The woods were insane in the dark, terrifying and magical at the same time. But best of all were the stars, which trumpeted their light into the misty dark. Castella Cresswell and her five siblings—Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem—know what it’s like to be different. For years, their world has been confined to their ramshackle family home deep in the woods of upstate New York. They abide by the strict rule of God, whose messages come directly from their father. Slowly, Castley and her siblings start to test the boundaries of the laws that bind them. But, at school, they’re still the freaks they’ve always been to the outside world. Marked by their plain clothing. Unexplained bruising. Utter isolation from their classmates. That is, until Castley is forced to partner with the totally irritating, totally normal George Gray, who offers her a glimpse of a life filled with freedom and choice. Castley’s world rapidly expands beyond the woods she knows so well and the beliefs she once thought were the only truths. There is a future waiting for her if she can escape her father’s grasp, but Castley refuses to leave her siblings behind. Just as she begins to form a plan, her father makes a chilling announcement: the Cresswells will soon return to their home in heaven. With time running out on all of their lives, Castley must expose the depth of her father’s lies. The forest has buried the truth in darkness for far too long. Castley might be their last hope for salvation.
The Cresswell PlotFeatured
What I Loved:
THE CRESSWELL PLOT brims with suspense and a creepy tension that can only bring chaos by the end. The premise of the cult family is intriguing, and readers will quickly sympathize with the siblings as the father’s psychotic methods are unraveled. As Castley and some of her siblings start to recognize the mind games, the pages won’t be able to turn quick enough, and the story flies by as trust is broken, relationships are destroyed, and the safety of Castley becomes more and more unlikely.
What Left Me Wanting More:
Though each character is interesting, the character arcs are a bit lacking. Castley’s rebellions are more jagged in development than smooth, and her siblings often fall a little flat. Likewise, while there are attempts to show how the father could have gotten to where he is in the story, readers are left with more questions than answers on how things got so bad, making him more of a one-dimensional villain. However, he is still scary, and the climax will inspire more than a few gasps.
Though the characterization leaves something to be desired, fans of a good cult suspense will devour THE CRESSWELL PLOT.