2016 Book #85 – The Risen by Ron Rash

51f1jklcs4l-_sx324_bo1204203200_Title: The Risen
Author: Ron Rash
Date finished: 9/12/16
Genre: Fiction, family life
Publisher: Ecco
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Pages in book: 272
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Edelweiss NOTE: I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

New York Times bestselling author Ron Rash demonstrates his superb narrative skills in this suspenseful and evocative tale of two brothers whose lives are altered irrevocably by the events of one long-ago summer—and one bewitching young woman—and the secrets that could destroy their lives.
While swimming in a secluded creek on a hot Sunday in 1969, sixteen-year-old Eugene and his older brother, Bill, meet the entrancing Ligeia. A sexy, free-spirited redhead from Daytona Beach banished to their small North Carolina town until the fall, Ligeia will not only bewitch the two brothers, but lure them into a struggle that reveals the hidden differences in their natures.
Drawn in by her raw sensuality and rebellious attitude, Eugene falls deeper under her spell. Ligeia introduces him to the thrills and pleasures of the counterculture movement, then in its headiest moment. But just as the movement’s youthful optimism turns dark elsewhere in the country that summer, so does Eugene and Ligeia’s brief romance. Eugene moves farther and farther away from his brother, the cautious and dutiful Bill, and when Ligeia vanishes as suddenly as she appeared, the growing rift between the two brothers becomes immutable.
Decades later, their relationship is still turbulent, and the once close brothers now lead completely different lives. Bill is a gifted and successful surgeon, a paragon of the community, while Eugene, the town reprobate, is a failed writer and determined alcoholic.
When a shocking reminder of the past unexpectedly surfaces, Eugene is plunged back into that fateful summer, and the girl he cannot forget. The deeper he delves into his memories, the closer he comes to finding the truth. But can Eugene’s recollections be trusted? And will the truth set him free and offer salvation . . . or destroy his damaged life and everyone he loves?

My rating:  3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book tells the story of Eugene and his brother, Bill, who spend their Sunday afternoons during the summer of 1969 with a girl named Ligeia (whose real name is Jane Mosely). The first time Eugene sees Ligeia coming out of the lake, he thinks she is a mermaid, but she is so very human and very flawed. Ligeia wants nothing more than to go live on a commune and do drugs all the time, but instead she’s been forced to come live with her aunt and uncle to be kept from unsavory influences. She convinces Bill to bring her drugs from his grandfather’s medical office one time and then Eugene does it many times after that without Bill knowing. And now 46 years after that summer, Ligeia’s body is found buried by the creek where they used to meet, murdered some 46 years ago. Eugene has been a drunk his whole life but he tries to pull it together long enough to figure out what happened to his first love and why his brother said he put Ligeia on a bus to Charlotte 46 years ago if she was actually dead the whole time. Did Bill murder her? Or are there events from that summer that Eugene was just never aware of?
Overall I liked this book. The story was a bit depressing to me but also suspenseful. I wouldn’t say the book was overly thrilling because I felt like I knew who had killed her as soon as I found out how she died. So I felt like I saw the ending coming but I definitely still enjoyed the story very much. None of the characters were exactly easy to like, thought I did feel especially bad for Eugene as he made an absolute mess of his life. He wanted so badly to reconnec twith his daughter but he was too toxic for her to want him in her life. I thought that this was an interesting and thought-provoking read that was fairly quick and suspenseful. I would recommend it.

The bottom line: I liked this book, it was suspensful and thought-provoking. A quick read and I kind of saw the ending coming but I still liked it. I would recommend.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

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