The Girl From Widow Hills by Megan Miranda
Everyone knows the story of “the girl from Widow Hills.”
Arden Maynor was just a child when she was swept away while sleepwalking during a terrifying rainstorm and went missing for days. Strangers and friends, neighbors and rescue workers, set up search parties and held vigils, praying for her safe return. Against all odds, she was found, alive, clinging to a storm drain. The girl from Widow Hills was a living miracle. Arden’s mother wrote a book. Fame followed. Fans and fan letters, creeps, and stalkers. And every year, the anniversary. It all became too much. As soon as she was old enough, Arden changed her name and disappeared from the public eye.
Now a young woman living hundreds of miles away, Arden goes by Olivia. She’s managed to stay off the radar for the last few years. But with the twentieth anniversary of her rescue approaching, the media will inevitably renew its interest in Arden. Where is she now? Soon Olivia feels like she’s being watched and begins sleepwalking again, like she did long ago, even waking outside her home. Until late one night she jolts awake in her yard. At her feet is the corpse of a man she knows—from her previous life, as Arden Maynor.
I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review
I went into this book with an open mind, I wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting other than a psychological thriller. I was pleasantly surprised as this novel was easy to read, and I was able to finish it in a few days. Lately I’ve been on a thriller kick and this book did not disappoint!
The Girl from Widow Hills reminded me a bit of Darling Rose Gold with the mother figure having control over the daughter and living off the daughter’s fame in addition to having an unreliable narrator. Unreliable narrators add a nice touch to any thriller, I love not knowing who to trust — if they’re telling us the full truth or omitting something.
Olivia, formerly known as Arden, was sleepwalking when she was a little girl and was swept away in a storm. For three days the town of Widow Hills searched her, only to find her holding onto an access point. This incident launched herself and her mother to fame, everyone knew Arden as “the girl from widow hills” which left a huge traumatic imprint on her life. Given the chance to move to a different town, she created a new identity for herself as Olivia, to leave the past behind. Arden’s mother lived off the fame; she appeared on talk shows, sold books, all because of Arden’s trauma. Olivia finds out one day that her mother is dead which this sets the story in motion. I don’t want to give too much away here, but Olivia starts sleepwalking again and wakes up to find herself standing overtop a corpse—a corpse she doesn’t know if she murdered. She runs to her neighbour, Rick, an elderly gentleman for help. The rest of the book picks up and begins to get even more interesting as Olivia is now entangled in this mess. She tries to piece together what happened, while not revealing that she was sleeping walking.
The ending was… something else. I really enjoyed the twist along the way; I certainly didn’t see it coming. I thought I knew who did it but I was wrong when it was finally revealed. I keep thinking about this book it was so good, which is why I bought it shortly after publication day!
The writing was excellent; I felt all the emotions that Olivia was feeling, the uneasy feeling, being trapped, watched, and everything was done really well.
Cups of Tea: ☕☕☕☕
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Published: June 23, 2020