Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Length: 336 pages
Audiobook Length: 8 hours and 34 minutes
First Published: 2023
The summer before heading to college, Maya became infatuated with Frank but their rocky relationship ended with Maya’s best friend suddenly dropping dead in front of him and Maya has always suspected Frank did it somehow. While trying to kick a prescription drug addiction, Maya is shocked to see a YouTube video of another woman dropping dead in front of Frank. Returning to her hometown to search for answers, Maya tries to remember the blank spaces in her memories of that summer and finds clues in her deceased father’s book.
Normally I enjoy the thrillers chosen by Reese’s Book Club pick, but I was bored by The House in the Pines. Although Reyes paints an atmospheric scene, Maya’s memory gaps make for a slow confusing retelling that doesn’t keep you gripped. One of my biggest issues was that Maya is painted as an unreliable narrator, Though everyone else in the story seemed to, I didn’t doubt Maya at all, making the big reveal feel unsatisfying.
Armed with only hazy memories, a woman who long ago witnessed her friend’s sudden, mysterious death, and has since spent her life trying to forget, sets out to track down answers. What she uncovers, deep in the woods, is hardly to be believed….
Maya was a high school senior when her best friend, Aubrey, mysteriously dropped dead in front of the enigmatic man named Frank whom they’d been spending time with all summer.
Seven years later, Maya lives in Boston with a loving boyfriend and is kicking the secret addiction that has allowed her to cope with what happened years ago, the gaps in her memories, and the lost time that she can’t account for. But her past comes rushing back when she comes across a recent YouTube video in which a young woman suddenly keels over and dies in a diner while sitting across from none other than Frank. Plunged into the trauma that has defined her life, Maya heads to her Berkshires hometown to relive that fateful summer—the influence Frank once had on her and the obsessive jealousy that nearly destroyed her friendship with Aubrey.
At her mother’s house, she excavates fragments of her past and notices hidden messages in her deceased Guatemalan father’s book that didn’t stand out to her earlier. To save herself, she must understand a story written before she was born, but time keeps running out, and soon, all roads are leading back to Frank’s cabin….
Utterly unique and captivating, The House in the Pines keeps you guessing about whether we can ever fully confront the past and return home.
About Ana Reyes
Ana Reyes is the author of the novel The House in the Pines. Reyes currently lives in Los Angeles, California. Visit the author’s website →