Evie is a loner, emotionally distant, without friends. She invents realities more colorful than her true life. She imagines scenarios involving Jonah Luks, the handsome drop out and dead animal remover for whom she harbors a secret crush. One Sunday morning she stops to chat with Jonah while on her paper route. Used to the sight of dead animals, he is startled by the discovery of the body of a girl. Evie recognizes her as Zabet McCabe. They were friends years ago in Elementary School. Evie immediately fixates on the murder of her past friend.
While attending Zabet’s funeral Evie encounters her grieving father. Mr. McCabe, eager to find a connection to his murdered daughter, latches on to Evie and urges her to tell him about his daughter. Evie, adept at stretching the truth, weaves a story that will comfort Zabet’s father. Zabet’s real best friend, Hadley continues the charade. The two girls vow to discover the killer of their friend. Hadley becomes obsessed with unearthing the truth. Evie’s life is spinning out of control. She wants to find Zabet’s murderer as much as anyone, but at what cost?
Kate Williams’ debut novel is a hauntingly beautiful story. The cover itself is stunning. What lies beyond is a lyrical masterpiece. I am a big mystery lover, but this one goes beyond the simple whodunit. The focus of this novel is not the murdered girl or the identity of the killer. It is how those left behind are changed by the events. I can’t accurately do justice to the depth of this book. The Space Between Trees is one of my favorite books.