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Arrowood: A Novel
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Random House Publishing Group 2016
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Description

“Superb and subtle psychological suspense.”—Lee Child

A haunting novel from the author of The Weight of Blood about a young woman’s return to her childhood home—and her encounter with the memories and family secrets it holds

ITW THRILLER AWARD FINALIST
Arrowood is the most ornate and grand of the historical houses that line the Mississippi River in southern Iowa. But the house has a mystery it has never revealed: It’s where Arden Arrowood’s younger twin sisters vanished on her watch twenty years ago—never to be seen again. After the twins’ disappearance, Arden’s parents divorced and the Arrowoods left the big house that had been in their family for generations. And Arden’s own life has fallen apart: She can’t finish her master’s thesis, and a misguided love affair has ended badly. She has held on to the hope that her sisters are still alive, and it seems she can’t move forward until she finds them. When her father dies and she inherits Arrowood, Arden returns to her childhood home determined to discover what really happened to her sisters that traumatic summer.
Arden’s return to the town of Keokuk—and the now infamous house that bears her name—is greeted with curiosity. But she is welcomed back by her old neighbor and first love, Ben Ferris, whose family, she slowly learns, knows more about the Arrowoods’ secrets and their small, closed community than she ever realized. With the help of a young amateur investigator, Arden tracks down the man who was the prime suspect in the kidnapping. But the house and the surrounding town hold their secrets close—and the truth, when Arden finds it, is more devastating than she ever could have imagined.
Arrowood is a powerful and resonant novel that examines the ways in which our lives are shaped by memory. As with her award-winning debut novel, The Weight of Blood, Laura McHugh has written a thrilling novel in which nothing is as it seems, and in which our longing for the past can take hold of the present in insidious and haunting ways.
Praise for Arrowood
“This robust, old-fashioned gothic mystery has everything you’re looking for: a creepy old house, a tenant with a secret history, and even a few ghosts. Laura McHugh’s novel sits at the intersection of memory and history, astutely asking whether we carry the past or it carries us.”—Jodi Picoult
“An eloquently eerie tale.”Booklist
“Poignant . . . lyrical.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A chilling, twisting tale of family, memory, and home . . . This engaging and thrilling tale about a young woman’s homecoming, the vagaries of memory, and the impact of tragedy on both a town and a family is a terrific choice for Laura Lippman and Sue Grafton readers.”Library Journal (starred review)

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
08/09/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780812996401
ASIN:
B018PD2HJA

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APA Citation (style guide)

Laura McHugh. (2016). Arrowood: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Laura McHugh. 2016. Arrowood: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Laura McHugh, Arrowood: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Laura McHugh. Arrowood: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2016.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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“Superb and subtle psychological suspense.”—Lee Child

A haunting novel from the author of The Weight of Blood about a young woman’s return to her childhood home—and her encounter with the memories and family secrets it holds

ITW THRILLER AWARD FINALIST
Arrowood is the most ornate and grand of the historical houses that line the Mississippi River in southern Iowa. But the house has a mystery it has never revealed: It’s where Arden Arrowood’s younger twin sisters vanished on her watch twenty years ago—never to be seen again. After the twins’ disappearance, Arden’s parents divorced and the Arrowoods left the big house that had been in their family for generations. And Arden’s own life has fallen apart: She can’t finish her master’s thesis, and a misguided love affair has ended badly. She has held on to the hope that her sisters are still alive, and it seems she can’t move forward until she finds them. When her father dies and she inherits Arrowood, Arden returns to her childhood home determined to discover what really happened to her sisters that traumatic summer.
Arden’s return to the town of Keokuk—and the now infamous house that bears her name—is greeted with curiosity. But she is welcomed back by her old neighbor and first love, Ben Ferris, whose family, she slowly learns, knows more about the Arrowoods’ secrets and their small, closed community than she ever realized. With the help of a young amateur investigator, Arden tracks down the man who was the prime suspect in the kidnapping. But the house and the surrounding town hold their secrets close—and the truth, when Arden finds it, is more devastating than she ever could have imagined.
Arrowood is a powerful and resonant novel that examines the ways in which our lives are shaped by memory. As with her award-winning debut novel, The Weight of Blood, Laura McHugh has written a thrilling novel in which nothing is as it seems, and in which our longing for the past can take hold of the present in insidious and haunting ways.
Praise for Arrowood
“This robust, old-fashioned gothic mystery has everything you’re looking for: a creepy old house, a tenant with a secret history, and even a few ghosts. Laura McHugh’s novel sits at the intersection of memory and history, astutely asking whether we carry the past or it carries us.”—Jodi Picoult
“An eloquently eerie tale.”Booklist
“Poignant . . . lyrical.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A chilling, twisting tale of family, memory, and home . . . This engaging and thrilling tale about a young woman’s homecoming, the vagaries of memory, and the impact of tragedy on both a town and a family is a terrific choice for Laura Lippman and Sue Grafton readers.”Library Journal (starred review)
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from April 11, 2016
        A failed graduate student’s return to the family mansion she inherited from her grandfather touches off a maelstrom of emotion, regret, and memories in McHugh’s poignant second novel, which features just a smidgeon of the supernatural. Arden Arrowood’s two-year-old twin sisters, Violet and Tabitha, were kidnapped from their front yard in the small town of Keokuk, Iowa, bordering the Mississippi River. Charged with watching the twins while their pill-addicted mother was sleeping, eight-year-old Arden stepped away for a minute before the toddlers went missing; all she remembers is chasing a gold car speeding away. The twins were never found and their disappearance fractured the family in ways Arden is just beginning to acknowledge. Settling into the mansion 20 years later, Arden deals with a floodgate of childhood memories as she inches toward the truth while pursued by Josh Kyle, who wants to write about the vanished twins on his website, Midwest Mysteries. Lyrical prose and in-depth character studies examine the reliability of memory, punctuated by believable suspense and aided by a careful look at a small town.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        May 15, 2016
        A troubled young woman returns home to Keokuk, Iowa, to reclaim a surprise inheritance and a tortured past in McHugh's second literary mystery (Weight of Blood, 2015).Arden Arrowood learns of her paternal grandfather's legacy just as her life has hit rock bottom. Her family's historic homestead, Arrowood, her childhood home, had been held in trust for years to keep it away from her feckless father; now he's died, and the house is hers. She leaves Colorado, master's degree incomplete, with mysterious scars on her arm. Her mother had divorced her father to marry a megachurch pastor and now seems perfectly content wearing outfits from Chico's and watching QVC. The house has a difficult legacy. In 1994, the Arrowoods' toddler twin girls went missing from their front yard. Arden, then 8, had briefly left her sisters unattended and thought she saw a yellow sedan speeding off with the towhead twins in the back. Her best friend, Ben, a neighboring child, confirmed her account. A man named Harold Singer was arrested but, due to lack of evidence, was never prosecuted. But Singer's life was destroyed, and the twins' bodies were never found. Now, Arden reconnects with her old life, including rekindled feelings for Ben, now a dentist who's engaged to the former high school prom queen. The kindness of Arrowood's caretaker, Heaney, who responds to Arden's frequent calls about leaky plumbing, is tinged with creepiness. Josh Kyle, the founder of a cold-case website called Midwest Mysteries, contacts her. Singer had an unsavory hobby of taking candid photos of young children, and one of these, obtained by Josh, shows the twins, captured in their last moments on Arrowood's lawn--but Josh thinks the length of the shadows in the pictures might actually prove Singer's innocence. As she ponders possible scenarios, Arden is forced to confront the family dysfunction that predated the crime. Depressed because Arden's father was having an affair with Ben's mother, her own mother spent years in a drugged haze. Scenes are dragged out with much description of Keokuk arcana, which distracts from the crime story. The ending is inconclusive in the worst way; in other words, culpability is established--but not addressed. Long on atmosphere, short on answers.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from June 1, 2016

        The latest novel from McHugh (The Weight of Blood) is a chilling, twisting tale of family, memory, and home. After Arden Arrowood's father dies, she inherits her family's grand old house in the worn-down town of Keokuk, IA. But a return to Arrowood, which sits on the banks of the Mississippi River, forces Arden to face the family tragedy that has shaped her life: the mysterious disappearance of her infant twin sisters. Coming home also means reconnecting with people from her past, including her boy-next-door first crush, and sifting through a murky mix of family history and local lore. As Arden struggles to reconcile her own memories with new information about her siblings' disappearance, she begins to question not only her own past but also the full story of her family's history. VERDICT This engaging and thrilling tale about a young woman's homecoming, the vagaries of memory, and the impact of tragedy on both a town and a family is terrific choice for Laura Lippman and Sue Grafton readers. [See Prepub Alert, 2/1/16.]--Amy Hoseth, Colorado State Univ. Lib., Fort Collins

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        May 1, 2016
        Along the bluffs of the Mississippi River in southern Iowa sits a bucolic enclave called Keokuk. Home to majestic historical mansions, it's hot and humid, insular and small. It's also the bearer of painful secrets, namely the dark emotional reverberations of Arden, who grew up there in peace until the summer day 20 years ago when her young twin sisters were abducted. The case was never solved. Now light on the mystery is shed anew when Arden inherits Arrowood and returns to her quiet hometown. She's not afraid to learn the darkest of truths, and is determined to discover what really happened that summer. McHugh, whose debut novel, The Weight of Blood (2014), was winner of an International Thriller Writers award for best first novel, is a graceful writer, handling heavy themes with subtlety and skill. Some readers may find the novelist's immersion in melancholy a bit too morose, while others may relish this novel as an eloquently eerie tale that uses mood to its advantage.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

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“Superb and subtle psychological suspense.”—Lee Child

A haunting novel from the author of The Weight of Blood about a young woman’s return to her childhood home—and her encounter with the memories and family secrets it holds

ITW THRILLER AWARD FINALIST
Arrowood is the most ornate and grand of the historical houses that line the Mississippi River in southern Iowa. But the house has a mystery it has never revealed: It’s where Arden Arrowood’s younger twin sisters vanished on her watch twenty years ago—never to be seen again. After the twins’ disappearance, Arden’s parents divorced and the Arrowoods left the big house that had been in their family for generations. And Arden’s own life has fallen apart: She can’t finish her master’s thesis, and a misguided love affair has ended badly. She has held on to the hope that her sisters are still alive, and it seems...
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