In Secrets of Southern Girls, the powerful, affecting debut from Haley Harrigan, a young woman uncovers devastating secrets about the friend she thinks she killed…
Ten years ago, Julie Portland accidentally killed her best friend, Reba. What’s worse is she got away with it. Consumed by guilt, she left the small town of Lawrence Mill, Mississippi, and swore nothing would ever drag her back.
Now, raising her daughter and struggling to make ends meet in Manhattan, Julie still can’t forget the ghost of a girl with golden hair and a dangerous secret.
When August, Reba’s first love, begs Julie to come home to find the diary that Reba kept all those years ago, Julie’s past comes creeping back to haunt her. That diary could expose the shameful memories Julie has been running from, but it could also unearth the hidden truths that Reba left buried…and reveal that Julie isn’t the only one who feels responsible for Reba’s death.
In fact, she may not be responsible at all.
Haley Harrigan graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in creative writing and public relations. She lives in Athens, Georgia, with her husband. Secrets of Southern Girls is her debut. Visit her website at www.haleyharrigan.com or on Twitter @HCHarrigan.
I forgot to read the blurb again before I started this one so I’d completely forgotten what it was about, but actually I think it was nice to go in with an open mind. It was a little slow starting but I kept reading and I’m glad I did – Dinner was 2 hours late because I didn’t want to put it down.
That night is referred to a lot as it’s the night the whole book is centred round – finding out what happened to Reba. I’m not going to go into the story to avoid the chance of any spoilers though – there’s enough information above to give a general idea! It’s interesting how replaying an event so many times can change how we remember it and we can start to question what actually happened. I liked that I was never too sure if what I was reading had happened, or if it was just how the character had portrayed the event.
The story is written from a few different point’s of view – we also get snippets of Reba’s diary entries from the past which did throw me a little with the formatting on my e-reader. Although I wouldn’t say that all the characters are likeable – as they’ve all done things which maybe they shouldn’t have – I did connect with each of them and enjoyed hearing what they had to say.
A fantastic and beautifully written debut novel from a talented author. I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next book by Haley Harrigan! Many thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the chance to read and review this book.
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Love Roxy xx