Book Review: A Soulful Story! Haunting and Redeeming! 

The Girl Who Stayed

By Tanya Anne Crosby

Zoe Rutherford’s return to her childhood home on Sullivan’s Island stirs up more than childhood memories. It’s more akin to nightmares even an adult wouldn’t handle. Her younger sister disappeared without a trace which subsequently cast the family into a living hell. After her parents pass away, she and her brother are left to deal with the house they grew up in. The house she left behind when she buried the oppression of those memories, when she left the island to begin her adulthood. 

Returning, Zoe finds herself renovating the house in hopes of getting a top price, only to find the renovations mirror the healing of her fragmented soul. 

The guilt that she carried over her sister’s disappearance and possible death unburies itself from deep within her consciousness and demands that she finally relinquish the facade she built around herself. She finally realizes it didn’t help her because her life that far was tinged by the stain of that guilt in every aspect. She hadn’t buried it as deep as she believed. 

When she forgives her father for his abuse and her mother for her emotional abandonment, she comes to grips that her life is worth living. The past can stay in the past and she can live a life worth living without survivors guilt. 

The Girl Who Stayed is emotionally gripping, pulling on heartstrings from a tormented soul. Can she blame her missing sister for her carelessness? Can she blame herself when her sister rebuffed her presence? Can she stop asking herself If she had stayed then would her sister still be alive today? Can she finally understand none of it was her fault, none of the circumstances were under her control?

Author Tanya Anne Crosby doesn’t waste time pandering to flowery descriptions, she throws you into the deep end of the emotional pool, rife with turmoil and conflict. The reader will instantly sympathize with Zoe Rutherford and the tormented family. 

This is a grown up novel, alive with the grittiness of real life problems; Crosby doesn’t use kid gloves. She lays it all out and once you read that first page you are the fish on the line, hook and sinker.  

All of the descriptions of heart wrenching, emotional, thought provoking, psychological, soul revealing apply to this story. It is a story of sisterly love lost, innocence lost, abuse, guilt and blame. It is a story of a journey into hell and the road of recovery back out into the light of life. 

In one word, exceptional! 

I highly recommend this novel!

Tanya Anne Crosby has written over thirty novels and novellas combined, please visit her website to see the complete list at and download the free prequel novella The Things We Leave Behind!/finally-the-girl-who-stayed/

FTC Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this title by Net Galley and The Story Plant Publishing for review purposes only; no other compensation was awarded. 


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