Arrowood – Laura McHugh

Well it has been a few weeks since I last blogged as I haven’t had much time to read and the books I have read would be more 3 star than 4 or 5, Fortunately I read Arrowood recently and I loved it. Secrets, lies, faded memories of a crime, an old house … what more could you want?  I will say that the main plot involves the heroine trying to work out what happened to her twin sisters who were kidnapped when they were toddlers. I don’t usually read books that involve crimes against children but this was focused more on the heroine than on her sisters and there was no gratuitous violence.

I have to say my sister and I disagree on this one – she thought it was a good book but found the ending anti-climatic. There was a resolution but it could be quite ambiguous and I think you would have to read more into the ending than what is written to retain the tragic/creepy factor. The Goodreads reviews seem to show the same split in comments so I guess it will depend on your imagination and what you as a reader bring to the book!

So, without any further ado, here is the blurb:

Arrowood – Laura McHugh

“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


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)


Goodreads reviews


PS There does not seem to be an ebook on Amazon but it is available from other retailers as well as in libraries. Personally, I read a copy from the library.