I received this book for free from Publisher via SheReads in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links as indicated by an asterisk. Purchases from these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you.The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young
Published by Putnam on Sept. 1, 2015
Genres: Drama, Fiction, Mystery or Thrillers
Source: Publisher via SheReads
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Synopsis from Goodreads:
“From a unique new talent comes a fast-paced debut, introducing a heroine whose dark visions bring to light secrets that will heal or destroy those around her . . .
When New York journalist and recently bereaved mother Charlotte “Charlie” Cates begins to experience vivid dreams about children she’s sure that she’s lost her mind. Yet these are not the nightmares of a grieving parent, she soon realizes. They are messages and warnings that will help Charlie and the children she sees, if only she can make sense of them.
After a little boy in a boat appears in Charlie’s dreams asking for her help, Charlie finds herself entangled in a thirty-year-old missing-child case that has never ceased to haunt Louisiana’s prestigious Deveau family. Armed with an invitation to Evangeline, the family’s sprawling estate, Charlie heads south, where new friendships and an unlikely romance bring healing. But as she uncovers long-buried secrets of love, money, betrayal, and murder, the facts begin to implicate those she most wants to trust—and her visions reveal an evil closer than she could’ve imagined.A Southern Gothic mystery debut that combines literary suspense and romance with a mystical twist, The Gates of Evangeline is a story that readers of Gillian Flynn, Kate Atkinson, and Alice Sebold won’t be able to put down.”
She stands over me as I lay sleeping and whispers “Mommy” gently so as not to frighten me. She looks scared, the light from the hallway creating a halo around her long brown curls and angelic face. I reach out to comfort her and ask what’s wrong but I cannot touch her. I startle awake. I remember. I begin to cry.
Our only daughter and my grief from losing her are 16 years old. Yet I still have these vivid dreams of Maya, wanting to hold her or being pregnant with her. Just like my invisible illness, my grief is invisible too. And like the Rheumatoid Arthritis, I fight my grief all the time. Every time I see a little girl with long brown curls and tanned skin. Every time someone sees me with my 3 darling sons and asks “Don’t you want to try for a little girl?” When I go to the Disney Store and see beautiful dolls I know her dad and I would have bought her. I look at him, he looks at me and we know we are thinking the same thing. We want our Maya back but I will only see her in my dreams.
There aren’t many books I’ve read that have captured a mother’s grief over losing her child quite like The Gates of Evangeline has. Hester Young’s portrayal of Charlie Cates, a mother who lost her young son unexpectedly, is chillingly accurate. My heart went out to Charlie, I cried with her, was haunted by her “what if’s”, struggled with her to remember the last thing she said to her son the last time she saw him alive.
Through Charlie’s grief, she sees children in her dreams. These kids are in trouble and need her help. Charlie thinks the only way to stop the dreams is to help these kids and crack a 30 year old unsolved mystery of the disappearance of 3 year old Gabriel Deveau. This is where the book gets creepy good and unputdownable.
Charlie is led through the gates of Evangeline, a mansion owned by the Deveau family in the middle of the swamps of Louisiana. The Deveau family is wealthy and eccentric and they all have secrets to hide. Do they really want the truth uncovered? The murky swamps provide the perfect setting for a disappearance, how can Charlie possibly get to the truth after all these years?
I wish I could say more about the book but I don’t give spoilers. I really loved The Gates of Evangeline, a creepily spectacular debut novel by Hester Young and I look forward to the rest of the trilogy.
Other Bloggers’ Reviews:
Thanks to SheReads and Putnam for allowing to review this book. Be sure to check out SheReads Book Club for great selections, the March selection is Flight of Dreams* by Ariel Lawhon, author of The Wife, The Maid and The Mistress, a historical fiction set in 1930’s NYC that I really enjoyed.
What haunts you? What books set in the Southern U.S. have you enjoyed? What are your favorite recent thrillers or mysteries? You know me, I love to talk about books, drop me a comment anything bookish. Let’s talk!