WHY: “A deeply satisfying, haunting work of literary fiction.
“When Jane is 12, her 15-year-old sister, Henrietta, vanishes, but not before their father has told them, as they have grown up, the story of the den, an old, squat house — only the foundations of which remain — in the New England woods near theirs. A Scottish family named Ross, whose wife and mother is Elspeth, had lived there a century and a half before; like Henrietta, they, too, vanished.
“What happened to them? A fourth point of view, that of Elspeth’s sister Claire, will provide partial answers to a story that, for Jane and Henrietta, has become legend. But what about Henrietta? What has happened to her, and what do the burning of the family barn and the disappearance of a boyfriend named Kaus have to do with her own disappearance? And, finally, what will happen to Jane, whose life is, in part, founded on a misapprehension?
“Tantalizing answers emerge as the story moves among its several points of view. All three women are survivors, often against great odds, while such considerations as leaving, loss, escape, and, finally, freedom inform their lives. There are parallels to be found in their stories, especially between the lives of Elspeth and Henrietta, and, in every case, a tone and mood that are often melancholy. Driven by characters who are uniformly engaging and beautifully realized, it is not to be missed.”
—Michael Cart, in a starred review for BOOKLIST