Book Review – Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers Sain

First published, 2021

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The story follows seventeen-year-old Grey, sometime resident of La Cachette, Louisiana, as she returns to the bayou to meet up with the rest of the Summer Children – a group of ten kids who were born the same year in the Louisiana swamp. The area is known for its psychics and mediums and you’d think it would be very difficult, perhaps impossible, to keep a secret, especially a dark and troubling one, in such a place. But it turns out: you can, if it’s a community-wide secret.

After Grey’s best friend, and soul twin (a beautiful concept), Elora disappears and is presumed dead in the murky, gator-infested waters, Grey will stop at nothing to find the answers with her closest bunch of friends. But are there secrets she isn’t privy to? And who can she really trust when so much has been kept from her?

Oh, but I liked this one. There’s something about stories set in the bayou. The heat and sultriness of the air just wafts from the page. Whether its the scenery or the near-impossibility of survival in such a treacherous landscape, or maybe its just the tone of voice and the exoticism of the Creole language (stunningly captured in this story), I don’t know, but I love it.

The narrative was full of twists and turns. There are a lot of characters but I was surprised that I was able to keep hold of each one in my mind and knew who they were as soon as they reappeared on the page. The author’s voice is strong and the writing is powerful.

“Sweat stings the corners of my eyes, and I pull up the collar of my T-shirt to dab it away. Barely eight thirty in the morning and already a million degrees with 500 percent humidity. I lived down here full-time till I was almost nine years old, so you’d think I’d be used to it, but it always takes me a while to reacclimate after spending the school year up in Arkansas with my dad. I mean, it’s hot there, too… but not like this.
“Nowhere is hot like this. Or wet like this. Spending the summer in La Cachette is like living inside someone’s mouth for three months out of the year.”
p 6, Chapter One, Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers Sain

I’ll look forward to reading more from Ms Myers Sain in future.

An absolute must-read.