Featured Review: Black Flowers, White Lies (Yvonne Ventresca)
About This Book:
Her father died before she was born, but Ella Benton knows they have a supernatural connection. Since her mother discourages these beliefs, Ella keeps her cemetery visits secret. But she may not be the only one with secrets. Ella’s mother might be lying about how Dad died sixteen years ago. Newfound evidence points to his death in a psychiatric hospital, not as a result of a tragic car accident as her mother always claimed. After a lifetime of just the two of them, Mom suddenly feels like a stranger.
When a handprint much like the one Ella left on her father’s tombstone mysteriously appears on the bathroom mirror, at first she wonders if Dad is warning her of danger as he did once before. If it’s not a warning, could her new too-good-to-be-true boyfriend be responsible for the strange occurrences? Or maybe it’s the grieving building superintendent whose dead daughter strongly resembles Ella? As the unexplained events become more frequent and more sinister, Ella becomes terrified about who—or what—might harm her.
Soon the evidence points to someone else entirely: Ella herself. What if, like her father, she’s suffering from a breakdown? In this second novel from award-winning author Yvonne Ventresca, Ella desperately needs to find answers, no matter how disturbing the truth might be.
**Review Contributed By Samantha Randolph, Promotions Manager**
overall enjoyable read that explores the ways of the mind
Ella Benton misses her father every day, even though he died when she was very young. She visits his grave and attempts a séance to talk to him. As her mother is about to marry again, Ella doesn’t want her father to be forgotten. When Ella’s soon-to-be new stepbrother reveals that he overheard a big secret about her father’s death from her mom, Ella is shocked. Instead of her father dying in a car crash, he may have died in a mental hospital. Together, they try to get to the bottom of what really happened, and mysterious clues lead to Ella wondering if even she has been hiding something from herself.
What I Loved:
BLACK FLOWERS WHITE LIES has a fantastic, engaging premise. I love the set-up of the mystery behind her father’s death and the creepy happenings from the handprint on the mirror to the bloody signs. Alongside the mystery is a complex look at what happens when two families merge together and how to keep memories alive, even while moving on.
Ella’s dynamic relationship with her mother is another highlight. She loves her mom dearly, but when she suspects her mom has been keeping the truth from her, Ella wonders if she can trust her mom. Her mother is protective and supportive, even if a bit misguided at times, and their relationship feels so realistic and genuine.
What Left Me Wanting More:
While the premise held so much promise, the plot ultimately did not work well for me. The signs pointing to the truth are a bit obvious, and I was easily able to work out what was going on before I made it halfway through the story. However, readers who aren’t well read in psychological thrillers may find the twists more shocking.
Though I didn’t find any surprises in the story, BLACK FLOWERS WHITE LIES is an overall enjoyable read that explores the ways of the mind.
*Find more info on this book HERE!*