“If only our lives were like a book and you could stop and ponder the ideas raised for a moment, turn the pages back and read again. But this time more carefully.
It would make all the difference.”
Temple House is a Catholic boarding school for teen girls, when Louisa is admitted as a scholarship student she is thrown into a world that will change her life forever. The stark difference between the haves and have nots is clear from the start. When she is noticed by the enigmatic Victoria, she is enthralled. Together the two form a bond that inspires envy in the other girls. The divide between them and the other girls is further exaggerated when their adoration for the young male art teacher is returned.
We begin to learn about Louisa and Victoria and the truths of the Temple House as the 25th anniversary of the disappearance of Louisa and the art teacher is being investigated by a journalist. She begins digging back into what may have happened to them. Did they simply run away together or were they met with a more sinister fate?
I liked that multiple time points and multiple POV were used to tell the story. It built a sense of creepy, uncertainty and helped to develop each of the characters a little more deeply. I wouldn’t label this as a thriller so much as an atmospheric Gothic mystery. The writing was really gorgeous and I highlighted so many quotes, although many would be spoilers. Donohue perfectly captured the way precocious teen girls challenge the ways of the world with what they believe to be the most unique viewpoints. It was the right level of moody, dark and evocative. Also the resolution was entirely plausible which I need in a “thriller.” ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thanks to Algonquin Books for a copy of this novel. All opinions above are my own.