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Publisher's Summary

Set in Milwaukee during the “Dahmer summer” of 1991, a remarkable debut novel for fans of Mary Gaitskill and Gillian Flynn about two sisters - one who disappears and one who is left to pick up the pieces in the aftermath.

In the summer of 1991, a teenage girl named Dee McBride vanished in the city of Milwaukee. Nearly 30 years later, her sister, Peg, is still haunted by her sister's disappearance. Their mother, on her deathbed, is desperate to find out what happened to Dee, so the family hires a psychic to help find Dee’s body and bring them some semblance of peace. 

The appearance of the psychic plunges Peg back to the past, to those final carefree months when she last saw Dee - the summer the Journal Sentinel called “the deadliest...in the history of Milwaukee”. Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s heinous crimes dominated the headlines and overwhelmed local law enforcement. The disappearance of one girl was easily overlooked. 

Peg’s hazy recollections are far from easy for her to interpret, assess, or even keep clear in her mind. And now digging deep into her memory raises doubts and difficult - even terrifying - questions. Was there anything Peg could have done to prevent Dee’s disappearance? Who was really to blame for the family's loss? How often are our memories altered by the very act of voicing them? And what does it mean to bear witness in a world where even our own stories are inherently suspect? 

A heartbreaking pause resister, Willa C. Richards’ debut novel is the story of a broken family looking for answers in the face of the unknown and asks us to reconsider the power and truth of memory.

©2021 Willa C. Richards (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

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Great narration - mediocre story

First of all, the narration by Stacey Glemboski was excellent and allowed me to continue listening even though I wasn't entirely connected or invested in the story. The plot was fascinating - a girl goes missing in the same area and during the same time frame that Dahmer was actively killing boys. So the story focuses on the search for the missing girl as well as the aftermath of Dahmer's arrest. I found the moments that were focused on the family of Dahmer's family to be much more interesting than the main plot. Maybe the moving back and forth between timelines made the story feel disjointed and was why I was unable to truly connect to the main characters or their relationship to one another. I just found the story to be bland overall and the ending was completely insufficient.

2 people found this helpful