About the Book:
Strung between two teenagers, an unemployed husband, and a tenuous career, Penelope Cox barely has her life together when the past comes knocking at her door. Willa Blaine, her old roommate, needs her help: refuge from an abusive husband. “Two weeks tops,” she says—but it’s not the imposition that bothers Penelope; it’s the memories Willa brings with her.
Twenty years earlier, Penelope, Willa, and three friends lived together in a converted church. Insular and closed off from the rest of the world, the five roommates formed their own dysfunctional family, celebrating the pinnacle of their lives; they called themselves “the Spires.” But nights of wild parties gave way to a darker undercurrent: jealousy, resentment, unrequited love, and obsession. Tensions boiled over during a night of debauchery that ended in a deadly fire, leaving the Spires scattered and forever changed.
Now Willa is the perfect houseguest: accommodating, helpful, bringing a newfound sense of excitement to the Cox household. Yet Penelope can’t help but feel the cracks in her life widen as she begins to question Willa’s motives. Everyone has secrets, it seems—and the fire may have brought down the Spires, but not everything burned was forgotten.
Author Kate Moretti hooked me at page one. A long-lost friend shows up in need, but there was a reason Penelope disappeared and did not keep in contact. Should she be worried?
The slow peeling of the onion that reveals the intricate details of Penelope’s past is delicious. As the chapters toggle between past and present, readers get a birds-eye view of the five newly graduated friends living in an abandoned church who dub themselves The Spires. Their banter and conviviality was easy when they came and went from classes and dorm rooms, but relationships and nerves are frayed when the group lives together with little outside-world contact. In the present, with the mysterious visit from Willa, one of The Spires, Penelope seems to be falling apart. Just when I thought I had the story figured out, author Kate Moretti throws in a chapter from Willa’s point of view. That was a game changer!
The story of the five friends paints them as ethereal in thought but rather juvenile in their actions. The college partying continues as the group has a gap year between school and adult life. They each have some familial issues and their band of friends has become a pseudo (and dysfunctional) family. As a group and individually, their occasional poor choices eventually catch up with them as the past and present collide.
Once I started The Spires, I was glued to my seat reading. There is an underlying tension that keeps building throughout the book. I enjoyed the twists, and the seemingly throwaway clues that ended up being tantamount to the story’s denouement. The Spires is a spellbinding mystery/thriller.
About the Author: Kate Moretti lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and a dog. She’s worked in the pharmaceutical industry for ten years as a scientist, and has been an avid fiction reader her entire life.
She enjoys traveling and cooking, although with two kids, a day job, and writing, she doesn’t get to do those things as much as she’d like.
Her lifelong dream is to buy an old house with a secret passageway.
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