Tuesday, September 15, 2020

 

Imagine living in a small town where everyone knows everyone else.  Then imagine that on one fateful day, the entire population of the town mysteriously disappears.  That’s what happens to the inhabitants of the small Swedish mining town of Silvertjärn in 1959 in the book The Lost Village.  Two policemen checking on the welfare of the village come across a terrible scene:  a dead body tied to a pole in the middle of the town square.  The inhabitants of the village are all missing, except for one baby left in the village school.  In the present day, five young people set out to visit the still remote area where Silvertjärn remains in ruins in order to work on a documentary about what happened in the town and to solve the mystery.  Alice, the driving force behind the project, is the granddaughter of a woman who left the village just before everyone disappeared.  Alice has grown up listening to her grandmother’s stories about the village and her missing relatives, and she decides to tell the story to the world.  The documentary film project is still short of funding, so on this trip, the 5 crew members are planning to make a short film to drum up interest (and hopefully investors) for the full-length project.  The modern-day events are interspersed with chapters narrated by Elsa, Alice’s great-aunt.  From her perspective, the village of Silvertjärn is shown back when it was inhabited.  By the 1950s, when Elsa’s story is taking place, the town is already starting to go downhill.  The townspeople have just learned that the mine where nearly everyone is employed is going to be shutting down.  It is at this time of despair that a new person comes to town and the villagers begin to see some hope where there had been none before. Back in the present day, a variety of bad events begin to befall the film crew.  As they begin to suffer more serious accidents, they begin to wonder if the village is deserted after all, or if whatever evil happened in the village all those years ago is still present.  The story has an interesting premise and I was interested to see how the mystery would eventually be solved.  The only quibble I had was that the main character, Alice, was a bit too whiny and self-absorbed for most of the story.  Still, it was a very suspenseful and ultimately satisfying story.  It would make a fantastic film!

I received a copy of The Lost Village from NetGalley in exchange for this review

 

Confessions on the 7:45
Poor Selena.  Not only does she have to carry the financial burden of supporting her family, but she’s just seen her husband getting way too familiar with Geneva, the nanny, on the appropriately-named nanny cam.  Things hadn’t been good with her husband Graham for a while, but this is the event that threatens to push her over the edge and declare her marriage over for good.  Still . . . it will totally disrupt the lives of her two young sons not to mention herself and force her to admit to her family that her marriage is over.  While stewing on the train home, another woman notices her discomfort and begins confiding her own problems: that she’s sleeping with her boss and might lose her job if his wife (who owns the company) finds out.  While Selena appreciates having someone to vent to, she begins to wonder about her indiscretions when “Martha, from the train” begins texting her asking to meet up again.  When Geneva the nanny disappears, it doesn’t look good for Graham and Selena begins to wonder just what her husband has been getting up to.  The story also includes chapters devoted to Pearl, a teen girl whose mother was murdered.  Her mother’s former boyfriend Charlie rescues Pearl from the situation and they flee the area.  He begins to teach her the ways of conning people and they spend the next decade or so traveling around the country looking for the next score.  Pearl changes her identity frequently, so we have no idea who she is in the present story.  The suspense is kept up as Selena tries to unravel what happened to Geneva, as well as what Martha wants from her.  I thought the final “epilogue” was a bit long-winded, but the story kept my interest and was enjoyable.

I received a copy of Confessions on the 7:45 from NetGalley in exchange for this review.

About Me

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I'm a librarian who is interested in all things British. I try to visit London as often as possible, and am always planning my next trip. I lived in Sweden for a few years with my Swedish husband, so the occasional Swedish reference may occur . . .

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5gherkinsb Brilliant!

4gherkinsb Good, innit?

3gherkinsb Fair to middlin'

2gherkinsb Has some good points

1gherkin Oi! Wot you playin' at?

0gherkins3Don't be givin' me evils!

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