"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

21 February 2015

2015 Book Review #6: Never Come Back

I read this book in just a few days....it was totally gripping and very well written.

If you like books about family sagas/drama with a bit of mystery thrown in, this book is one I recommend.


Elizabeth Hampton is a graduate student at a small college in Dover, Ohio.  She has a brother, Ronnie, with Down Syndrome, who is just one year older than she is.  Their mother Leslie Hampton dies unexpectedly and it appears to be homicide!! Their dad had died of cancer a few years before.  The prime suspect is Ronnie but Elizabeth knows in her heart that her brother just isn't capable (emotionally) of murder.  Especially of his beloved mother. 

Leslie's sudden death plunges Elizabeth and Ronnie into a twisted family saga.  All of a sudden they are in danger from people they never even met until their mother's funeral, and they learn about double lives and long-lost relatives.  Just who did kill Leslie??  and why??

When a stranger...a woman in her 40s, shows up claiming to be Elizabeth Yarbrough (Beth), Elizabeth and Ronnie learn more about their mother than they care to know.  Everything Elizabeth thought she knew about her mom is being challenged.

Elizabeth and her Uncle Paul find out that Leslie had been married as a young girl to a man named Gordon Baxter.  They had a daughter named Elizabeth who "ran away" when she was 15 never to be seen again.  Why did she run? and why did Leslie keep this a secret from Elizabeth and Ronnie?? And just how much does Uncle Paul really know??

And even more important....this woman has been named as a part of Leslie's will!  Was that the motivation needed to kill her own mother?

As all of these family secrets come to light, a man, Gordon Baxter, shows up in their lives claiming to have all the answers.  But those answers will put Elizabeth, Ronnie and everyone she knows and loves in danger.

Who is this man?? and is Beth really who she says she is??


This was a quick and easy read.  I liked that it kept me up late at night reading and turning the pages to find out more of the mystery.

The character development was pretty good and the description of small town Ohio was perfect!

It's a very riveting story although a little unbelievable....and the ending felt rushed to me.  At one point in the story, when Ronnie supposedly tries to commit suicide, I had guessed where the pills came from.  Then the author twisted the plot a little bit throwing me off guard...only to rein it in again in an abrupt manner and showed me my first guess was correct.  That was fun!

The ending is very poignant. The author writes it as an epilogue 5 months later and it is my favorite part of the story.  It not only ties all three lives together well (Elizabeth's, Beth's and Ronnie's) but it brings out the fact that "What is normal??"  Is there such a thing as a "normal" family and if so, what is it??

It also brings out the theme of siblings and how we share biology but that so often our lives are vastly different.

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 17 and older (due to some content).

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 9.

NOTE:  it's interesting to note that I read one of this author's other novels just last January (20140)!  It was called Cemetery Girl and the review can be found here.  I didn't like it nearly as much as I liked this one!


Susanne said...

You must have whipped through this book, I don't even recall it in your sidebar. Sounds interesting.

Melanie said...

Sounds very interesting. I have about 3 books on the night stand waiting to be read. All library books so I'd better get cracking!

Melanie Lopata said...

Sounds like a good one. I'll check it out. I have five out from the library currently so I'll add this one to my list!