Publication Date: March 9, 2021
Your daughter went missing twenty years ago. Now, she’s finally back. You thought she had returned a few times in the past, and your husband tells you she’s not the one, but you feel it in your bones.
Now, what will you do to keep her home?
Twenty years ago, Myra Barkley’s daughter disappeared from the rocky beach across from the family inn, off the Oregon coast. Ever since, Myra has waited at the front desk for her child to come home. One rainy afternoon, the miracle happens–her missing daughter, now twenty-eight years old with a child of her own, walks in the door.
Elizabeth Lark is on the run with her son. She’s just killed her abusive husband and needs a place to hide. Against her better judgment, she heads to her hometown and stops at the Barkley Inn. When the innkeeper insists that Elizabeth is her long lost daughter, the opportunity for a new life, and more importantly, the safety of her child, is too much for Elizabeth to pass up. But she knows that she isn’t the Barkleys’s daughter, and the more deeply intertwined she becomes with the family, the harder it becomes to confess the truth.
Except the Barkley girl didn’t just disappear on her own. As the news spreads across the small town that the Barkley girl has returned, Elizabeth suddenly comes into the limelight in a dangerous way, and the culprit behind the disappearance those twenty years ago is back to finish the job.
Charlotte Barkley was 8-years-old when she disappeared in the middle of the night from the beach under the less-than-watchful eyes of her older sister. The disappearance became a local tragedy as the years passed with no clues. In Call Me Elizabeth Lark, author Melissa Colasanti sets forth a chilling tale of suspense regarding the mysterious woman’s identity who shows up at the Barkleys’ inn with Charlotte’s necklace.
From the beginning, this story captured my attention. I could feel the pain the family had experienced after two decades with no news of their missing daughter. The author skillfully demonstrated how Charlotte’s loss impacted each family member, especially her older sister, and the guilt she carried.
Elizabeth Lark has spent the last 20 years being traumatized and isolated by her husband. Until she can find a safe haven for herself and her young son, she’s keeping her guard up. When she starts trying to unravel the threads of the past connecting her to Charlotte, old secrets soon come to the surface.
The twists and turns of the storyline were completely unpredictable, keeping me guessing as I dove deeper into the book. Is Elizabeth really Charlotte? Is Gwen involved in the disappearance? Who is Peter? All of these questions and more get answered in a thrilling surprise ending. Kudos to the author for an intriguing roller coaster of a read.
Melissa Colasanti is a mother and an author. She has a BFA in fiction from Boise State University. Her writing has appeared in Lithub, Memoir Magazine, The Coffin Bell Journal, and others. She is the Stephen R. Kustra scholar in creative writing for 2019 and was awarded the Glenn Balch Award for fiction in 2020.
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