High-school teacher Vera Lundy is a character you will pity. A forty-something woman, she is clearly book smart but lacking in confidence and good judgment. Having recently moved out of her mother’s home, she has accepted a temporary position at a prestigious all girls school in Maine where she is to teach English literature. It is there that she first meets Jensen Willard. Somewhat of an introverted misfit, it is only when Vera assigns journal writing assignments that it becomes clear that all is not as it seems. When a series of shocking murders occur, Vera finds herself more involved than she would have ever expected.
I debated over whether to give Jan Elizabeth Watson’s “What Has Become of You,” 3 or 3.5 stars. Watson does a wonderful job of portraying characters who you don’t quite love, but feel invested in. The premise she sets up is intriguing, and I wish she would have done more with her characters. Part coming of age novel (oddly enough more so for Vera than anyone else), part thriller- not deciding to firmly be one of the other is where the book’s biggest flaw lies. (And personally, I would have preferred the latter).
Overall, a good read for those that like novels like Kimberly McCreight’s “Reconstructing Amelia” and enjoy tales of menacing, plotting private school girls. Available for pre-order from Amazon.com and on shelves May 1.
xo The Book Bird
Disclaimer: I received an advance copy for the purpose of review courtesy of the publisher.