Rating: 4 out of 5.

I really enjoyed this historical fiction mystery thriller set at a boarding school for troubled girls in the 1950s during the Cold War & McCarthy hearings. Rosemary is a teacher at the school & despite warnings from other teachers, & her own instincts, she gets close with a trio of cunning girls who run the school. Just before going to teach the girls, Rosemary discovers that one of the three girls is the daughter she was forced to give up when she was 17 years old. Everyone is damaged in one way or another, & the choices they make have devastating consequences.

The story grabbed my attention immediately & I kept turning pages until late into the night. The quiet desperation dripping from each of the girls, as well as Rosemary, was hard to read. Years ago I felt smothered & limited by society, but it was nothing compared to the time period of the book. Despite being almost 18 years old, the girls have absolutely no control over their own lives. Every decision is made for them “for their own good”. It’s any wonder they rebel. Also shocking is their complete ignorance of how their own body function, let alone about men or sex. I kept shaking my head as I read, grateful that I wasn’t raised during this time period. I wasn’t sure if liked the ending or not, but after thinking about it the next day, I do. It seemed fitting. If you like edgy historical fiction thrillers, this is just the book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kate Rock Book Tours and Lake Union Publishing. All opinions are my own.