REVIEW: THE PREMONITION, BY CHRIS BOHJALIAN

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In the summer of Lianna’s senior year of high school, she had what felt like a premonition. Then there were storms, her mother had already had two sleepwalking incidents, and two horses were electrocuted. It was the mid-nineties in Vermont; the summer was a restless one.

The owner of the horses, Cristina Holbrook, has a young son named Eric who, according to Lianna’s sister Paige, is “weird.” But Paige spends time with him anyway.

The final sleepwalking event of the summer is frightening, and could be a precursor of things to come. In The Premonition, the prequel to The Sleepwalker, we are introduced to the characters: Lianna Ahlberg, her sister Paige, her mother Annalee…and the scenes that hint at more to come.

At the end of the story, we are granted a peek into the future. 4 stars.

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REVIEW: THE DANCE BEGINS, BY DIANE CHAMBERLAIN (A PREQUEL)

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It is 1982, in Morrison Ridge, North Carolina, and Graham Arnette, his wife Nora, and their daughter Molly are just beginning to discover the limitations of Graham’s life with Multiple Sclerosis.

But Graham still dreams of dancing with Molly…and in this short prequel to Pretending to Dance: A Novel, we see how Graham finds a way to “feel the dance” with Molly via the zipline over the ridge.

The Dance Begins introduces the characters and draws the reader into their world. A poignant glimpse into what life was like for them before the later years, when the challenges would grow.  5 stars.

REVIEW: LITTLE LIES, A NOVELLA, BY HEATHER GUDENKAUF

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In the middle of the night, Ellen Moore, social worker, receives a call that takes her out of her home, leaving behind her husband and three children.

She is used to these calls, but they never bring good news with them. And like the other times, this one involves a child. But abandonment is not the issue in this case. The child’s mother has been murdered and left beside a statue in the park. Her four-year-old son was left next to her, alive and apparently unhurt.

Ellen’s friend, police detective Joe Gaddey, is on the case. What about this situation rings a memory bell for the two of them? Is it a coincidence, or is there more to the story? They try to search out the possible connections.

Little Lies, a novella, is the prequel to Little Mercies, which will continue a story featuring Ellen Moore. This was an enjoyable read that whetted my appetite for the next book. After the unexpected resolution to the murder, the social worker wonders if the child should be protected from the knowledge of what happened to his mother. Is truth always the best thing? 5.0 stars.

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