Thursday, March 16, 2023

Reviving the Hawthorn Sisters by Emily Carpenter


Emily Carpenter is one of the go-to authors for Heather and I to buddy-read, so I was really excited when she suggested we do a read of REVIVING THE HAWTHORN SISTERS, which I believe is her newest book. Told in dual timeline, it's the story of two women: one a faith healer, Ruth, who was born a bastard orphan in an insane asylum; the other, her granddaughter, Eve, who ends up tangled up in some of the dark secrets of Ruth's past come to light.

Carpenter has been a little hit or miss with me so far. Two of her books are my all-time faves and one I didn't like at all. This one kind of falls into the middle. There were some gloriously WTF-y scenes in this book (most of them having to do with a certain antagonist named Singley) and I liked Ruth's sordid past and how she overcame all of the adversity in her life. Actually, I liked the past chapters more than I liked the present chapters, which is a fun surprise because usually it's the opposite. But Eve just wasn't a very compelling protagonist compared to some of the morally ambiguous heroines Carpenter has churned out in the past... and let's face it, Ruth/Dove stole the show.

I will say that the ending was good and super intense, I thought the villain was the perfect amount of cringe, and I also liked that there's a lil' teasey bit of smut and romance in this book because I think we can all agree that thrillers are better with a little bit of smut and romance thrown in. It's what makes a FULT a FULT (aka, Fucked Up Lady Thriller, which is what Heather and I call these books). If the present chapters had been more interesting, I would have liked this more, but I ended up skimming a LOT. This wasn't a bad book but it also wasn't my fave by this author.

2.5 out of 5 stars

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