Summary: In 1925, Alice Lind steps off a train in the rain-soaked coastal hamlet of Gordon Bay, Oregon. There, she expects to do nothing more difficult than administer IQ tests to a group of rural schoolchildren. A trained psychologist, Alice believes mysteries of the mind can be unlocked scientifically, but now her views are about to be challenged by one curious child.Publication date: 04/10/16
Seven-year-old Janie O’Daire is a mathematical genius, which is surprising. But what is disturbing are the stories she tells: that her name was once Violet, she grew up in Kansas decades earlier, and she drowned at age nineteen. Alice delves into these stories, at first believing they’re no more than the product of the girl’s vast imagination. But, slowly, Alice comes to the realization that Janie might indeed be telling a strange truth.
Alice knows the investigation may endanger her already shaky professional reputation, and as a woman in a field dominated by men she has no room for mistakes. But she is unprepared for the ways it will illuminate terrifying mysteries within her own past, and in the process, irrevocably change her life.
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Yesternight is the fourth book I've read by Cat Winters, and I have to say that it's quite a bit different from her previous titles. The story follows Alice Lind, a trained psychologist, as she arrives at Golden Bay to administer IQ tests to the local school children. Alice believes there's a psychological explanation for most things, but when she meets Janie, a little girl who claims she once lived as Violet Day -a girl who drowned at the age of 19- her world is turned upside down...
Alice is in some way like Winters' other female leads: ahead of her time, intelligent, head strong. She is a woman in a career dominated by men. She desperately wishes to go uni, but has been rejected because of her gender so instead is forced to go from school to school administrating IQ tests. In other ways she is not like Winters' other female leads, but I can't go into detail as to why because spoilers.
Another similarity between this book and her others: it's really atmospheric. Winters does a fantastic job of bringing the story to life with her vivid descriptions. There's a creepy undercurrent throughout the book and as the investigation into Janie's 'past lfe' as Violet Day unfurls Alice even begins to question her own troubled past. Eventually as things started to come to light I still wasn't sure where the story was going, and I kind of liked that, it was refreshing.
The ending was unexpected and left me chilled. If I’m honest it took me a little while to process how I felt about Yesternight when I finished it. In the end, though, I decided I liked it. It's a unique read and although not my favourite book by Winters I still found it to be thoroughly engaging.