Kit Lyman (2014)
Reviewed by Jennifer Hass for Reader Views (12/14)
Where do I start? “Satan’s Garden” by Kit Lyman is a story about ten year old twin sisters Dani and Keely. When one of the twins is taken from their secret tree house, the fairytale world they lived in together is completely shattered. Over the next six years the story unfolds, slipping back and forth between point of views on how the twins handle their separation and devastation.
Personally, I have always been fascinated with stories about twins. At first glance, I had thought that this story would be more of a twins-gone-evil together. I could not have been more wrong. I am not even sure how I came up with that idea. Must be the lasting effect of other stories I have read in the past.
Both girls are pretty normal kids with a pretty normal family; Dani being the seemingly stronger of the two, always encouraging Keely to speak up for herself. Keely is the one who feels that Dani is the superior twin with more guts and counts on her for all of their daring tricks. The bond between these two was easily understood and was magical.
This is a story of survival, a story that brought me to my knees with emotions; a story that I have to pass along to my friends. There were several occasions that my heart was in complete shambles and I even shed tears. I not only could relate to these girls because I am a girl, but because I am a mother as well. I could feel their souls being ripped apart and each chapter told each of their stories.
The twins spoke of what it was like to be without each other, the one held captive and her agony combined with her hope, and the other with taking on school without her sister. There was no obvious sexual abuse to the kidnapped children but more of a fade to black where the reader can imagine their own horror scenarios. I think this was a good idea on the author’s part. Some things are just too hard to actually read when it comes to children.
Lyman is a master storyteller. There isn’t anything that I would change about this novel. It was as if I was reading something that was more than fiction. The voice of the tween, then later teen girls was spot on - I could hear their immaturity in the beginning, and then hear them grow older over the years. “Satan’s Garden” was devastating, heartbreaking, blood boiling and full of suspense. My heart was racing the entire time. I could not put this book down.
I am so pleased that I was able to read and review this psychological thriller. I can say, hands down, that “Satan’s Garden” by Kit Lyman is one of the best books I have ever read. Brilliant! Five stars!