Zoe grew up on Sullivan’s island, but she left as soon as she was able to, and now she’s heading back-not that she wants to ever step foot on that island again. She didn’t have the best life growing up there. Her dad was mean, her mom was oblivious and aloof, not not to mention that the island was where her sister simply vanished all those years ago. The Girl Who Stayed by Tanya Anne Crosby is one of those stories you just cling to, even after you’ve turned the last page.
Zoe doesn’t want to go back to the island, it’s filled with too much sadness. She has to go though, because she needs to get her parents house in order so she can put it on the market. What an air of mystery, and learning to forgive, this book is haunting and yet a very beautiful story about letting your soul be at ease, and also about forgiving yourself and others.
I loved that Zoe was such an intricate character. She had her flaws, she knew what they were, and she wasn’t apologetic about it. She has so much sadness in her though, and it broke my heart. In a way, she sort of blames her self-it seems- for the disappearance of her sister Hannah, when they were kids. After all, she was the one who found her bike, and ever since then it seems as if she can’t forgive herself. When she goes back to the island, she feels as if she is opening a wound again what she finds instead are the answers that she has been searching for her whole life, and also just a real sense of herself that she lost all those years ago. I thought this book was incredible, it was heart pounding, intense, and really bittersweet. I give this one 5 out of 5 stars.