The Cousins - Karen M. McManus
The Write Reads blog tour for The Cousins is going strong and today it is my turn! The book is released in 2 days on 3rd December so still just enough time to get your pre-orders in!
The Storys are the envy of their neighbours: owners of the largest property on their East Coast island, they are rich, beautiful, and close. Until it all falls apart. The four children are suddenly dropped by their mother with a single sentence:
You know what you did.
They never hear from her again.
Years later, when 18-year-old cousins Aubrey, Milly and Jonah Story receive a mysterious invitation to spend the summer at their grandmother's resort, they have no choice but to follow their curiosity and meet the woman who's been such an enigma their entire lives.
This entire family is built on secrets, right? It's the Story legacy.
This summer, the teenagers are determined to discover the truth at the heart of their family. But some secrets are better left alone.
The three very different cousins have never met their grandmother Mildred and hardly even know each other, so they are very surprised to each receive a letter inviting them to work on Gull Cove Island, Mildred's exclusive resort. While Millie and Aubrey immediately bond, Jonah seems determined to stay moody and distant. None of the teens know why their parents are estranged from Mildred. Their only clue is the 'you know what you did' letter and the parents are not very forthcoming, all saying they are convinced they didn't do anything.
I liked Milly and Aubrey right away, and even Jonah grew on me, but I have to say their parents all seem terrible! It's hard to believe the kids turned out as well as they did. Only the three kids really get fleshed out in terms of their characters as they are the main protagonists. We do get a bit of Milly's mum as a young girl but I really would have liked to know more about the grandmother.
The book is gripping and full of interwoven mysteries. Each new twist or piece of information just adds to the complexity. The flashbacks to the past add another intriguing layer to the mystery, and I really wanted to find out how it would all fit in together. I had plenty of theories but I don't think I could ever have guessed the final outcome!
I made a Milly Martini - muddle a few basil leaves in a shaker and then add a shot and a half of gin, the same again of pineapple juice, a dash of sugar syrup and a few drops of orange bitters. Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.