One Sentence Synopsis
Ten years after their famous mother mysteriously went missing in the woods outside their island home, Manon and Tai are lured back with the promise of a script that supposedly holds clues to what happened all those years ago.
“I guess grief is like that: the banshee patiently waiting in the many-halled house of your mind, so quiet in certain moments, until you turn a corner and see how it takes up rooms and rooms, cracking their floors and windows with its volume, its weight.”
Last week, my family and I spent Spring Break in a cabin in the middle of the woods. Being who I am, I brought a stack of books with me. You never know what mood I’ll be in, after all! I ended up picking up White Fox, figuring that a cabin surrounded by trees would be the perfect atmosphere for a thriller featuring a creepy forest. And I was totally correct!
We follow Manon and Tai, two sisters who are both dealing with the loss of their mother ten years ago in very different ways. Tai lives her life online and is constantly compared to her famous mother, who was an actress. Manon, on the other hand, tries to live her life as far from the limelight as possible, preferring the company of her precious notebook to other people. When they are invited back to the island where they used to live before their mother’s disappearance, they both choose to go for different reasons. Once there, however, they discover the lost script that their mother was working on and was thought to have disappeared with her. Rumors say that this script holds clues that might solve the mystery of what happened ten years ago, so the two sisters decide that they’re going to follow the trail, whatever the cost.
Y’all, the atmosphere and dark tone of this book was I M M A C U L A T E. By far my favorite aspect of this book, hands down! The creepiness of the forest surrounding the family home, the creepiness of the old family home itself, and just the overall feeling of danger made this such a thrilling read. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the story, even when not much was going on. Sara Faring is fantastic at building that necessary tension that takes a thriller/mystery from good to great! I will say that I thought the ending wrapped up a little too neatly. I could have done without the epilogue, as well, but I still enjoyed it!
I think Sara Faring did an excellent job creating her characters, as well. Both Manon and Tai are such complex characters with a lot of depth. Manon seems to suffer from anxiety and, though I can’t speak to the representation, I certainly felt her anxiety as the story continued. The way she describes how she’s feeling and how everything that is happening is impacting her felt so visceral and real! Tai had her own set of issues that kind of sneak up on you, which makes sense as she’s usually presenting a different version of herself to the world. I’m so happy that we get to see inside both of their heads because it just makes the story that much better.
Also, I kind of love the fact that the White Fox script and various articles are included in the book! I do love a bit of mixed media. Does that count as mixed media? I’m gonna say it is, lol.
Final thoughts: This is a taut, atmospheric, gem of a thriller! I was on the edge of my seat from page one and tore through this book. I loved the characters and all their layers that made them leap off the page. And I enjoyed the multiple POVs and the sprinkle of mixed media. If you like your thrillers to be a little dark with complex characters and a beautifully creepy atmosphere, I think you would enjoy White Fox!