This book was provided to me by Macmillan-Tor/Forge via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Good Girls by Glen Hirshberg
Reeling from the violent death of her daughter and a confrontation with the Whistler–the monster who wrecked her life–Jess has fled the South for a tiny college town in New Hampshire.
Rebecca, an orphan undergrad caring for Jess’s grandson, finds in Jess’ house the promise of a family she has never known, but also a terrifying secret.
Meanwhile, unhinged and unmoored, the Whistler watches from the rooftops and awaits his moment.
And deep in the Mississippi Delta, the evil that spawned him stirs…
(That summary is from Goodreads, but edited to leave out a few details that I think are better encountered in the novel.)
Good Girls continues where Motherless Child leaves off. And considering where Motherless Child ends, that is an interesting proposition. The story shifts necessarily from Natalie and Sophie’s story to Jess’s as she picks up the pieces in the wake of the Whistler’s attack. Jess’s narrative intersects with Rebecca’s as she attempts to wend her way into adulthood.
Thus far, the Motherless Children trilogy has a sort of split quality to it. Rebecca’s story line is firmly in the land of realism. She is a broken person with a rough background, and that narrative lacks supernatural elements. In tone, this is very much like Hirshberg’s The Snowman’s Children. In flashback, we are treated to the other half of this reality: Jess on the run from the Whistler and all the horror that follows with him. When these two plots overlap, it isn’t pretty. Hirshberg is good with gore, I have to say. While the violence sometimes feels over the top, it works. The Whistler and his kin are beyond human and over the top is just right.
Tantalizingly, there is a third plot thread in which we meet Aunt Sally, the origin of Whistler’s Mother. I’m definitely looking forward to the third book in this series.
Publishing info, my copy: eARC, Tor, Feb. 23, 2016