Review: The Girl from Widow Hills

The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda

For the past few years I’ve eagerly awaited the start of summer because with it comes so many new thrillers! The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda was one of my most anticipated summer reads, and I was so happy when I got an electronic copy. It’s the fourth book by this author I’ve read, and I was so excited to see what it was about.

Unfortunately, The Girl from Widow Hills didn’t meet the high expectations I had. Perhaps that’s my own fault though; I loved the author’s previous books so much I was expecting my mind to be blow away. While it didn’t capture my attention enough to read the entire book in one day, it was still enjoyable overall.

The story follows Olivia Maynor, who used to go by the name of Arden. She changed her name after leaving home to escape her past. When Olivia was young, she went missing and was at the center of a nation-wide search and rescue, which found her after three days, holding on to a storm water drain. Don’t worry, I promise these aren’t spoilers; it’s all in the book’s description.

Every year, on the anniversary of the event, Olivia once again finds herself at the center of attention. She gets letters in the mail from people who remember watching the event on TV, calls from reporters, and terrible messages from people who think the entire thing was staged. In order to escape from all the noise she moves far away and changes her name. That is, until the 20th anniversary rolls around and things start to get weird again.

Once again, Olivia has unexpected and unwelcome visitors. She’s stressed and starts sleepwalking, and then the unimaginable happens: she wakes up outside over a dead body. All of her worst fears start to unravel as she has to reveal her past and her personal secrets in order to figure out what’s going on.

This book has all the elements that make for a good story: a mysterious death, unreliable characters, and a questionable past. However, I found the plot to be slow, and there wasn’t anything that got me hooked into guessing what was going to happen.

That being said, there were still elements of the book that I enjoyed. The small-town setting was creepy and helped set the tone for the story overall. The settings in this author’s books always add to the overall atmosphere. I also enjoyed the fact that Olivia suffered from bouts of sleepwalking, because it added a sense of mystery. This characteristic was the only thing in the book that left me truly guessing.

Overall, The Girl from Widow Hills left me feeling lukewarm. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. If you’re looking for an easy read that will keep you distracted from the real world for a few hours, I’m sure it would fit the bill. If you’re looking for something more gripping, I suggest checking out Megan Miranda’s last book, The Last House Guest, instead.

Thank you to the publisher (Simon & Schuster Canada) for an electronic copy of this book via NetGalley. The Girl from Widow Hills comes out on June 23, 2020, and can be purchased wherever books are sold.

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