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The Reappearance of Rachel Price by Holly Jackson
Young adult

The Reappearance of Rachel Price

by Holly Jackson

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Quick take

The cameras may be rolling but don’t go trusting everything you hear...some stories really are too good to be true.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FamilyDrama

    Family drama

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Teen

    Teens

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Whodunit

    Whodunit

Synopsis

Lights. Camera. Lies.

Eighteen-year-old Bel has lived her whole life in the shadow of her mom’s mysterious disappearance. Sixteen years ago, Rachel Price vanished and young Bel was the only witness, but she has no memory of it. Rachel is gone, long presumed dead, and Bel wishes everyone would just move on.

But the case is dredged up from the past when the Price family agrees to a true crime documentary. Bel can’t wait for filming to end, for life to go back to normal. And then the impossible happens. Rachel Price reappears, and life will never be normal again.

Rachel has an unbelievable story about what happened to her. Unbelievable, because Bel isn’t sure it’s real. If Rachel is lying, then where has she been all this time? And—could she be dangerous? With the cameras still rolling, Bel must uncover the truth about her mother, and find out why Rachel Price really came back from the dead . . .

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of The Reappearance of Rachel Price.
The Reappearance of Rachel Price

ONE

“What do you think happened to your mother?”

The word sounded wrong to Bel when he said it. Mother. Unnatural. Not quite as bad as Mom. That one pushed between her lips, misshapen and mad, like a bloated slug finally breaking free, splatting there on the floor for everyone to stare at. Because everyone would, everyone always did. The word didn’t belong in her mouth, so Bel didn’t say it, not if she could help it. At least there was a coldness to mother, a sense of distance.

“It’s OK, please take your time,” Ramsey said, the vowels clipped and exposed.

Bel looked across at him, avoiding the camera. Lines of concern crisscrossed his black skin, pulling around his eyes as they fixed on Bel’s, because she was already taking her time, too much, more than she had in the pre-interviews the past few days. He reached up to scratch his temple, right where his dark coiled hair faded out above his ears. Ramsey Lee: filmmaker, director, from South London—a whole world away, and yet here he was in Gorham, New Hampshire, sitting across from her.

Ramsey cleared his throat.

“Um . . . ,” Bel began, choking on that slug. “I don’t know.”

Ramsey sat back, his chair creaking, and Bel knew from the flicker of disappointment in his face that she was doing a bad job. Worse. It must have been the camera. The camera changed things, the permanence of it. One day thousands of people would watch this, separated from her only by the glass of their television screens. They would analyze every word she said, every pause she took, and have something to say about it. They’d study her face: her warm white skin and the flush of her cheeks, her sharp chin that sharpened more when she spoke and especially when she smiled, her short honey-blond hair, her round gray-blue eyes. Doesn’t she look just like Rachel did, they’d say, those people beyond the television screen. Bel thought she looked more like her dad, actually. Thanks, though.

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Why I love it

I’ve always been fascinated by unsolved mysteries—cases that have gone arctic cold. So when I picked up Holly Jackon’s latest book, The Reappearance of Rachel Price, a story about a missing mother who suddenly reemerges, I was instantly hooked.

Bel Price has only known one reality her whole life. A reality where her mother, Rachel, mysteriously vanished never to be seen again, leaving two-year-old Bel alone in the car. After sixteen years, on the cusp of adulthood, Bel has moved on. So when her family agrees to be part of a true crime documentary, she is prepared to handle the questions and attention that have always been associated with her mother’s disappearance. What she isn’t prepared for is her mother reappearing…with a story that seems too good to be true. While everyone else welcomes Rachel back with open arms, Bel notices holes in her mother’s story. Her suspicions will lead her on a search for the truth about what truly happened to Rachel Price all those years ago…

The Reappearance of Rachel Price is compulsively readable. Every time I would set the book down, I would find myself immediately wanting to return to Bel’s world to discover the secrets within its pages. If you’re looking for a story that will leave you guessing until the very end, The Reappearance of Rachel Price is the book for you.

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