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Your daughter went missing twenty years ago. Now, she's finally back. You thought she had returned a few times in the past, and your husband tells you she's not the one, but you feel it in your bones. Now, what will you do to keep her home? Twenty years ago, Myra Barkley's daughter disappeared from the rocky beach across from the family inn, off the Oregon c Your daughter went missing twenty years ago. Now, she's finally back. You thought she had returned a few times in the past, and your husband tells you she's not the one, but you feel it in your bones. Now, what will you do to keep her home? Twenty years ago, Myra Barkley's daughter disappeared from the rocky beach across from the family inn, off the Oregon coast. Ever since, Myra has waited at the front desk for her child to come home. One rainy afternoon, the miracle happens--her missing daughter, now twenty-eight years old with a child of her own, walks in the door. Elizabeth Lark is on the run with her son. She's just killed her abusive husband and needs a place to hide. Against her better judgment, she heads to her hometown and stops at the Barkley Inn. When the innkeeper insists that Elizabeth is her long lost daughter, the opportunity for a new life, and more importantly, the safety of her child, is too much for Elizabeth to pass up. But she knows that she isn't the Barkleys's daughter, and the more deeply intertwined she becomes with the family, the harder it becomes to confess the truth. Except the Barkley girl didn't just disappear on her own. As the news spreads across the small town that the Barkley girl has returned, Elizabeth suddenly comes into the limelight in a dangerous way, and the culprit behind the disappearance those twenty years ago is back to finish the job.


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Your daughter went missing twenty years ago. Now, she's finally back. You thought she had returned a few times in the past, and your husband tells you she's not the one, but you feel it in your bones. Now, what will you do to keep her home? Twenty years ago, Myra Barkley's daughter disappeared from the rocky beach across from the family inn, off the Oregon c Your daughter went missing twenty years ago. Now, she's finally back. You thought she had returned a few times in the past, and your husband tells you she's not the one, but you feel it in your bones. Now, what will you do to keep her home? Twenty years ago, Myra Barkley's daughter disappeared from the rocky beach across from the family inn, off the Oregon coast. Ever since, Myra has waited at the front desk for her child to come home. One rainy afternoon, the miracle happens--her missing daughter, now twenty-eight years old with a child of her own, walks in the door. Elizabeth Lark is on the run with her son. She's just killed her abusive husband and needs a place to hide. Against her better judgment, she heads to her hometown and stops at the Barkley Inn. When the innkeeper insists that Elizabeth is her long lost daughter, the opportunity for a new life, and more importantly, the safety of her child, is too much for Elizabeth to pass up. But she knows that she isn't the Barkleys's daughter, and the more deeply intertwined she becomes with the family, the harder it becomes to confess the truth. Except the Barkley girl didn't just disappear on her own. As the news spreads across the small town that the Barkley girl has returned, Elizabeth suddenly comes into the limelight in a dangerous way, and the culprit behind the disappearance those twenty years ago is back to finish the job.

30 review for Call Me Elizabeth Lark

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Holly molly! What a gripping, nerve bending, thrilling ride! Pressure building, tension increasing, nail chopping writing style hooks you up, grabs your soul, gathers your entire attention! You cannot dare to put it down for a second! Three different women narrators on the board: both of them suffer from traumatic experiences. One of them is mother who lost her daughter 20 years ago: Myra, second one is the other daughter Gwen who still suffers from guilt feelings about missing sister Charlotte b Holly molly! What a gripping, nerve bending, thrilling ride! Pressure building, tension increasing, nail chopping writing style hooks you up, grabs your soul, gathers your entire attention! You cannot dare to put it down for a second! Three different women narrators on the board: both of them suffer from traumatic experiences. One of them is mother who lost her daughter 20 years ago: Myra, second one is the other daughter Gwen who still suffers from guilt feelings about missing sister Charlotte because she was with her when she is taken away or something more sinister happened to her and the third one is presumed lost sister Elizabeth Lark ( her new identity) who is on the run with her five years old kid Theo from abusive husband who was keeping her in a cabin in woods without her consent for years. Both women need a closure and they need the lost sister back! Barkley Family ( Myra and Herb) is owner of the bed& breakfast place called in Barkley Inn located at the rocky beach off the Oregon Coast. They lost their eight years old child Charlotte 20 years ago. And one night they see a young woman has quite resemblances with their daughter at same age, holding her son, trembling, renting a room from their place. She’s fidgeting, agitated, looking her back as if someone’s watching her every move behind. Then Myra realizes that woman wears a necklace, the very same one her daughter was wearing the day she got lost. Her name’s initials are engraved on the necklace. So this mysterious woman who is looking exactly like her daughter wearing her necklace can be her long lost daughter. Elizabeth wants to scream at her face to tell her she’s not the lost daughter. She was a trailer park trash and her mother was the maid who was cleaning Barkley family’s house. But she cannot tell it. It’s too risky!!! And now Elizabeth feels more trapped than her old prison life she’d escaped because if she tries to run away from Barkley family, her husband can find and pay her back by kidnapping their son or killing her brutally. Let’s not forget there is a possibility she may have already killed him. The day she ran away she drugged her husband and she may have poured more drug to his drink that she has intended. If her husband is dead that means she will be locked behind the bars and she will loose her freedom one more time and she will loose her son forever! So she’d better pretend like Barkleys’ long lost daughter. Her son seems like he already adjusted in his new life, looking happier with his crowded family with cousins and lovely grandparents. And Gwen is still not sure Elizabeth is her sister but isn’t it a relief to get rid of her years long worries, nightmares and guilt feeling she’d carried for years? She couldn’t take care of her sister at that haunted night but now she can pay her dues and form her sisterhood bound with Elizabeth. She’s her second chance! I must admit there are so juicy twists coming up next and I got thrilled with them. Some of the twists were foreseeable but one of them is strikingly mind blowing! I enjoyed this very disturbing ride and rounding up my 4.5 stars to 5! I liked the flawed, broken, tormented women characters and the satisfying outcome of their stories! Special thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michael David

    Imagine that your young daughter disappears one night. You’ve spent years trying to come to terms with her being missing, and have convinced yourself you’ve spotted her on more than one occasion...only to be wrong in the end. 20 years later, your missing daughter walks into the inn you own. That’s what happens to Myra Barkley. She watches as her missing daughter, Charlotte, comes in through the door. Only, it’s not Charlotte. The woman’s name is Elizabeth Lark. She is with her son, Theo, and the Imagine that your young daughter disappears one night. You’ve spent years trying to come to terms with her being missing, and have convinced yourself you’ve spotted her on more than one occasion...only to be wrong in the end. 20 years later, your missing daughter walks into the inn you own. That’s what happens to Myra Barkley. She watches as her missing daughter, Charlotte, comes in through the door. Only, it’s not Charlotte. The woman’s name is Elizabeth Lark. She is with her son, Theo, and they are escaping her violent husband who has held her captive for years. Elizabeth goes with it, in the interest of keeping her son safe and giving him a warm place to stay. However, danger is still present...because the culprit involved in Charlotte’s disappearance is unknown, and someone knows Elizabeth isn’t who Myra thinks she is. Intriguing premise. I enjoyed it enough through the first half, but it wasn’t gripping me in the intense ways I’ve come to expect in thrillers. The last section becomes convoluted, and I found myself feeling less engaged as one OTT scenario occurred on top of another. I’m also not a fan of what I consider bad dialogue, and I found some of that here. There are some promising parts throughout, and while I can’t say I’d recommend this one, I would be interested in seeing what debut author Melissa Colasanti comes out with in the future. 2.5 stars. This was a fun buddy read with Jayme. We enjoyed putting on our detective hats and discussing our theories...many of which we got right! 🕵️‍♀️🕵️‍♂️ We’ll be on the hunt for our next case 🧐, but check out her fantastic review in the meantime. This review is also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com Thank you to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jayme

    2.5 ⭐️ Myra and Herb Barkley are still running the Barkley Inn, twenty years after their daughter Charlotte disappeared from the Rocky Beach across from the B and B, which is situated on the rainy, Oregon Coast. The Police think the eight year old, drowned, when her older sister Gwen, who was baby sitting, lost track of her, but Myra has always believed that Charlotte was abducted and would return home one day, so she keeps Vigil from the front desk. And, then it happens. Elizabeth Lark arrives w 2.5 ⭐️ Myra and Herb Barkley are still running the Barkley Inn, twenty years after their daughter Charlotte disappeared from the Rocky Beach across from the B and B, which is situated on the rainy, Oregon Coast. The Police think the eight year old, drowned, when her older sister Gwen, who was baby sitting, lost track of her, but Myra has always believed that Charlotte was abducted and would return home one day, so she keeps Vigil from the front desk. And, then it happens. Elizabeth Lark arrives with her young son, and they are clearly “on the run”. She has Charlotte’s distinctive eyes, and is wearing one half of a coin necklace with the initials CB. Myra is convinced this young woman is her daughter, despite the fact that she has been wrong before. Elizabeth knows she isn’t the Barkley’s daughter. But, perhaps she can find safety if she pretends to be. The book starts out well, and although we know from the beginning that Elizabeth is not Charlotte, we have the mysteries of who Elizabeth really is AND what really happened to Charlotte, to solve, so Michael David, and I, put on our 🕵🏻🕵🏼‍♂️ Detective caps for another buddy read. The story alternates between the perspectives of Myra, Gwen and Elizabeth as each woman tries to make sense of Elizabeth’s arrival, and this half of the book held my interest although the reactions of Herb and son Jimi should’ve been explored in more detail. Unfortunately though, the second half fell apart. We Figured out MOST of what was to come. Until it became so IMPLAUSIBLE that you couldn’t POSSIBLY figure out the rest. The motives for the things that Elizabeth had to endure, I could not “buy into” at all. And, the rest, including Charlotte’s fate is TOLD rather than SHOWN, by the “guilty party” in the last 20%. For these reasons, this is not a book that I will be recommending. Be sure to check out Michael David’s review as well. They are always amazing! Thank you to the Publisher for my gifted copy. It was my pleasure to provide a candid review! Available March 9, 2021

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    This is a Suspense Mystery/Thriller, and I have to say that the cover of this book is so beautiful. The cover is way I wanted to read this book, but I have to say I loved the book so much as well. The twists and turns in this book made me say what the H***. I loved this book because the twists and turns in this book I did not see coming. The characters in this book slowly developed through out this book which is what you want in thrillers like this book. This book as so many secrets in families This is a Suspense Mystery/Thriller, and I have to say that the cover of this book is so beautiful. The cover is way I wanted to read this book, but I have to say I loved the book so much as well. The twists and turns in this book made me say what the H***. I loved this book because the twists and turns in this book I did not see coming. The characters in this book slowly developed through out this book which is what you want in thrillers like this book. This book as so many secrets in families that comes out which is what makes this book so great. This book is a very well-written thriller. I loved this book so much. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Crooked Lane Books) or author (Melissa Colasanti) via NetGalley, so I can give honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that. (*)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    EXCERPT: Herb says Myra has drowned herself with Charlotte, where the beach is rocky and the tide tinged gray-yellow, its crest effervescent. At the inn, wind batters the wooden shingles like the ocean thrumming the shore at high tide. The squall sends sand whipping through the air. The pier empties of people, except for the lone fishermen who wear rubber boots and heavy yellow raincoats, casting their lines in turbid water. Myra and Herb are ensconced in the inn, wrapped in sweaters and crochet EXCERPT: Herb says Myra has drowned herself with Charlotte, where the beach is rocky and the tide tinged gray-yellow, its crest effervescent. At the inn, wind batters the wooden shingles like the ocean thrumming the shore at high tide. The squall sends sand whipping through the air. The pier empties of people, except for the lone fishermen who wear rubber boots and heavy yellow raincoats, casting their lines in turbid water. Myra and Herb are ensconced in the inn, wrapped in sweaters and crocheted afghan blankets. Occasional guests trickle in, but not often. People visit the Oregon coast in summer. Myra doesn't take vacations during the off-season, no matter how many empty winters pass. Charlotte knows her mother is waiting. She lived for the scent of the ocean, for the lacquer of salt on her skin. The crabs hidden under mounds of sand and the starfish in the tide pools enchanted Myra's youngest child. Myra supposes this is why Charlotte was so attracted to the mystery of the deep dark sea. The waves sweep away an entire pool of living things, but with the next tide, they begin again. And so, Myra is not particularly surprised when her dead daughter walks in the door. ABOUT 'CALL ME ELIZABETH LARK': Twenty years ago, Myra Barkley's daughter disappeared from the rocky beach across from the family inn, off the Oregon coast. Ever since, Myra has waited at the front desk for her child to come home. One rainy afternoon, the miracle happens--her missing daughter, now twenty-eight years old with a child of her own, walks in the door. Elizabeth Lark is on the run with her son. She's just killed her abusive husband and needs a place to hide. Against her better judgment, she heads to her hometown and stops at the Barkley Inn. When the innkeeper insists that Elizabeth is her long lost daughter, the opportunity for a new life, and more importantly, the safety of her child, is too much for Elizabeth to pass up. But she knows that she isn't the Barkleys's daughter, and the more deeply intertwined she becomes with the family, the harder it becomes to confess the truth. Except the Barkley girl didn't just disappear on her own. As the news spreads across the small town that the Barkley girl has returned, Elizabeth suddenly comes into the limelight in a dangerous way, and the culprit behind the disappearance those twenty years ago is back to finish the job. MY THOUGHTS: Don't go into Call Me Elizabeth Lark expecting a thriller. Yes, there is gunfire and a car chase. But this is not a thriller. A character driven mystery is, to my mind, a more apt description. Myra has bi-polar. She is a mother who has become untethered by grief and, although she has two other children, her life centres around the missing, presumed dead (by everyone but Myra) Charlotte. Several times in the past she has believed that she has found Charlotte, only to be disappointed. But this time... Gwen is Charlotte's older sister. She was 'looking after' Charlotte when she disappeared. She believes her mother blames her for Charlotte's disappearance, and mother and daughter don't seem to connect at all. She overcompensates by being the 'perfect mother' to her own daughters, and she is rigidly in control of her life as if that will make up for her mother's flakiness. Jimi, the youngest, and only son, never knew Charlotte. He was born after she disappeared, but he has lived his life in her shadow. Into their lives arrives Elizabeth and her five year old son Theo. There are a lot of things I liked about Call Me Elizabeth Lark. The first is the cover, which is absolutely beautiful, but has nothing whatsoever to do with the story. I love the way Elizabeth is torn between wanting to give her son a wonderful home with the Barkley family, and not wanting to cause them any more pain than they have already endured. Similarly I love the way the author has depicted motherhood, the pressures to do it better than anyone else, the uncertainties, the doubts, the insecurities. I also love the way she has portrayed the intricacies of marriage, the give and take, the compromises, the flare-ups, the betrayals, the forgiveness, the stand-offs. The mystery carried me along beautifully until almost the end of the book, when everything became overly dramatic and, dare I say it? - faintly ridiculous. The 'white room' in which several of the characters are held, the confrontation when he could have just 'disappeared' his captives, and the gunfight at the Okay Corral. All a bit OTT and unnecessary. Yes, it does get a bit messy in places, but mostly I liked this read. The author has a great talent for getting to the essence of her characters. I will definitely be putting my name down to read whatever she comes up with next. ⭐⭐⭐.5 'Life is messy. Decisions are complicated. And dammit, you can't change the past.' #CallMeElizabethLark #NetGalley #melissacolasanti #crookedlanebooks @mmcolasanti @crookedlanebks #contemporaryfiction #crime #familydrama #mentalhealth #mystery THE AUTHOR: Melissa Colasanti is a mother and an author. She has a BFA in fiction from Boise State University. Her writing has appeared in Lithub, Memoir Magazine, The Coffin Bell Journal and others. She is the Stephen R. Kustra scholar in creative writing for 2019, and was awarded the Glenn Balch Award for fiction in 2020. (Amazon) DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Crooked Lane Books via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Call Me Elizabeth Lark by Melissa Colasanti for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...

  6. 5 out of 5

    ℳacarena

    4.5⭐ Woooooow!!! 😲 This book has been a surprise. The premise points out to a good story, but I never thought it would have all those twists! It keeps you wondering and so intrigued that it's hard to put it down. The story is divided into Myra's and Elizabeth's lives. Myra and her husband lost a child, Charlotte, twenty years ago. Elizabeth and her little son have finally run away from her abusive husband. She is supposed to go away from the place, but she can't help herself returning to her homet 4.5⭐ Woooooow!!! 😲 This book has been a surprise. The premise points out to a good story, but I never thought it would have all those twists! It keeps you wondering and so intrigued that it's hard to put it down. The story is divided into Myra's and Elizabeth's lives. Myra and her husband lost a child, Charlotte, twenty years ago. Elizabeth and her little son have finally run away from her abusive husband. She is supposed to go away from the place, but she can't help herself returning to her hometown. Once she enters the inn owned by Myra, a rollercoaster of events will change their lives. What happened to Charlotte? Who is Elizabeth's husband? And who else is trying to hurt Myra and Elizabeth? These are some of the many questions one starts asking oneself meanwhile reading this. The story will make you start guessing non-stop, This book will be published on: 9 March 2021 Thanks to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for providing me with this e-arc in exchange for my honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Theresa Alan

    I give this story points for originality, but I didn’t actually enjoy it. While I had a lot of empathy for Elizabeth and thought she beat herself up with negative self-talk, there was something about the coincidences and twists that didn’t work for me. Elizabeth is on the run from her abusive husband and stops at an inn in her hometown. The woman who runs the place is convinced it’s her long-lost daughter who disappeared twenty years ago when she was just eight years old. Elizabeth doesn’t immed I give this story points for originality, but I didn’t actually enjoy it. While I had a lot of empathy for Elizabeth and thought she beat herself up with negative self-talk, there was something about the coincidences and twists that didn’t work for me. Elizabeth is on the run from her abusive husband and stops at an inn in her hometown. The woman who runs the place is convinced it’s her long-lost daughter who disappeared twenty years ago when she was just eight years old. Elizabeth doesn’t immediately tell the truth because then the novel would be over. Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this novel, which RELEASES MARCH 9, 2021.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Belle

    Review to come...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sara Kapadia

    I was hooked from the first page! The author's use of words is just wonderful. I got more and more invested the more I read. The building tension, the twists and turns, it is such an exciting read! The narration is so great, with three different characters. Each one with a fascinating back story. The author handles the intricacies of personality so well: a mother who lost her daughter many years ago, then a sister who is suffering, then a woman fleeing her abusive husband with her young child. Su I was hooked from the first page! The author's use of words is just wonderful. I got more and more invested the more I read. The building tension, the twists and turns, it is such an exciting read! The narration is so great, with three different characters. Each one with a fascinating back story. The author handles the intricacies of personality so well: a mother who lost her daughter many years ago, then a sister who is suffering, then a woman fleeing her abusive husband with her young child. Such deep feelings, so much there to empathize with. The setting at an inn on the Oregon Coast is perfect for this story. The setting is gorgeous and the author really places you there with the characters. The descriptions are so spot on, you really feel as if you are right there with the characters. This is such a satisfying read because it has the right balance of letting the reader rightfully guess some of the twists, but also shocks the reader with some very unexpected turns! I was floored! I just loved the surprise twists! It was magnificent! I really loved this book. It was a deeply enjoyable read and I was totally immersed in the world the author created. I highly recommend this book and it completely deserves all the stars. Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Swati Hegde

    I had the amazing opportunity to read an advance copy of this book, so thank you to the author for that! (PS: just look at that gorgeous cover holy effing hell) I was blown away by how brilliantly well-paced, well-written, and edge-of-the-seat-keeping this book is!!!! I loved so many of the characters, especially considering how wonderfully women-centric this is (we need more such suspense/thrillers!!!), and I couldn't stop turning the pages, because I was always dying to know what happens next. Y I had the amazing opportunity to read an advance copy of this book, so thank you to the author for that! (PS: just look at that gorgeous cover holy effing hell) I was blown away by how brilliantly well-paced, well-written, and edge-of-the-seat-keeping this book is!!!! I loved so many of the characters, especially considering how wonderfully women-centric this is (we need more such suspense/thrillers!!!), and I couldn't stop turning the pages, because I was always dying to know what happens next. Y'all have to lap this one up! Looking forward to more books by Melissa Colasanti. <3

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dana-Adriana B.

    Elizabeth Lark is on the run from an abusive husband. The Innkeeper where she is hiding is sure that Elizabeth is her missing daughter from 20 years back. Elizabeth's life is a mess, is she going to fix it or make it worse? Thank you Netgalley for this read. Elizabeth Lark is on the run from an abusive husband. The Innkeeper where she is hiding is sure that Elizabeth is her missing daughter from 20 years back. Elizabeth's life is a mess, is she going to fix it or make it worse? Thank you Netgalley for this read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Shkolnikjx

    I cannot praise enough this incredible thriller! Is the missing daughter found is is someone playing a cruel prank on the grieving family is the question in the center of this quirky novel.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amanda McHugh

    4.5 Stars I've been excited to read this one for quite a while, and I was thrilled to be approved for an ARC available on NetGalley. Twenty years ago, Charlotte went missing. Presumed dead, Myra and Herb are shocked when a woman who could be their daughter shows up at their remote seaside inn. Elizabeth is on the run with her son Theo, and while she doesn't want to take advantage of the situation, she knows that going back to her abusive husband isn't an option. But the stakes prove higher than a 4.5 Stars I've been excited to read this one for quite a while, and I was thrilled to be approved for an ARC available on NetGalley. Twenty years ago, Charlotte went missing. Presumed dead, Myra and Herb are shocked when a woman who could be their daughter shows up at their remote seaside inn. Elizabeth is on the run with her son Theo, and while she doesn't want to take advantage of the situation, she knows that going back to her abusive husband isn't an option. But the stakes prove higher than any of them could have imagined when a series of terrifying events threatens to force the truth into light. But which truth is going to be revealed? First, I will say I really enjoyed this book. Colasanti's writing is visual and crisp which really brought the setting to life. As someone who's never been on the west coast before, I really got a sense of the small town and its community dynamics. I think most readers will like the structure of the novel. The alternating POVs worked really well, and while some of the flashbacks felt a little longwinded or information heavy, we get three strong independent voices. Instead of competing for attention, Myra, Gwen, and Elizabeth are given equal ground to tell their stories and voice their emotions. Not only does this add layer upon layer to the mystery, it also allows us to cast doubt onto other characters who might've previously been eliminated from the spotlight. While this wouldn't be what I'd call a high-octane thriller, there is no shortage of action. High stakes suspense seems more fitting, as Colasanti does a wonderful job drawing out the tension and reinforcing the point that danger is one misstep away. What really shone through, however, was the extremely relevant commentary on domestic abuse, mental illness, and grief. Sometimes in a survivor narrative, abuse is glorified, used as a tool to push the story by evoking an emotional response. Brutal details are relayed in detail, and it becomes exhibitionist. That couldn't be further from the truth with this book. Elizabeth suffers at the hands of her husband, yes, but we do not relive every horrible moment for the sake of entertainment or scandal. This is not a revenge narrative. We see her struggle with guilt, fear, validation, and love. Nothing is black and white, and much like how grief and mental illness are handled, we get a realistic view of the hurdles people must overcome in this endeavor. Overall, Call Me Elizabeth Lark is a taut, engrossing suspense that will tug at your heartstrings in the best possible way. I'd recommend for fans of Moriarty, women's fiction with a solid mystery, or anyone looking to get lost in a complex family history of secrets and regret. Thank you to Crooked Lane and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.

  14. 4 out of 5

    J. Schlenker

    So many twists and turns, it will keep you guessing. You ask yourself, how dysfunctional can one family be? At the same time, they are bound together and have been for more than a quarter of a century. Perhaps by more than blood, perhaps by their secrets and past traumas. With all of their differences, each character is intricately woven with their many layers by the author into the fabric or web termed as family along with superb description which places you directlty in the scene. I read this tw So many twists and turns, it will keep you guessing. You ask yourself, how dysfunctional can one family be? At the same time, they are bound together and have been for more than a quarter of a century. Perhaps by more than blood, perhaps by their secrets and past traumas. With all of their differences, each character is intricately woven with their many layers by the author into the fabric or web termed as family along with superb description which places you directlty in the scene. I read this twice. Other than Alice, the do-gooder who only makes brief appearances in the plot, for me the most likable character, I found my views of the main characters shifting. At first, I rooted for Gwen, the misunderstood sister. Myra, the mother, was the least desirable for me. With the second reading I saw Myra differently. Real people are not black or white. Nor, are the characters in this book. Their flaws almost jump out at you with each turn of the page rising to the final crescendo with an ending which may surprise.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    This story had a few surprises and an interesting premise overall, but I felt the characters were a bit under-developed. It centers on Myra, whose 8-year-old daughter Charlotte disappeared 20 years ago, and Elizabeth, who shows up at Myra's door and is mistaken for Charlotte after all that time. The chapters alternate between the POVs of these 2 characters, as well as that of Myra's other daughter, Gwen. You know going into the book that Elizabeth isn't really Charlotte. I thought I had figured o This story had a few surprises and an interesting premise overall, but I felt the characters were a bit under-developed. It centers on Myra, whose 8-year-old daughter Charlotte disappeared 20 years ago, and Elizabeth, who shows up at Myra's door and is mistaken for Charlotte after all that time. The chapters alternate between the POVs of these 2 characters, as well as that of Myra's other daughter, Gwen. You know going into the book that Elizabeth isn't really Charlotte. I thought I had figured out a twist really early in the book, but the twist ended up being a variation of what I thought was happening. There were a couple other twists as well, some that came as a surprise to me. As other reviewers have said, some of the things that happen are on the very edge of being realistic, but I was OK with that overall. The thing I was less OK with was the characters. I didn't find any of them that likeable and I think it was because they weren't fully developed. You get tidbits of things that happened previously tied in with the things that are happening now, but I feel like more could have been done to better shape the characters so I could empathize with them better. I think Myra's character was the most built out. There are also a few tertiary characters that end up playing bigger roles later and I think they could have been better integrated into the story so their intentions/actions made more sense. Overall, I liked the book- it wasn't my favorite of the year, but it was an interesting story and I was surprised multiple times. I think it's worth a read for those who like psychological thrillers. Thanks to Netgalley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

    ***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of CALL ME ELIZABETH LARK by Melissa Colasanti in exchange for my honest review.*** 3.5 STARS Eight-year-old Charlotte disappears while in the custody of older sister Gwen. Twenty years later, their mother Myrna is certain Charlotte has returned when Elizabeth Lark walks into her B&B fleeing from her abusive husband. Oh what a tangled web Melissa Colasanti has woven in her debut novel. CALL ME ELIZABETH LARK is full of twists and turns, s ***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of CALL ME ELIZABETH LARK by Melissa Colasanti in exchange for my honest review.*** 3.5 STARS Eight-year-old Charlotte disappears while in the custody of older sister Gwen. Twenty years later, their mother Myrna is certain Charlotte has returned when Elizabeth Lark walks into her B&B fleeing from her abusive husband. Oh what a tangled web Melissa Colasanti has woven in her debut novel. CALL ME ELIZABETH LARK is full of twists and turns, secrets and lies and the learning the truth might prove deadly for one or more of the women Elizabeth, Gwen and Myrna or their loved ones. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but I will say this isn’t a resolution readers will guess before reading. Told from the third person points of view of the three women, I never latched on to any of the narrator’s or felt immersed in her point of view though the plot interested me very much. As a mystery, I wondered what happened next but never really thought, “I hope nothing happens to” this one or that one. When I finished, I didn’t wand to immediately reread to see what clues I missed, although I did enjoy the story. CALL ME ELIZABETH LARK is a mystery that will keep readers guessing.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)

    2.5 stars, rounded up On the surface, this is an entertaining mystery--a young girl disappears and is never found. Her mother Myra has never given up hope that she is alive. Then one night, a woman appears at the family's seaside inn, child in tow, and claims to be that daughter who escaped from the captor who had been holding them all of these years. The reader knows that "Elizabeth Lark" is not Charlotte, the missing girl, but Myra thinks she looks exactly like what Charlotte would look like no 2.5 stars, rounded up On the surface, this is an entertaining mystery--a young girl disappears and is never found. Her mother Myra has never given up hope that she is alive. Then one night, a woman appears at the family's seaside inn, child in tow, and claims to be that daughter who escaped from the captor who had been holding them all of these years. The reader knows that "Elizabeth Lark" is not Charlotte, the missing girl, but Myra thinks she looks exactly like what Charlotte would look like now and welcomes her back into the family. There are some good twists to the story, but some of them are much too convenient and took the story beyond the realm of believability. I found the actions and dialogue of many of the characters to be way over the top and hysterical, particularly Myra. I felt badly for her remaining children, growing up in the shadow of their missing sister and their mother seeming to care more for Charlotte than her present children. I did like that the story alternated between Myra's, Elizabeth's, and Gwen's point of view, and I could identify with the person Gwen had grown up to be, the mother she ended up being to her own children. Those snippets from Gwen and her brother elevated the book for me, because they seemed very real. One other quibble I had was the geography. I'm from the Pacific Northwest and I could never get a handle on the location of the book. The Inn is supposedly on the Oregon coast, and Elizabeth was being held in rural Washington, which took a long time to get to when she was leading the police there. But when she escaped, she seemed to get to the lady who helped her pretty quickly and then when she needed help from her later she seemed to be right there. I just couldn't figure out how any of it would have worked. The mystery itself is also a bit too convenient and I had much of it figured out before things were revealed. But like I said, there were some good twists which make the reading of this book worthwhile. If you like thrillers and can suspend your disbelief a bit, this one is a decent choice. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Megan Collins

    Lyrical and riveting, CALL ME ELIZABETH LARK contains layers of mysteries that will surprise and thrill its readers. With heart-pounding twists, decades-old secrets, and complex characters knotted together by guilt and betrayal, this book is a stunning page-turner. I devoured it in a single day.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Laila Elahi

    This book was a total thrill ride. It deserves 5 stars. I loved reading it and was totally surprised by the plot! I liked the setting, it was really descriptive and alluring. I loved the interactions with all the characters and the dynamics that built up through the book. I was completely captivated by the possibilities. I would recommend this to anyone who likes stellar writing, good characters and a suspenseful thriller!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    From the synopsis alone I knew I would love this. It has intrigue, complex characters, and drama. The writing style was great and the way the author writes the characters makes you feel for them. I recommend going in not knowing anything about this novel because it will blow you away. Can't wait to see what the author comes out with next. From the synopsis alone I knew I would love this. It has intrigue, complex characters, and drama. The writing style was great and the way the author writes the characters makes you feel for them. I recommend going in not knowing anything about this novel because it will blow you away. Can't wait to see what the author comes out with next.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kay Mcleer

    this was a really unique mystery read, I liked the story and thought it was a scary concept. I really enjoyed reading this book and look forward to more from the author.

  22. 4 out of 5

    OutlawPoet

    When I started reading this one, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. It was kind of a slow build up of secrets and lies and I’m more of a things-go-boom reader. But, before I knew it, I was completely entrenched in our little family full of big secrets. The reveal is…unexpected. But it’s a good one and it definitely surprised me. In fact, the book surprised me in all sorts of really good ways. Definitely a recommended read for those who love suspense and family drama! *ARC Provided via Net Gal When I started reading this one, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. It was kind of a slow build up of secrets and lies and I’m more of a things-go-boom reader. But, before I knew it, I was completely entrenched in our little family full of big secrets. The reveal is…unexpected. But it’s a good one and it definitely surprised me. In fact, the book surprised me in all sorts of really good ways. Definitely a recommended read for those who love suspense and family drama! *ARC Provided via Net Galley

  23. 5 out of 5

    Grace Asseton

    Experience Elizabeth's whirlwind, from prisoner of her own house to.... This is a fantastic read for any of you wanting a novel full of emotion and suspense. Experience Elizabeth's whirlwind, from prisoner of her own house to.... This is a fantastic read for any of you wanting a novel full of emotion and suspense.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I was intrigued by the premise of this book, and the cover is neat. A woman arrives at an inn with her young son, and she goes along with the owner's notion that she is the long lost daughter who disappeared 20 years prior. The woman is actually fleeing an abusive husband who she may have murdered. She is taken in by the family and she tells them that she was kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years. Her husband ends up being dead, but someone is still out to get her. The mystery of what happened I was intrigued by the premise of this book, and the cover is neat. A woman arrives at an inn with her young son, and she goes along with the owner's notion that she is the long lost daughter who disappeared 20 years prior. The woman is actually fleeing an abusive husband who she may have murdered. She is taken in by the family and she tells them that she was kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years. Her husband ends up being dead, but someone is still out to get her. The mystery of what happened to the real daughter gets answered as the story gets even more twisted, and there's a jaw dropping, unexpected ending. I read this book pretty fast, and I would recommend this exciting read. Special thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jayne

    CALL ME CRITICAL.... but CALL ME ELIZABETH LARK lacked spark. Intriguing premise, poor execution.  Too much prose, too little action.  I listened to the 9-hour audiobook.  The audiobook could have EASILY been a 5-6 hour book, without compromising the book's premise and/or plotline.  The book's three narrators did a superb job with the book's narration and saved this book from a lower rating. The book's premise was very intriguing.   Twenty years ago, Herb and Myra Barkley's 8-year old daughter Charl CALL ME CRITICAL.... but CALL ME ELIZABETH LARK lacked spark. Intriguing premise, poor execution.  Too much prose, too little action.  I listened to the 9-hour audiobook.  The audiobook could have EASILY been a 5-6 hour book, without compromising the book's premise and/or plotline.  The book's three narrators did a superb job with the book's narration and saved this book from a lower rating. The book's premise was very intriguing.   Twenty years ago, Herb and Myra Barkley's 8-year old daughter Charlotte disappears from an Oregon Coast beach right across from their family inn.  The Barkley's older daughter Gwen was babysitting Charlotte when this happened.  Myra has never given up hope that Charlotte will be found and when a woman (Elizabeth Lark) with Charlotte's eyes and locket, walks into the Inn, Myra is convinced that a miracle has happened.  Myra is told that Elizabeth Lark and her young son Theo escaped from a cabin and Elizabeth is fleeing an abusive relationship.  Unlike books with a similar premise, readers know upfront that mystery woman Elizabeth Lark is NOT Charlotte.  THE INTRIGUE ENDS HERE. In addition to too much flowery prose, this book has no shortage of implausible events and convoluted twists.  Although a DNA test was discussed, Elizabeth Lark was never given a DNA test until the very end of the book.   If a woman resembling my missing child miraculously appeared after being missing for 20 years, having a DNA test done would have been #1 on my agenda. I also found it very strange that Elizabeth Lark fled to her hometown.   If I was fleeing an abusive relationship, I would not flee to my hometown. The first half of the book was better than the second half.  The second half of the book was soooo convoluted. Unfortunately, providing specific examples will reveal spoilers, so I will stop here. CALL ME ELIZABETH LARK was the author's first book and it seemed like she tried too hard to have too many twists/turns in one book.  Two stars rounded up.

  26. 4 out of 5

    M. [storme reads a lot]

    I tried my best with this book, but it was hard to believe. I just could not buy into the plot line and this detracted from my enjoyment of the story. Perhaps this would suit others better, but I did not enjoy this book at all. I think it just seemed like a contrived plot with a nice ending. There was nothing that made me invested in the story.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Pole

    Call Me Elizabeth Lark by Melissa Colasanti initially lured me in with an intriguing premise but, for me, the execution fell a bit flat when all was said and done. Twenty years ago, Myra Barkley's daughter disappeared without a trace. Since then, Myra has stationed herself at the family's Oregon inn awaiting her beloved child's return. When Elizabeth Lark, a woman who is fleeing an abusive relationship arrives with her young son in tow, Myra believes that her prayers have been answered. Offering Call Me Elizabeth Lark by Melissa Colasanti initially lured me in with an intriguing premise but, for me, the execution fell a bit flat when all was said and done. Twenty years ago, Myra Barkley's daughter disappeared without a trace. Since then, Myra has stationed herself at the family's Oregon inn awaiting her beloved child's return. When Elizabeth Lark, a woman who is fleeing an abusive relationship arrives with her young son in tow, Myra believes that her prayers have been answered. Offering shelter to the young woman who, she believes, has finally found her way home, Myra provides the safe haven that Elizabeth seeks for herself and her son. But will the alliance of the two women stir up the ghosts of the past that each would rather have remained firmly buried? While the first few chapters managed to draw me in, I felt that the novel as a whole failed to fully engage my interest on anything more than a superficial level. That being said, I look forward to reading more from this author in the future. Many thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for an ARC of this title.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shravani B

    Trigger warning for this novel: Domestic violence, mental illness Thanks to Crooked lane and Netgalley for an ARC of this novel. This novel keeps you the edge and is filled with suspense. There are so many different layers that till the last chapter you keep guessing. Definitely recommend. 4 stars

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Myra Barkley’s daughter disappeared twenty years ago and she’s always been hopeful she’ll return. Now, she’s convinced that Elizabeth Lark, a stranger escaping her own terrible situation is Charlotte, and Elizabeth has no choice but to go along. But someone knows the truth… I know this is an uncorrected ARC but surely that means there will be page numbers, titles and the author’s name appearing at random intervals, or maybe misplaced apostrophes (there were all these things) but not plot details Myra Barkley’s daughter disappeared twenty years ago and she’s always been hopeful she’ll return. Now, she’s convinced that Elizabeth Lark, a stranger escaping her own terrible situation is Charlotte, and Elizabeth has no choice but to go along. But someone knows the truth… I know this is an uncorrected ARC but surely that means there will be page numbers, titles and the author’s name appearing at random intervals, or maybe misplaced apostrophes (there were all these things) but not plot details being revealed ahead of time and confusing a character’s name. These things seriously affected the reading experience for me, and I was really confused. There’s a point early on where a painting is slashed but before that happens, one character is thinking about it, so for a good deal of the book I thought that character was actually the culprit! Is it a good book anyway? It’s OK. There’s a twist that was only slightly different to what I was expecting but and it’s set up from the beginning, but I suppose will provide a surprise for some readers. As for the big reveal about what really happened to Charlotte, I wasn’t really interested – especially because we know all along that Elizabeth is not Charlotte. The mystery part was too far in the background for me and the focus was more on Elizabeth’s interactions with the Barkley family and how long she was going to pull off the charade. The ending of the book also suffers from that thing when the reader starts asking constantly: What is going on?! The plot becomes too convoluted and implausible. Not to mention the five-year-old who creeped me out because he just didn’t talk or act like a five-year-old. There are a lot of thriller readers not yet suffering from thriller fatigue who will probably enjoy this one, but it was quite average for me. Also, I feel it was undecided whether it wanted to be a true thriller or a family drama; commitment to one of those could have improved the book. Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the ARC.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marc Bougharios

    3.75 stars (rounded up) A slow burn thriller novel about a woman who is posing to be someone she isn't, while running away from something she did. Elizabeth Lark might have killed her husband, and now she's running away with her son Theo. She returns to her hometown and when she walks into the Barklay Inn, Myra Barkely is convinced that she is her daughter that disappears twenty years ago. After all, a mother knows her own daughter, doesn't she? But Elizabeth isn't her daughter and she knows that, 3.75 stars (rounded up) A slow burn thriller novel about a woman who is posing to be someone she isn't, while running away from something she did. Elizabeth Lark might have killed her husband, and now she's running away with her son Theo. She returns to her hometown and when she walks into the Barklay Inn, Myra Barkely is convinced that she is her daughter that disappears twenty years ago. After all, a mother knows her own daughter, doesn't she? But Elizabeth isn't her daughter and she knows that, but she plays along for the safety of her and her son. Little does she know the sequence of events that will follow. It's always shocking when a great debut novel is released and I think to myself how authors like Colasanti are only getting discovered. This was a great debut novel and the talent is clear from the way the novel is written. From the very first page, I was hooked and reading the synopsis helped a lot. This novel is part mystery, part family drama, which if anyone knows me, I love. My favourite thing about novels like this is when authors find the right balance so that the drama aspect doesn't overpower the mystery aspect, or vice versa. Colasanti nailed this. At times I was shocked and at others I was feeling the pain of a mother whose child went missing. Another thing that this author does well is that she makes it very easy for her readers to sympathize with the characters. Motherhood is very central to the plot and it really shows the lengths that a mother would go to protect her family. The storyline was stellar and although I felt the plot to be a little slow at times, it did catch up when it needed to. The twists in this one actually shocked me. Sometimes, the author puts all the clues in place for us to find them, but they're also very easy to miss. There's a bunch of secrets in this book which only made it more interesting. If you like a slow-burning mystery, family drama thriller novel, I highly recommend this one! You will not be disappointed. Can't wait to see what this author comes up with next!

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