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Publisher's Summary

p>The past just arrived on Ruby's doorstep . . .

To uncover the truth about a friend's disappearance, a fragile young woman must silence the ghosts of her past in this moving debut tale that intertwines mystery, madness, betrayal, love, and literature.

My past was never more than one thought, one breath, one heartbeat away. And then, on that particular October evening, it literally arrived at my doorstep.

Twenty-two-year-old Ruby Rousseau is haunted by memories of Tarble, the women's college she fled from 10 months earlier, and the painful love affair that pushed her to the brink of tragedy.

When a suitcase belonging to a former classmate named Beth arrives on her doorstep, Ruby is plunged into a dark mystery. Beth has gone missing, and the suitcase is the only tangible evidence of her whereabouts.

Inside the bag, Ruby discovers a tattered copy of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, the book she believes was a harbinger of her madness. Is someone trying to send her a message - and what does it mean?

The search for answers leads to Tarble. As Ruby digs into Beth's past, she has no choice but to confront her own - an odyssey that will force her to reexamine her final days at school, including the married professor who broke her heart and the ghosts of illustrious writers, dead by their own hand, who beckoned her to join their tragic circle.

But will finding the truth finally set Ruby free . . . or send her over the edge of sanity?

©2013 Amy Gail Hansen (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers

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  • Monica S
  • West Chester, Ohio United States
  • 09-13-16

ughhhhh!

narrator's southern drawal was so terrible. The premise of the story was dumb. pushed my way through it in hopes it would get better. it did not.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • KM
  • 05-13-16

MAIN CHARACTER NOT ENGAGING

I listened to this book on a recommendation from a colleague. She really enjoyed it. I, however, did not find this book all that intriguing. The main character was not someone I wanted to know more about. I actually cared more about a character that didn't even become fleshed out until the last 2 chapters of the story. I felt the book could have been so much more. As others have written the ending fizzled. Unfortunately I wouldn't recommend this one.

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A good thriller

This was a different story than I expected, it turned out to be a darn good thriller and Amy Rubinate's narration just made it all the better!

Ruby is a much damaged woman after a bad affair she drops out of college and moves home when one day a delivery is made to her house of a suitcase belonging to her former roommate Beth but when Ruby sets out to find Beth she instead finds out that she is missing. This mystery takes her back to the scene of her heartbreak, Tarble College, where she finds an even bigger mystery that also seems to revolve around her own heartbreak.

As I said I wasn’t expecting this book to be a thriller I was expecting a sister story, (the title is explained towards the end of the book.) But I did really enjoy this one once I got over the fact that I hadn’t read the description very well. I enjoyed the use of authors Woolf, Plath & Perkins as plot devices to tell you how some of these women felt. The mystery of it all kept me guessing as to the cause of the disappearance and other things happening on campus and the reveal completely threw me, which is a great thing! Every time I thought I had it figured out things would swing in a different direction, which I enjoyed.

Amy Rubinate’s narration was as always impeccable her soft southern accent was perfect with just the right amount of accent as to not become overdone. All of her characters and voices were well done and I feel her narration made this book even better. If you haven’t listened to Rubinate’s narrations I highly recommend anything narrated by her.


I would recommend this thriller to anyone who likes a book that will keep you guessing.

4 Stars
5 Star narration

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Writer to Watch, Perhaps Not Read/Listen to Yet

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

The dark, melodramatic, introspective tone of this book may appeal to some readers. It wasn't for me.

Would you ever listen to anything by Amy Gail Hansen again?

Maybe in ten years.

Have you listened to any of Amy Rubinate’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This was my first. It was well narrated -- good range of voices and tone. More Southern than Nawlins, but I'd definitely listen to the same reader read another book.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Well written at the sentence level. Colorful imagery.

Any additional comments?

Didn't like the book. Our heroine seems more adolescent than the adult she is supposed to be. It's all about her. (Sadly, she is not that interesting.) Descriptions of New Orleans -- sleeping on a streetcar, wandering a dangerous cemetery after dark -- lack an authentic sense of place. Academics wowed by her alleged (but to this reader, not at all obvious) brilliance are far from convincing.