Pamela Crane | A Slow Ruin

The Book: 

A Slow Ruin by Pamela Crane
Published  November 30th 2021 by Bloodhound Books
Date read: February 2, 2022

The Characters: 


Buy it on | Amazon

The Plot (from Goodreads):

April 1910. Women’s rights activist Alvera Fields mysteriously vanishes from her home one night, leaving her newborn baby and husband behind, the case never solved.

April 2021. On the anniversary of her great-great-grandmother’s disappearance, Alvera’s namesake Vera Portman vanishes in an eerily similar manner.

Six months later, the police recover a girl’s body. While the family waits in the horror of finding out if it’s Vera, Felicity Portman clings to hope that her missing teenage daughter is still alive. Despite all odds, Felicity senses a link between the decades-apart cases—a mother feels such things in her bones. But all suspicion points to the last person who saw Vera alive: Felicity’s sister-in-law, Marin.

Marin, with her troubled past.

Marin, the poor woman who married into the rich family.

Marin, the only one who knows Felicity’s darkest secret.

As Felicity makes a shocking discovery in Vera’s journal, she questions who her daughter really is. The deeper she digs, the more she’s ensnared in the same mysteries that claimed their ancestor in a terribly slow ruin.

Click here for book spoilers for A Slow Ruin
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read A Slow Ruin, I suggest you turn back now.

The Twist:

Felicity and Oliver had found Vera on the side of the road as a baby. Instead of turning her in, they kept her as their own. Vera found out and ran away in anger, but just went to go find her real father.

Her real father was Marin’s stepdad. Marin met Cody while trying to get close to Vera.

The Ending:

Marin died, somewhat randomly, killed by accident by her mother when she came back to apologize for leaving them. Marin’s stepfather had told Marin that her mother was dead because it was easier than explaining that she chose drugs over her children.

Vera was totally fine, and was spending time with her real father before he died of cancer. He died at the end of the book as well, after reconnecting with Vera.

The Review: 

A Slow Ruin lived up to its name in that it is an engaging slow-burn mystery about uncovering family secrets. The 1910 timeline in A Slow Ruin is loosely based on events in the author’s own family history, which made those chapters even more interesting to me. I would have liked more of Alvera’s story and timeline, since her story seemed so unique and interesting. The jacket blurb really has very little to do with the actual plot.

Most of my strong thoughts about this story can’t be said without spoilers, so if you’ve read it, head over to my blog for a spoiler discussion:

I found it hard to like many of the characters. 

Overall, the storyline was interesting and I wasn’t expecting the big twist. In practice, though, many parts were somewhat convoluted. It seemed like the author was leading the reader through a maze in order to surprise them with the ending.

Audio Review: The audiobook was narrated by Angie Kane, Caitlin Cavannaugh, Lesa Lockford, and Carolina Hoyos. I’m not sure which was which, but I didn’t like the narrator that did some of Marin’s parts. Her voice was unnecessarily whiny, and she kept alternating how she pronounced “Marin”. MARE-in vs. muh-RIN. I noticed the discrepancy in pronunciation a few times and at first thought that it was different voice actors saying it differently, but then someone changed the pronunciation within two adjacent sentences. That would have been such an easy thing to clarify/edit that really stood out to me.

Other than that, the audio was enjoyable. I think I would have preferred a physical copy to be able to flip back and remind myself what was going on (especially in the prologue), but I was happy with the production in general.

Spoiler Review
The plot totally separated from what the blurb makes it out to be. Vera’s disappearance had nothing to do with Alvera’s, so the two timelines are really two entirely separate stories. Maybe this was done to lead us away from guessing the twist, but it could have been smoother with Alvera’s timeline tying in somehow without being the main reason for Vera’s disappearance.

I also didn’t like that Vera was just totally fine, and knowingly let her parents and police waste resources on her thinking she was dead. I understand wanting to cut ties with your parents for lying to you, but when you hear on the news that the police are searching for you, the least you could do is send a text saying “I’m okay, please don’t contact me”.

Follow me on Bloglovin’!

We're trying to grow our mailing list. If you join us and stick around, you will automatically be entered into two giveaways as a token of our thanks. And that's just the start!

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *