Hey guys! This week I’m working with the amazing Rockstar Book Tours to bring you a review of The Cresswell Plot. This haunting novel by Eliza Wass follows Castella Cresswell, one of six children in the Cresswell family. They live an isolated life, abiding by the rule of God and their father, which in the Cresswell home mean the same thing. But as Castella grows older she begins to question her beliefs and the way she has grown up. She begins pushing the boundaries, and as she does she finds that there is a whole world beyond the reaches of her family and that more things may be possible than she ever knew.
Wow, I just finished this book and I could not put it down. I’m a college student and it’s a Saturday night, and I just spent two hours reading this book cover to cover. I know, I’m a cool kid. But in all seriousness, this was such a good book. Castella’s voice immediately pulls you in. She is funny and observant, and she doesn’t believe anything blindly. She’s very rational, which is part of what made this book so interesting. I feel like the “uber-religious cult-family” thing could easily fall prey to tropes such as “blind believer suddenly starts to question things”. But this book doesn’t do that.
Instead, Castella is inquisitive and rational from the beginning. She bases her belief off of what she sees. She has grown up with her father being her only source of information. She and her siblings didn’t attend school until recently, and they weren’t allowed to interact with people who weren’t in their family. But as Castella makes friends she begins to learn that her father has been lying to her. This creates a really interesting plot in which Castella must also question her own beliefs and decide what she truly feels, regardless of her father.
The pacing of this plot was also impeccable. It starts out eerie. We don’t know exactly the extent of their father’s craziness in the beginning, but the author will occasionally drop hints that leave the reader unsure of how far the father is willing to go. We are constantly on edge, wondering what will happen next.
Then the pace picks up. Things begin happening within the family, and the balanced chaos of the Cresswells starts to fall apart. Castella starts to explore outside her family, all as the intensity within the family starts spinning out of control. This was where the author’s skill truly came through. There was no slump within the book, no middle-fifty-pages-of-slow. Once it picked up, it began to move so quickly that I had to keep flipping the pages to find out what would happen next.
This hauntingly beautiful novel was a gripping portrayal of the dark side of family life. The characters kept us guessing at every turn, never knowing who was truly trustworthy. I loved reading this book, and I would highly recommend it to all of you. It was a gorgeous and thrilling read. You can get it here The Cresswell Plot
Final rating- 4.5/5
Thanks for reading my review, and until next time, happy reading 🙂
About the Book:
Title: THE CRESSWELL PLOT Paperback
Author: Eliza Wass
Pub. Date: October 10, 2017
Publisher: Disney Press
The woods were insane in the dark, terrifying and magical at the same time. But best of all were the stars, which trumpeted their light into the misty dark.Castella Cresswell and her five siblings-Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem- know what it’s like to be different. For years, their world has been confined to their ramshackle family home deep in the woods of upstate New York. They abide by the strict rule of God, whose messages come directly from their father.
Slowly, Castley and her siblings start to test the boundaries of the laws that bind them. But, at school, they’re still the freaks they’ve always been to the outside world. Marked by their plain clothing. Unexplained bruising. Utter isolation from their classmates. That is, until Castley is forced to partner with the totally irritating, totally normal George Gray, who offers her a glimpse of a life filled with freedom and choice.
Castley’s world rapidly expands beyond the woods she knows so well and the beliefs she once thought were the only truths. There is a future waiting for her if she can escape her father’s grasp, but Castley refuses to leave her siblings behind. Just as she begins to form a plan, her father makes a chilling announcement: the Cresswells will soon return to their home in heaven. With time running out on all of their lives, Castley must expose the depth of her father’s lies. The forest has buried the truth in darkness for far too long. Castley might be their last hope for salvation.
Eliza Wass is an author, journalist and the wife of the late musician Alan Wass. Her debut novel, The Cresswell Plot, was published in 2016 to critical acclaim by Disney-Hyperion. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, Grazia, NME, Shortlist and THE FALL.
Her second book with Disney-Hyperion, The Life and Death Parade, will be published in June 2018.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE CRESSWELL PLOT Paperback, US Only.
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