Cedar Valley by Holly Throsby. (2018).
**5 out of 5 stars**
On December 1st 1993, two strangers arrive in Cedar Valley. One is a calm looking man who sits down on the footpath silently for hours. The other is 21 year old Benny who has made contact with her recently decreased mother’s friend Odette to learn more about her mum. Is there any connection between the man and Benny’s search for information on her mum?
I loved this book. It’s set in a small town, and it’s written how I imagine living in a small town would be like (sorry to any small town people who find it stereotypical haha). There are two main storylines involved. One is around Benny, a young woman who has moved to this town to find information on her recently deceased mother; I really felt for Benny on her journey as she discovers things about her mother who she barely knew, while building connections with people who knew her mum years ago. The second storyline is around an unknown man who arrived on the same day as Benny, sat down on the footpath and died – very similar to the real life case of the Somerton Man/Tamam Shud case (seriously fascinating if you are into true crime mysteries!) which is referenced throughout this book. I smashed this book in one day because I found it so interesting. The characters all seemed realistic and believable, and the way the storylines intertwine is very clever. Would be happy to recommend this excellent book.