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The Lying Woods
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The Lying Woods
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Owen Foster has never wanted for anything. Then his mother shows up at his elite New Orleans boarding school cradling a bombshell: his privileged life has been funded by stolen money. After using the...
Owen Foster has never wanted for anything. Then his mother shows up at his elite New Orleans boarding school cradling a bombshell: his privileged life has been funded by stolen money. After using the...
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  • Owen Foster has never wanted for anything. Then his mother shows up at his elite New Orleans boarding school cradling a bombshell: his privileged life has been funded by stolen money. After using the family business, the single largest employer in his small Louisiana town, to embezzle millions and drain the employees' retirement accounts, Owen's father vanished without a trace, leaving Owen and his mother to deal with the fallout. Owen returns to Lake Cane to finish his senior year, where people he can barely remember despise him for his father's crimes. It's bad enough dealing with muttered insults and glares, but when Owen and his mother receive increasingly frightening threats from someone out for revenge, he knows he must get to the bottom of what really happened at Louisiana Frac—and the cryptic note his father sent him at his boarding school days before disappearing. Owen's only refuge is the sprawling, isolated pecan orchard he works at after school, owned by a man named Gus who has his own secrets—and in some ways seems to know Owen better than he knows himself. As Owen uncovers a terrible injustice that looms over the same Preacher Woods he's claimed as his own, he must face a shocking truth about his own past—and write a better future.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from October 1, 2018

    Gr 9 Up-Owen Foster's mother turns up at his New Orleans boarding school to tell him that his father has embezzled millions from the company that had been the mainstay of his hometown, then disappeared. Now Owen and Maggie are the only ones left to face the suspicions and ire of the townsfolk, many of whom think his mother must have been involved in the theft and wonder if they know where his father is. Owen is torn between wanting to protect her over threats she is receiving and the desire to escape to his only refuge, the pecan orchard where he works after school. This is a mystery that introduces characters slowly, with a thoughtful alternating story line and backstory that allows the plot to maintain its pace. Owen's frustration and actions, along with the people whose futures were destroyed by his father, are understandable and build to a satisfying conclusion. VERDICT A first purchase for YA mystery shelves.-Betsy Fraser, Calgary Public Library, Canada

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    September 15, 2018
    A teen is underprepared for the truths his father's disappearance uncovers in Elston's (This Is Our Story, 2016, etc.) latest.Senior Owen Foster, long-cloistered in affluence and his upscale New Orleans boarding school, can barely comprehend the shocking news from his mother: His father has been embezzling for years and now has disappeared, leaving his company, his employees' lives, and his family in shambles. Returning home, Owen finds himself the target of the town's rage; he gets threatening, unnerving messages accusing him and his mother of collusion. He tries to escape the endless demands to know where his father and the money are by working in an orchard with a nonjudgmental pecan farmer and by picking up the threads of an old friendship, but Owen is keeping his own secret from everyone--his dad sent him a letter right before he disappeared, suggesting they meet over Thanksgiving. Fans who have come to expect Elston's mastery of situational tension, double narratives, and enthralling mystery will not be disappointed with this newest tale that alternates between past and present perspectives as it barrels toward a stunning reveal. Owen's fall from a grace he never knew was funded by stolen money is visceral as he negotiates humility and defensiveness while relearning what he thought he knew about his father and himself. Characters are assumed white.Readers won't even notice the steady pull to the edges of their seats. (Fiction. 14-17)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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