Title: The Girl From Widow Hills
Author: Megan Miranda
Publication Date: 2nd July 2020
Everyone knows the story of the girl from Widow Hills.
When Arden Maynor was six years old, she was swept away in terrifying storm and went missing for days. Against all odds, she was found alive, clinging to a storm drain. A living miracle. Arden’s mother wrote a book, and fame followed. But so did fans, creeps and stalkers. It was all too much, and as soon as she was old enough, Arden changed her name and left Widow Hills behind.
Now, a young woman living hundreds of miles away, Arden is known as Olivia. With the twentieth anniversary of her rescue looming, media interest in the girl who survived is increasing. Where is she now? The stress brings back the night terrors of Olivia’s youth. Often, she finds herself out of bed in the middle of the night, sometimes outside her home, even streets away. Then one evening she jolts awake in her yard, with the corpse of a man at her feet.
The girl from Widow Hills is about to become the centre of the story, once again.
I’ve really enjoyed Megan Miranda’s books in the past so I was looking forward to reading The Girl From Widow Hills and it totally delivered. The story follows Arden, who as a young child was at the centre of a huge and unusual news story and has now changed her name and tried to leave her famous past behind her. Olivia, as she is now known is still dealing with the effects of her childhood as an adult and finds herself experiencing sleepwalking episodes. She then wakes up after one of these startling episodes with a dead body right beside her and the story blows up from there.
I seriously enjoyed this book. I actually read it pretty much in two sittings which I hardly ever do because it is so intensely readable. At the end of each chapter I wanted to know more and more about what was actually going on with Olivia. One of the most interesting aspects of The Girl From Widow Hills is the sleepwalking. I always think there is something innately spooky and sinister about sleepwalking. The idea that you could leave not just your bed but your house and have no recollection of it or control over it is frightening, and in this book it puts Olivia in an incredibly vulnerable position because she doesn’t really know what she has or hasn’t done. The long and overwhelming affects of trauma are also starkly obvious in her life. I don’t think we always consider the fact that people who are in the middle of an event that completely captivates the public have to go on and live their lives afterwards and deal with the attention of the public and the media for, quite possibly, the rest of their days, whether they like it or not. I liked Olivia as a character and wanted her to understand what was happening to her which is part of what kept me turning pages late into the night.
The Girl From Widow Hills felt really original and different to me. Sometimes in this genre the plots can start to feel like you’ve already heard them several times and that definitely is not the case here. The story feels unique and rather unusual. There is a real sense of tension and a dark undercurrent to the story which is dealt with in a beautifully subtle and clever way by Miranda. If you are looking for something a bit different which will keep you completely engrossed then I would highly recommend this book.
Thank you so much to Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours for inviting me on this tour and organising it. I kindly received a copy of the book from the publisher. My review is my own honest opinion.