Title: The Unquiet Past
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre & Age Group: Historical fiction, paranormal, mystery, young adult
You can only hide from the truth for so long.
Tess has always been tormented by waking visions that make her question her sanity. When the orphanage she lives in burns down, she decides to face her fears and find out once and for all what is wrong with her. She believes the truth must lie with her parents, and so, armed with only an address and phone number, Tess travels to a crumbling mansion in rural Quebec, where she discovers evidence of mistreatment of mental patients. She also makes an unlikely ally and gradually unearths her family’s sad history—and finally accepts the truth about her paranormal powers.
Source: Birthday present
How I Found Out About It: N/A
Yay! Finally a paranormal book I was able to get along with!
After receiving The Unquiet Past for my birthday back in June, I put off reading it- not because it made me feel intimidated, but because I just wasn’t in the mood. But then I finally was, and I’m very glad I picked it up, despite it not being my favourite book in its Secrets series.
The Secrets series is a set of 7 books all written by different Canadian YA authors which all centre around teenage girls finding themselves and their families after having their orphanage burn down, back in 1964. As they are all different voices, they do not need to be read in order– you can read them all, or you can just read one and none of the others. This series is as flexible as a rubber band, so with all the different writing styles, you are bound to find a book you like.
This book specifically is about Tess, who has visions of ghosts and many other such creatures. They distort her life, so she finally decides to find out what the problem is once her orphanage burns down. So, having been given some information that accompanied her when she was given up, Tess goes to Quebec and starts the search for her parents- and the truth.
I really liked the intuitive, determined character that Tess was. I thought that she was able to see the positive in everything, even if things were down in the dumps for her. Tess also showed a great passion for finding who she was and where she came from, and she never gave up after having trouble. Like many of the other protagonists in this series, I found myself able to relate to her extremely well.👌
Jackson, her ally whom she met when she arrived in Quebec, was quite cool and helpful in finding Tess what she wanted, even though he did seem a bit iffy and mysterious at times. If there was a scale, though, I think it would weigh more on the good side.
Like all the other Secrets books, the mystery was riveting and kept me on the edge of my seat, boasting a super fast, interesting plot. The mystery was wrapped up quite well in the end, and I wasn’t really left with any leftover questions about the story.
Overall, I really enjoyed many things about The Unquiet Past, and I definitely plan to pick up more from Kelley Armstrong. If you are one to enjoy historical fiction and are specifically looking for a book with paranormal elements, then this is the one to pick up to learn about Tess’s unquiet past!😉