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May 2, 2024

The Alone Time by Elle Marr ~ a Review

by MK French

Occasionally more than one reviewer here reviews the same book. That is one of those times. If you missed Susan's review of The Alone Time yesterday, you might want to check it out for a different perspective.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of psychological thriller The Alone Time by Elle Marr
May 2024; Thomas & Mercer; 978-1662513817
audio, ebook, print (319 pages); psychological thriller

Fiona and Violet Seng were the only survivors when their family’s Cessna crashed in the Washington wilderness. They were on their own for twelve weeks before they were found. Twenty-five years later, they’re still processing the trauma. Fiona used it in her art as Violet battled addiction and failed relationships. They never spoke about the Alone Time in the wild, but now a documentary is being made. This renews public fascination with them and their version of the events. Details about the family are revealed, and a strange woman claims the crash was deliberate. Fiona and Violet must face the truth of their time in the woods, their parents, and themselves.

The story is told from different points of view, primarily from Fiona and Violet. Fiona is the oldest, a teenager when the plane went down, and always said she'd protect Violet, who was seven at the time. There was always attention on the sisters due to the sensational nature of their survival, which was largely repressed. Daley is the most persistent of the documentary makers, and Violet thought getting their own version of the story would help to stop the growing talk about her family, specifically her father. As the book continues, we see flashes of the accident and the immediate aftermath of the crash. We start getting a picture of life in the Seng family before the crash, and why there were so many secrets in the woods. 

The twists along the way were completely compelling. The story we thought we had figured out changed as new details emerged. The parents were broken, fractured people trying desperately to save their marriage in the face of their untreated issues. The children aren't aware of the extent of it, but the reader is. The final pages are especially twisted and really bring home how trauma can affect and change people. 

Buy The Alone Time at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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