A debut novel by award-winning author Holly Goddard Jones, about the people surprisingly connected to the discovery of a dead woman’s body in a small town.
Thirteen-year-old Emily Houchens doesn't have many friends. She finds more comfort playing make-believe in the woods near her house in Roma, Kentucky, than with her classmates, who find her strange and awkward. When she happens upon a dead body hidden in the woods one day, she decides not to tell anyone about her discovery—a choice that begins to haunt her.
Susanna Mitchell has always been a good girl, the dutiful daughter and wife. While her older sister Ronnie trolled bars for men and often drove home at sunrise, Susanna kept a neat house, a respectable job, and a young daughter. But when Ronnie goes missing and Susanna realizes that she’s the only person in Roma who truly cares about her sister’s fate, she starts to question her quiet life and its value.
The Next Time You See Me is the story of how one woman’s disappearance exposes the ambitions, prejudices, and anxieties of a small southern town and its residents, who are all connected, sometimes in unexpected ways: Emily; Susanna; Tony, a failed baseball star turned detective, aspiring to be the county’s first black sheriff; and Wyatt, a 55-year-old factory worker tormented by a past he can’t change and by a love he doesn’t think he deserves. Their stories converge in a violent climax that reveals not just the mystery of what happened to Ronnie but all of their secret selves.
©2013 Holly Goddard Jones (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc
"The residents of a small Kentucky town react to the disappearance of a local woman in this first novel by short-story writer Jones…. [The author] builds intense tension surrounding the choices her flawed but compellingly sympathetic characters make as they fight against lonely isolation within the tight confines of small-town America." (Kirkus Reviews)
Overall, this was a good book, so the time was mostly well-spent. There are a lot of characters to keep up with and it is sometimes difficult to remember how this person knows or is related to the other person that is speaking. In addition to keeping up with a boat-load of characters, the listener is subjected to flash-backs, flash-forwards, and even sideways time jumps. The story would be better told in chronological order - starting with the Thanksgiving scene instead of ending with it.
I did NOT like the ending at all. After listening for all of those hours and anticipating how the characters would resolve some of the issues, there was really only a conclusion for one character out of a cast of 15 or so. Very, very disappointed with the ending.
Yes, I have listened to Cassandra Campbell in other audio books. She does a great job. This book had so many characters that they started to "sound" alike at some point - which isn't her fault. Cassandra is clear, concise and easy to understand.
No, this book would NOT make a good movie because people want an ending that makes sense. People want finality, or at least the knowledge that certain issues are resolved. Moviegoers would be upset if they paid $10 to see a story where 90+% of the characters are left with no end.
Please do not write books that flash forward and backward in time. It is confusing when the story is so complex and there are so many characters that interplay in the events.
I loved the characters and the plot of this book. I don't care if a book has a happy ending or not, but the way this one ends is not satisfactory. All of the coincidences in the book tie together beautifully, except for the final moments. I am still glad that I listened to it, and I enjoyed returning to it each time with curiosity and pleasure.
There is an air of expectancy all through the story. Cassandra Campbell's narration draws you in with her softness and easy flow. This is a quiet story, yet you don't want to stop listening because you have been drawn into each character's life. Some say they figured it out before the end, but you are giving just enough to think "maybe not". You realize that as you walk through your day you are intersecting with a drama all your own. This is one of those rare stories where you become attached to the characters and you know you will miss them tomorrow.
I would say that listening to this book was time not worth my time. Thought about returning, but I finished it because I got so far that I wanted to find out how it ended. I expected a surprise twist, but that didn't happen. Finally got to the end and was very disappointed. You are left in limbo about what happens to the main character. The part about the victim's sister's marriage was distracting and annoying. I wanted to shout at her and tell her to deal with it and do something about it. I kept wondering what was going through Emily's mind.
Cassandra did a very good performance. Probably would have given her 5 stars if the book was enjoyable.
Eclectic lifelong reader
I almost returned this book to Audible, for the second time in all my years with them, a few chapters in. Goddard Jones penchant for describing every little detail was driving me up the wall. But then the details started building some very believable characters, so I stuck with it - only to be disappointed, as some reviewers have said before me, by the ending. It struck me that is was the same way I felt after I listened to Tana Rogers' book, In the Woods. A lot of emotional investment in the characters, only to be stunned by a "That's it?" Sort of ending. I obviously like my characters to go through a bit more dynamic change, and a bit more redemption in the resolution. Not here.
I did like Cassandra Campbell's narration.
I've been a member since 2003. Can't live without it! I actually have 2 accounts! Awesome that they will return books you don't like!
Apparently the reason I have never read anything from this author is because this is her first book. :-) Great start! I will look forward to reading more from this author!
This book was more about the lives of people and how they intertwine, the mistakes and decisions they make, consequences of all those things. I didn't find it intriguing or even find myself trying to guess the who dunnit. Was not mysterious at all. That being said, the characters were well developed and the relationships between them were established in a way that flowed. Liked the narrator, very engaging. So I give it 3 stars, but not for being a well written mystery but because the players were well written. Not for you if your wanting anything gripping.
The characters in this novel were well developed. I think that it has been placed in the wrong genre. This is no mystery. Yes, a murder is committed but the reader knows early on who the murderer is. As evidenced by the title, the characters in this book just want to be "seen" by someone....just want their lives to have value.
Did not find the ending satisfying for all characters.
If you are craving to be pulled into a book, listen to or read this intriguing gem. This book is very well done. The audio narration is excellent.
Kept hoping for a different ending. She did a good job of going back and forth between characters but did not like how it ended.
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