rudy, whose dark moods and complicated behavior she’s long worried about, seems to be thriving: he has a lead role in the school play and a smart and ambitious girlfriend. Tess tries not to think about the mistakes she made eighteen years ago, and mostly, she succeeds.
And then one more morning she gets a text at 2:50 AM: it’s Rudy, asking for help. When Tess picks him up she finds him drenched and shivering, with a dark stain on his sweatshirt. Four hours later, Tess gets a phone call from the Haywood school headmistress: Lila Zeller, Rudy’s girlfriend, has been found dead on the beach, not far from where Tess found Rudy just hours before.
As the investigation into Lila’s death escalates, Tess finds her family attacked on all sides. What first seemed like a tragic accidental death is turning into something far more sinister, and not only is Tess’s son a suspect but her husband is a person of interest too. But Lila’s death isn’t the first blemish on Haywood’s record, and the more Tess learns about Haywood’s fabled history, the more she realizes that not all skeletons will stay safely locked in the closet.