A gothic mystery about healing, home and how to pick up the pieces

7 Oct 2022 9:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Title: Where you left us

Author: Rhiannon Wilde

Reviewer: Lori Korodaj

Audience: Young Adult

Continuing the narrative style of her debut novel, Rhiannon Wilde tells the story of sisters Cinnamon and Scarlett Prince, and the complexity of the world they find themselves in one hot summer, in the novel Where You Left Us.  

Cinnamon is home with her father, famous singer Ian Prince, as he battles depression and hides away in the family home, Halycon.  She feels trapped by circumstance in their coastal town, watching as others move on to university and other opportunities. Her sister Scarlett returns after finishing Year 12 and their relationship, already rocky, continues to deteriorate as Scarlett fights against the anxiety that threatens to overwhelm her. 

Matters are complicated for both of them when an old family mystery reveals itself again after a violent summer storm. It seems Great-Aunt Sadie isn’t in the old family graveyard as previously thought…

Both Cinnamon and Scarlett must learn to navigate the rocky waters of relationships turned on their head, a family member who returns unasked, and new romantic encounters that are both exciting and frightening.

The author has crafted situations that are accessible and relatable for young adults. Sibling relationships, complex family dynamics, life after school, friendships – this and more is sensitively examined against the background of a Gothic mystery that brings everything to a climax by the end of the book.

Themes covered in this story include mystery, mystery, romance, mental health issues (including depression, anxiety, and OCD), loss and sexual orientation.   Sex and sexuality are explored in a manner that is age appropriate. 

The author ends the story with a note sharing her own journey with mental ill- health issues, and an encouragement to all readers to seek help and support if they don’t feel ‘OK’.  KidsHelpline, Lifeline, and BeyondBlue contact details are listed, and a link to information about Mental Health Treatment Plans further supports those who may be triggered by content within the book.

Teachers’ notes available for UQP titles via: https://www.uqp.com.au/books

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