September 19, 2016 by Zoë
The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude is set in Rowan’s Glen, a small community in the Ozarks that exists half cut off from the rest of the world. Ivy and her cousin Heather are both from Rowan’s Glen and Ivy, at least, loves it. She’s noticing worrying things about Heather, though, and struggles with the ways their relationship is changing. Then the unthinkable happens and Heather disappears. History seems to be repeating itself, if what the adults say is true. Ivy needs to figure things out before it’s too late.
This was a lovely, atmospheric book. While a lot of the thrillers I’ve read lately have had little going for them in the way of good prose, I really liked the style of this one. It’s atmospheric and instantly drew me in to the somewhat macabre world that Sarah Jude has created. To me, this book could almost be categorized as Southern Gothic in the way that it creates a world that’s almost like this one, but darker and more poetic.
The ending and the reveal were both a bit rushed. I hardly had time to grasp the reveal or understand what was going on before the book was over. I’d have liked more hints pointing to the reveal, or at least more of an explanation of motives.
Despite my issues with the end, I really enjoyed this book and thought it was well written. If you like atmospheric books, give this one a try.
“We’d grabbed hands while climbing trees many times growing up, but touching him now as like a dandelion scattering inside me, seeds full of possibility.”