The Cresswell Plot by Eliza Wass
Publication Date: June 7th 2016
Rating: 4 Stars
“Castella Cresswell and her five siblings—Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem—know what it’s like to be different. For years, their world has been confined to their ramshackle family home deep in the woods of upstate New York. They abide by the strict rule of God, whose messages come directly from their father.
Slowly, Castley and her siblings start to test the boundaries of the laws that bind them. But, at school, they’re still the freaks they’ve always been to the outside world. Marked by their plain clothing. Unexplained bruising. Utter isolation from their classmates. That is, until Castley is forced to partner with the totally irritating, totally normal George Gray, who offers her a glimpse of a life filled with freedom and choice.
Castley’s world rapidly expands beyond the woods she knows so well and the beliefs she once thought were the only truths. There is a future waiting for her if she can escape her father’s grasp, but Castley refuses to leave her siblings behind. Just as she begins to form a plan, her father makes a chilling announcement: the Cresswells will soon return to their home in heaven. With time running out on all of their lives, Castley must expose the depth of her father’s lies. The forest has buried the truth in darkness for far too long. Castley might be their last hope for salvation.”
We follow a family who is more of a cult than an actual family. Gosh, the atmosphere was so intriguing and I credit Eliza Wass for making me feel like I was in the woods with the kids. The writing, first and foremost, is absolutely gorgeous, almost poetic. The book was dark, creepy and gripping. It is fairly short book with 272 pages read most of it in a day. There is an overall ominous feeling to the narrative, Castella is difficult character to relate to, due to the religious component. She can be really casual when talking about horrific events like it’s normal and everyone must have experienced it at some point.
Father is a really interesting character; he’s extremely emotionally manipulative but you’re never sure if it’s intentional or if it’s just acting on blind faith. He has so much belief in what he’s saying that he doesn’t see that its abusive.The Mother is bed bound and has little to no interaction with the children. She stands by her husband’s beliefs.
The only thing I’m knocking 1 star off for is the end. There were so many things that were left unexplained. We’re given a little glimpse into the history of Castella’s mother and father, and told that her father was once the most popular guy in his class. Yet, there’s nothing to explain why he and Castella’s mother embraced such an ideology, why they became so obsessive. I wanted more Of Caspar and the girls, we saw so little of the sisters.
Honestly, the controlling and abusive aspects made this book hard to read and yet I also couldn’t pull myself away. The poor children, it’s hard to believe that no one in the town stood up for them or called child services.
Eliza Wass’ writing was fantastic in this. Lots of plot twists and moments that caught me off-guard,the plot is action-packed and full of mystery. I certainly wouldn’t mind reading more from Eliza Wass in the future.