A troubled woman becomes consumed by a past she’s desperate to forget in this unsettling psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Year.
Strung between two teenagers, an unemployed husband, and a tenuous career, Penelope Cox barely has her life together when the past comes knocking at her door. Willa Blaine, her old roommate, needs her help: refuge from an abusive husband. “Two weeks tops,” she says—but it’s not the imposition that bothers Penelope; it’s the memories Willa brings with her.
Twenty years earlier, Penelope, Willa, and three friends lived together in a converted church. Insular and closed off from the rest of the world, the five roommates formed their own dysfunctional family, celebrating the pinnacle of their lives; they called themselves “the Spires.” But nights of wild parties gave way to a darker undercurrent: jealousy, resentment, unrequited love, and obsession. Tensions boiled over during a night of debauchery that ended in a deadly fire, leaving the Spires scattered and forever changed.
Now Willa is the perfect houseguest: accommodating, helpful, bringing a newfound sense of excitement to the Cox household. Yet Penelope can’t help but feel the cracks in her life widen as she begins to question Willa’s motives. Everyone has secrets, it seems—and the fire may have brought down the Spires, but not everything burned was forgotten.