Wow, this book… this is such a beautiful, painful story exploring grief and how not letting go, staying in the past can cause more harm than learning to move forward.
Beck lost her mother only a few months ago and she and her sister are on their way to Texas to live with their dad, but first Beck has to find out the truth of Backravel, the place that her mother was investigating, the place that basically stole her mother from her. But things in Backravel don’t make sense and things are more sinister than Beck realized.
This is a book that takes place over the course of only a couple weeks, and so much happens in that time. Everyone talks about getting treatment from Ricky, the leader of the small town, but no one will (or can?) explain what treatment is or does. Beck is determined to find out, and the truth is messy and complicated and at times horrific.
In some ways this started slow, but honestly the pacing works so well for the story because in the beginning Beck is mostly stuck in her grief and depression, and Backravel gives her a focus and energy, but she’s still not really living because everything is about Ellery and what she found in Backravel that kept her coming back. As things were revealed and pieces came together, the pacing picked up with intensity and urgency, and I really liked how the pacing worked so well with the storytelling.
This is really such a great book on grief and how hard it is to move forward, how hard it is to let go of loved ones. It’s also a great examination of motivations and how a good intention can have the most harmful impacts. I really enjoyed this story and can’t wait to see what Courtney Gould will write next.