Author: Sarah Goodman
Publisher: Tor Teen
Released: October 6th, 2020
Received: Arc Request
I received a copy of Eventide in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Sarah Goodman’s debut novel is one that has been getting a lot of ink, and with good reason. Eventide is a young adult novel that combines fantasy, thriller, and historical fiction elements all in one.
Verity and her sister, Lilah have always been together. They stood by each other as they lost their mother, and later, as their father descends into madness. But all of that changes, as they are both sent to Arkansas to find a new home.
Unfortunately, that home is not together. Lilah is adopted, while Verity is hired on to work at a farm. It’s hard, but good work. Though it is not exhausting enough to distract from the mysterious behavior that seems so prominent in this small town.
“She’d kept it concealed for months. Now it would be hidden forever.”
Eventide is a haunting tale, even from the very first page. There’s this constant and lingering sense that something is wrong, and Sarah Goodman makes a point of building up that suspense beautifully.
It was thrilling trying to piece it all together – to try and figure out what was wrong (ideally, before whatever it is comes for Verity and her little sister). It also made for a dark read, though at times it was hard to put my finger one why. More like that lingering sense I already mentioned.
I was impressed with Goodman’s writing, the story seems to flow from one page to the next. And even when nothing is actually happening, the words seemed infused with the atmosphere and the anticipation of what was to come.
Speaking of the atmosphere, the setting! It’s Arkansas in the early 1900s, with the focus being on a very small town by the name of Wheeler. It feels like any number of mysteries could be hidden in the woods. More than that though, the small town aesthetic and period appropriate details really do enhance the story.
It this is what Sarah Goodman has to offer on her first attempt, I honestly can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. I hope it that whatever it is, it will have a similar blend of fantasy and historical fiction.