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The Cresswell Plot Paperback – October 10, 2017
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"One of the best books I've read this year."―Louise O?Neill, author of Only Ever Yours and Asking For It
"A debut novel you definitely don't want to miss... You'll be captivated by its dark, rich world."―Bustle
"Wass's novel delivers one emotional blow after another... Castley's narration never falters in this harrowing portrait of a family undergoing desperate change."―Horn Book
"Gripping."―The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Debut author Wass fashions a haunting family portrait centered on the power of belief."―Publishers Weekly
"A breathtaking, gut-wrenching coming-of-age saga. Readers will be swept into the Cresswells' claustrophobic world and ache for them long after it's set aflame . . . [A] page-turner along the compulsive lines of Flowers in the Attic."―Kirkus Reviews
"As dark and lovely-and, at times, as chilling-as a midnight stroll through the deepest woods. Wass is a startlingly brilliant new voice with a can't-miss debut."―Kiersten White, New York Times best-selling author of And I Darken and Paranormalcy
About the Author
Eliza Wass is a freelance writer, editor and journalist. She comes from Southern California where she was one of nine perfect children with two perfect parents. She has thousands of friends, all of whom either come in a dust jacket or post obsessively on Twitter. Eliza spent seven years in London with the most amazing man in the world, her late husband Alan Wass of Alan Wass and the Tourniquet, who inspired her to pursue her dreams and live every day of her life. Visit her website at www.elizawass.com and follow her on Twitter @lovefaithmagic.
Top customer reviews
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the book is dark, haunting, and intense. it has a kind of fervor about it that just made me dig deeper and deeper into it until there was no more to read. i loved it.
I am not sure how to even start this review. My first thought at this family was horror. People live like this, even today! Mom is mostly absent from their lives and their father is horrible. This is religion gone so wrong. Can you imagine living without power and water? That’s barbaric. As Castella describes her brother/intended I was dumbfounded. Her father not only suggested incest between his three female and three male children, he demanded it. The kids all struggled with reconciling God with their lives.
Okay, although this story was weird, I was strangely fascinated by it. Castella’s response to her situation is believable and heartbreaking. Castella sees her brothers getting punished and sent to a cave, and this action catapults her questioning everything about their lives. Since their mother is mostly silent and their father is off the deep end, the children are left to figure things out for themselves. Castella gets a little help working things out because she makes a friend at school. His view of her helps her to understand that things are really wrong at home. I was sated with this friendship, even though it ended sort of in a hurry.
Although the context was somewhat unsettling, I found this book mostly entertaining. I don’t feel like I wasted my time reading this, it was just a really different type of read then I am used to. I had more than a few questions after I read this book, loads of things were left unanswered. I doubt this book will appeal to a lot of YA readers, it is really out there. The climax of this story was a bit disappointing, but I liked where Castella ended up.
Castella Cresswell serves as our narrator. Castley’s family is different than the other families in the area. They live on the outskirts of town, and she and her five siblings have limited contact with the outside world. Their father has preached of their difference for years; the Cresswells are special, and that God has singled them out among the heathens.
Castley and her siblings attend public school. Anyone who knows anything about cults/fanaticism knows that these families tend to avoid public school, but Wass explains this by alluding to a major incident in the past. The fallout from this incident required all of the children to be enrolled in public school in order for the children to remain in their parents’ custody.
This exposure to the outside world provides Castley and her siblings with glimpses of the outside world. They have spent their entire leaves hearing that it is a wicked world filled with demons in disguise, but the siblings are now teenagers, and they beginning to question what they have been taught. They have always known that their father is a dangerous man, but when he begins hinting that it is time for them to all be called home to heaven, they realize that their lives might be in danger.
The Cresswell Plot is an intense book. I read the entire thing in less than a day, and I had trouble putting it down. The suspense builds slowly as Castley shares more about their home life. At the same time, her awareness increases as she realizes how “wrong” her life is, and that the reason for their squalor is not simply because it is what God wants for their family.
I would absolutely recommend The Cresswell Plot. The descriptions of abuse are pretty horrific, and might make this book more suitable for older YA readers. Castley has such a unique voice; she is simultaneously wary of the outside world and also curious about it. This makes for an intriguing narrator who wavers between family loyalty and desire for independence. This is a book that is going to stay with me for a long time, and I am looking forward to reading more from Eliza Wass.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Most recent customer reviews
**Actual Rating: 4.5/5 Stars**
I had heard about The Cresswell Plot back when it was first...Read more
This book started so awesome! And then… ugh!
I think the best way to explained is like this…
Take a very valuable porcelain...Read more