From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Set during the summer of '69 in rural Virginia, Kagen's stellar third novel, her first in hardcover, chronicles the dramatic changes in the lives of 11-year-old Shenny Carmody and her twin sister, Woody, nearly a year after their mother's disappearance. Woody hasn't spoken since, and their father, a renowned judge, spends most of his nights in a drunken stupor at Lilyfield, their Rockbridge County estate, often turning violent and cruel toward his two daughters. Shenny, adventurous and bright, takes it upon herself to locate their beloved Mama and discover why she left them. In her quest for the truth, Shenny learns many heart-wrenching lessons, not least among them that first impressions can be dead wrong. Kagen (Whistling in the Dark
) not only delivers a spellbinding story but also takes a deep look into the mores, values, and shams of a small Southern community in an era of change. (May)
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"...the charming, genuine voice of Shenny, whose country-Southern dialect is beautifully rendered with rhythmic cadences, is impossible to resist...Overall, it's the tender bond between the twins that redeems the world from the cruelty around them and keeps you rooting for them right up until the end."
"Shenandoah leaps off the page in vivid color: sparky, resourceful, trying to cope...and doing it with the matter-of-fact, heartbreaking courage that kids learn when there's no other choice. This book is packed with warmth, wit, intelligence, images savory enough to taste-and deep dark places that are all the more terrible for being surrounded by so much brightness."
-Tana French, New York Times bestselling author of In the Woods and The Likeness
"Be prepared for all your other obligations to be neglected when you begin Tomorrow River. I fell so deeply in love with the spunky, brave, broken- hearted Shenny and her fragile twin Woody that I couldn't rest or concentrate on anything else...Shenny warns us early on that first impressions 'can be dead wrong,' and that holds true to the last page of the novel. I was continually surprised, and as a reader that means continually delighted-a rare gift."
-Katrina Kittle, author of The Kindness of Strangers