All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth | SLJ Review

For 10 years, Charlotte “Charlie” Calloway has questioned what happened to her mother, Grace.
redstarKLEHFOTH, Elizabeth. All These Beautiful Strangers. 448p. HarperCollins/Morrow. Jul. 2018. Tr $26.99. ISBN 9780062796707. For 10 years, Charlotte “Charlie” Calloway has questioned what happened to her mother, Grace. Some say she was killed by Charlie’s father, Alistair, while evidence pointed to Grace leaving him. But Charlie never really believed her mother would leave her and her younger sister, Seraphina, behind. As Charlie enters her junior year at a New England boarding school, she is invited to join the mysterious, elite group at school called the A’s. She and her cousin, Leo, among others, are asked to complete morally questionable or dangerous tasks to prove their loyalty. All the while, flashbacks narrated by Alistair and Grace reveal their love story and the flaws in their marriage. Charlie’s voice shines as she uncovers more and more about her own family history, with the support of family friend Greyson. The suspense is well executed. As Charlie draws closer to the truth of what happened to her mother, the reader is compelled to see how the events of the past will affect Charlie’s truth today. The writing is descriptive without turning flowery or overly literary. Most of the major characters are well-rounded; only some supporting ones (like Seraphina) seem a bit flat. VERDICT Fans of thrillers will have difficulty putting down this excellently plotted, gripping novel.–Kelly Jo Lasher, Middle Township High School, Cape May Court House, NJ This review was published in the School Library Journal May 2018 issue.

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