By Nora Roberts
Published by Platkus May 2020
What it’s about?
For both Zane and Darby, their small town roots hold a terrible secret. Now, decades later, they’ve come together to build a new life. But will the past set them free or pull them under?
Zane Bigelow grew up in a beautiful, perfectly kept house in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Strangers―and even Zane’s own aunt across the lake―see his parents as a successful surgeon and his stylish wife, making appearances at their children’s ballet recitals and baseball games. Only Zane and his sister know the truth, until one brutal night finally reveals cracks in the facade, and Zane escapes for college without a thought of looking back…
Years later, Zane returns to his hometown determined to reconnect with the place and people that mean so much to him, despite the painful memories. As he resumes life in the colorful town, he meets a gifted landscape artist named Darby, who is on the run from ghosts of her own.
Together they will have to teach each other what it means to face the past, and stand up for the ones they love.
What I think?
This book is a mixture of thriller, domestic suspense and romance.
The book starts at a hundred miles an hour showing the truth behind the Bigelow family’s mansion doors. From the outside Graham and Eliza have it all. Graham is a well-respected surgeon at a local hospital and Eliza lunches and organises the PTA . Their children are bright and beautiful. Behind the closed doors the Bigelow children live in fear, both witnesses and experiencing violence which come to a head one evening with a terrible confrontation.
This first section of the book is thrilling and harrowing. The picture of Graham and Eliza that emerges is of a very twisted couple and their children are just collateral. This section, while horrific in places was completely compelling.
The book then changes direction slightly. Zane and Brit have grown up and are still living in Lakeview. Brit is happily married with a child and Zane has decided that he can finally out some of the ghosts of the past to rest and start his own law office in his home town.
Also moving to Lakeview to start a new business is landscape gardener, Darby. She has a passion for plants and creates amazing outdoor spaces.
The romance between her and Zane is really charming. Both of them are learning to trust people again and their honesty with each other is refreshing. The relationship develops naturally and is really believable.
I won’t give spoilers, but things are not smooth sailing. And while the level of action never reaches the same as the opening of the book, there are more thrilling events and plenty of danger to come.
This book wasn’t quite what I was expecting. It’s less of a conventional thriller than I had anticipated, but it is a great read.
Roberts really captures the spirit of the small town and the way that people know each other’s business and support each other.
The book is also about surviving. Negative things that happen to people, both as children and adults, do not define them. They learn and grow and move on. The past is not easily dismissed though. Both Zane and Brit have adult careers that help people and Darby focuses on bringing beauty and calm into the world through her love of nature and design.
This is the first book by Nora Roberts I have read and I will definitely read more.
I was gifted my copy as part of the Tandem Collective Readalong for Under Currents. We have had some very lively discussions about the book in our chat group and shared lots of ideas about the themes and characters through the discussion card prompts.
Thank you Tandem Collective and Little Book Cafe for inviting me to be part of this readalong.
If you would like to grab a copy of Under Currents for yourself, use the order link below:
Under Currents order link: click here
Head to Emma’s Things to Read on Instagram for my story highlights and book discussion prompts.
LOVED this one so much!! As you mentioned the book is for a good part about small town life and that’s one aspect I’ve always loved. Happy your first NR book was a good one. 😀
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