By: Rhiannon Wilde
Genre: YFN - Family & home stories
Published by: University of Queensland Press
Published: 30 Aug 2022
ISBN: 9780702265600


An evocative YA mash-up that's like Wuthering Heights meets Sherlock Holmes, with Taylor Swift's evermore as the soundtrack. Think Kristen Stewart playing Heathcliff, and Holmes and Watson as teenagers with social anxiety - all set on the beach.

Cinnamon Prince is angry. She's living at home with her rockstar father after his latest breakdown, and she's stuck in a town where people have whispered that the Princes aren't quite right ever since the mysterious disappearance of her Great Aunt Sadie. Not that Cinnamon cares about anyone else's opinion. Except, she might be really starting to care what her gorgeous co-worker Daisy Leung thinks.

Scarlett Prince is anxious. Most of the time, and also about spending the summer with her sister and barely there dad. She's holding it together. Just. But when sister's ex-boyfriend-now-best-friend Will starts helping her search for the truth about Sadie, things get all-the-ways complicated.

Can solving the mystery fix their broken family? A story about healing, home and how to pick up the pieces when you feel left behind.

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The “Mad Princes” – that’s what their family is known as, in their small seaside town. And maybe it’s true - after all, their Great Aunt Sadie is rumoured to have murdered someone and then vanished. Their Dad is a 90’s rockstar who should be off touring, but instead can barely get out of bed following a breakdown.

Cinnamon Prince has been left behind. Stuck with her Dad following his breakdown, in their creepy ancestral home - that comes complete with its own backyard graveyard. After deferring uni, Cinnamon is drifting. Stuck spending her days working at the local pub, hanging out with her ex-boyfriend, Will, and internally raging. At her sister. At her family. At everything. Well, at everything except her gorgeous new colleague, Daisy Leung, who makes her feel something entirely different…

Scarlett Prince is back home, and anxious. Returning to an angry Cinnamon, and a Dad who is not functioning, Scarlett is just trying to stay out of the way and not be crushed by the weight of her own anxiety.

When a storm breaks open Great Aunt Sadie’s grave and Scarlett finds it empty she knows that this is a mystery that must be solved. With help from her sister’s history-buff ex-boyfriend, Will, Scarlett sets about solving the mystery. But there’s something about Will that Scarlett finds irresistible. Having feelings for your sister’s-ex-boyfriend is a bad idea at the best of times and it’s an even worse idea when your sister is already furious with you all the time.

But solving this mystery will need both Cinnamon and Scarlett, and it just might change the course of their family history, and all of their lives, forever…

Where You Left Us is an enthralling mystery story about growing up, family secrets and forgiveness. The mystery at the heart of the book will keep you turning the pages, but the complex characters will stay with you long after you put the book down. Tackling themes of mental health, including anxiety, depression and OCD, as well as friendship, first love, and the complicated ups and downs of family relationships, this is a fabulous coming of age story. It will best suit readers aged 15 and above.

Reviewed by Kate