Amazon Blurb -
It’s an idyllic New England summer, and Sadie is a precocious only child on the edge of adolescence. It seems like July and August will pass lazily by, just as they have every year before. But one day, Sadie and her best friend play a seemingly harmless prank on a neighborhood girl. Soon after, that same little girl disappears from a backyard barbecue—and she is never seen again. Twenty years pass, and Sadie is still living in the same quiet suburb. She’s married to a good man, has two beautiful children, and seems to have put her past behind her. But when a boy from her old neighborhood returns to town, the nightmares of that summer will begin to resurface, and its unsolved mysteries will finally become clear.
Sadie is a mean girl. Her and best friend Betty make fun of and tease neighbor girl Francie. They do it in a way that is underhanded and not so obvious though. While Betty seems to be getting a bit of a conscience, Sadie has zilch. The two have vivid imaginations and role play these games of being wives from the 1700's, Barbies, and the usual young girl follies. When neighborhood girl Laura Loomis goes missing the whole town is on edge. Sadie's mom makes the two play with Francie. They include her in their imaginative game of colonial wives and use it as an opportunity to make fun of Francie and giggle cattily at her. The three go trouncing into the woods behind Sadie's home, while Francie continue to ask if they should with what happened to Laura, knowing they've all been warned to stay close.. They all get quite a fright when they see a dark figure lurking and run back to,the safety of Sadie's basement.
Fast forward three years and now Francie has gone missing. It coincides with a crappy trick Sadie and Betty have played on her. To make matters worse, Sadie's mom isn't the most balanced. Quite a tragic figure who meds up and drinks making for not the best home-life. Sadie occupies herself with behavior that is not only inappropriate for a twelve year old it's downright dangerous. As the years pass the things she does leads to Betty no longer being allowed to stay with her.
Twenty years later she's married with children, living in the same town and supposedly living a happy life. But she isn't, still grieving fiercely over a miscarriage, she's just going through the motions. When a man from her past reenters her life, Sadie considers throwing it all away. Past wrongs are dragged to the surface along with sad revelations.
This book was ok. What saves this book is the author. Karen Brown's writing was very good, her detailing was vivid and put you right there. My problem, I did NOT like Sadie one bit. Just a stinky rotten kid. Precocious is not a word I'd use to describe her, more like bratty witch. I couldn't conjure any feelings of sympathy for her at any part of this story and I feel Sadie got away with way too much. I know her home life wasn't the best, but just couldn't hack her. Past that and you had the tension of what happened to these missing girls making for a good mystery.