Book Review: Don’t You Cry (Mary Kubica)




Esther is missing. Quinn, her roommate, isn’t sure what to do. Should she call the police? Wait? Meanwhile, Alex is working in a café and sees a mysterious young woman. He is drawn to her. Who is she? Where did she come from?

Quinn is searching for answers. Alex befriends the woman.

Sometimes people are not who they appear to be and sometimes you can never outrun your past…no matter how hard you try.

I am blown away by Mary Kubica’s newest release “Don’t You Cry”. I read her two previous novels, and while I enjoyed them, I didn’t find myself as sucked in as I wanted to be. On the other hand, this book? I devoured.

Quinn, a semi-slacker 20 something, is living with “Saint Esther” in Chicago. Esther, her roommate has it all together and often supports Quinn to better herself. Quinn rises after a Saturday night escapade and finds that Esther is missing. She begins searching for answers on her own and trying to piece together where her friend could have gone…and who her friend could be.   Simultaneously, we meet Alex; he seems to be looking for love in all the wrong places after his own mother’s rejection.   He is working in Michigan at a café. When a young woman shows up, he is drawn to her instantly and develops a schoolboy crush on her. They build a friendship, and soon, he finds himself in very deep to something that seems dark.

This book, which is told over the course of a week, had so many plot twists and turns and unexpected jumps that it makes it hard to write a synopsis without revealing anything!   I am all about writing reviews without spoilers and, let me tell you, there is a lot that I could say about this book!  The story’s underlying narrative seems to ask the question: “does anyone really know who you are?”   People can reveal exactly what they want you to know and, really, anyone is capable of having secrets.

This book has (my favourite) a multi-perspective narrative. We get the story from Quinn and from Alex, who appears random.   Quinn spends most of her narration searching for answers from Esther’s room and piecing together her life.  Alex spends his getting to know the mysterious woman, who he nicknames Pearl, and revealing bits of his nasty home life and childhood.   A key piece involves his neighbourhood and a ghost story that is told around town.   The entire novel I found myself wondering how this was all going to fit. I felt like I had “gotten it” multiple times and then Kubica immediately shot me down in the following chapters.

How the story all came together was both shocking and satisfying. It was the perfect novel to kick off the fall season with (hurray autumn!)


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