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  • Writer's pictureMandy McHugh

Little Girls Tell Tales: Rachel Bennett, A Review

Thank you to OMC and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for review consideration. The title and blurb for this book sounded right up my alley. A little girl gets lost in the curraghs, only to emerge from the woods saying she found a dead body. Nobody believes her, and all is forgotten, until her estranged brother and strange woman show up on her doorstep. Cora is searching for her long-lost sister, twenty years missing, and refuses to leave the small island town until she searches every inch of the curraghs. This book is a slow burn full of subtle twists and social commentary. Rosalie, the MC, takes us through grief, depression, isolation, and loss on a journey of recovery. She's lost everyone close to her, taken by death and pointed absence, and for that reason, she's shut herself off from the world. Favoring the solitude of her home to just about anything else, Dallin's arrival sends her routine into upheaval, forcing her to relive painful memories and demand answers to questions. As she slowly finds her voice, and her feet, after so many years in the dark, Rosalie finds the courage to admit transgressions and becomes tangled in the mystery of the missing sister. Bennett's prose is beautiful and descriptive, and the characters are realistic and likeable. This was a nice change for me, as most of the characters in this genre can be a little black or white. Rosalie, Dallin, and Cora have lied. They've misled and bent the truth to suit their pursuits. But they also grow from their mistakes, engaging in important conversations that help them in more ways than they realize. Even the side characters have distinct arcs, which I really appreciated. There was enough development to keep the suspect list varied and plenty of heartbreaking secrets along the path to truth. I will say that the reveals feel more grounded than fatalistic, so fans of high-octane thrillers or psychologically-heavy plots might not enjoy the quiet fuse Little Girls Tell Tales embodies. However, anyone looking for complex family drama, well-thought out mystery, and insightful questions about how we form relationships, this is the book for you. A beautiful read with a satisfying conclusion.


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