Carolyn (Book Chick City)'s Reviews > Legacy of Lies and Don't Tell

Legacy of Lies and Don't Tell by Elizabeth Chandler
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Reviewed by Andrea for Book Chick City. 7/10 on the blog

This novel actually combines two separate novels set in the same small town, Wisteria. They aren’t interlinked and can be read separately, though they do compliment each other, and if you like the one, I can almost guarantee you’ll like the other.

So not to confuse things I’ll review each book separately and then do a combined verdict.

The first story is called “Legacy of Lies” and is about a teenaged girl meeting her grandmother for the first time. Her mother and grandmother are estranged because Megan’s mother met and fell in love with a man of a different race. Megan is their adopted daughter and has never had any contact with her grandmother until she is practically ordered to go and stay for a two week holiday. Her cousin Matt is also staying there, and between the two of them Megan does not get a warm reception.

I really loved the character of Megan, she’s strong willed and quick witted. She had me cheering her on with some of the replies she sent to both her grandmother and cousin when they put her down or blamed her for something.

This story has a kind of dream like quality to it. I want to say it has the innocence of teen books I used to read when I was actually a teen. There is romance, a little bit of paranormal, and even with the issue of murder it was a gentle story. I came away feeling light, happy and…young.

Maybe it’s Chandler’s style of writing, I found it very timeless and that in itself has an innocence to it.

The reincarnation element is subtly woven into the story and quietly builds in pace until there is climatic ending. The story cleverly leads you one way when you should go another, and Megan really is the kind of character any girl would like to be like.

The ending gave enough to leave me satisfied, but also made me yearn to know more. I wanted to know what happened after the event, and when I want to know things like that, I know I’ve enjoyed the novel.

“Don’t Tell” tells the story of another teenaged girl called Lauren who returns to Wisteria after her mother’s death there seven years earlier. Lauren returns to stay with her godmother and her daughters, hoping to finally get over her mother’s death, but strange things keep happening. Things turn up with knots in them, just like they did when her mother was alive, and her godmother’s youngest daughter Nora has some serious psychological problems that everyone are trying to brush off.

“Don’t Tell” has that gothic feel to it, the suspense, the paranormal activity and unexplained happenings and mystery.

I didn’t connect with Lauren quite as much as I did with Megan, but that might be because I liked Megan so much. Lauren didn’t seem to have so much backbone, and wasn’t as witty. Though saying that, it leads into the story very well and adds to the believability of the events.

I guessed the nature of Lauren’s and her god mother’s relationship almost straight away, but that is the only part of the story I managed to figure out. It’s obvious someone has it in for Lauren, and each person in her life seems to have a motive.

Her god mother and her daughters Nora and Holly, their childhood friend Nick, and even Nick’s uncle. Nick is a self confessed flirt, and is taking Holly to the prom, Lauren feels a connection to him, but is confused by his actions--as was I! I found myself disliking him on her behalf. I wanted to protect her and help her find out what was happening and what happened to her mother all those years before.

It was really easy to get sucked into Wisteria and “Don’t Tell” in particular gave me that spine-chilling spooky feeling I usually reserve for the classics. Again, it had the feeling of innocence and timelessness, only with a touch more darkness than in “Legacy of Lies”.

The ending wasn’t quite so satisfying. Though the main plotline is revealed, I felt that there was still more that needed to be told. Whereas I was satisfied with the ending in Megan’s story, I felt Lauren’s needed a more solid end; a bit more how all the characters coped after the big revelation.

VERDICT:

I really got sucked into the town of Wisteria, Chandler’s writing style made for easy reading, and built up a good solid picture. I preferred the character of Megan in “Legacy of Lies” to that of Lauren in “Don’t tell”, but liked the plot more in “Don’t Tell” than in “Legacy of Lies”. It’s all swing and roundabouts I suppose! They were both fun, easy reads with the innocence of years gone by merged with modern characters that are easy to relate to.
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