Jan 6, 2022

Review--Where Echoes Lie by Shannon Schuren


In this eerie thriller of a ghost story, a teenage girl must solve the mystery of the ghost bride that has haunted her community in rural Kentucky for more than a century.

Rena Faye believes in things she can see and touch, or at least capture through the lens of her camera. Things like the moonbow--a gray-and-white colorless bow that arcs out of Cumberland Falls every month when the moon is full. This natural phenomenon is what keeps her family's motel business afloat, and what puts their tiny Kentucky town on the map. That, and the legend of the ghost bride.

Along with everyone else who has grown up near the falls, Rena knows the tragic tale of the bride who walks the cliff on moonlit nights. But when her grandma tells her that the legend is real, and worse, that the ghost bride has cursed the women of their family, she dismisses it as just another of her mawmaw's famous stories. But when Rena Faye's life begins to fall apart, she must delve deeper into the stories surrounding the legend, and reexamine who she can trust, as well as the truth about her town and family history. before the curse takes everything--and everyone--she holds dear.

An eerie thriller of a ghost story filled with twists and turns until the final page.


What better way to start a new year with a thriller?! When I saw Shannon Schuren’s cover for Where Echoes Lie I was immediately intrigued! I love a good ghost story! While there was a ghost and a story about said ghost, this wasn’t as spooky as I had hoped but still good.

Rena Faye’s family runs a motel that is famous for its location to see the famous moonbow in Kentucky. There’s also history of haunting sin the woods nearby so they do rather well even with their competitor just up the hill who’s all “bigger and better.” Rena Faye has dreams of studying photography when she goes off to college in a year. She had a big road-trip planned with her grandmother to build her portfolio for a special program, but her family has other ideas for her.

This right off the bat annoyed me. I mean I get your parents wanting what’s best for you, but her parents were straight out of some early days of history where they tell her no. Her dreams of photography are meaningless. She should stay home and work in their family motel. They promote her older, lazy brother to manager and just tell her to do what he tells her. 

If that wasn’t enough, her long-time boyfriend says he has the perfect plans for their summer. She can come and work on his family’s horse farm with him. Ignoring the fact that she’s allergic to horses. Finally, Rena Faye has had enough of people making decisions for her. She quits her family’s motel and goes to work for her competitor nearby!

The more intriguing part of the story comes from the local legend of the ghost bride. Everyone has their version of her story and why she haunts the woods. Rena Faye doesn’t believe in ghosts, but then she runs into the ghost bride in the woods and everything changes. 

To add to the tension we insert yet another character, Arden, the son of the hotel’s owner where Rena Faye now works, the enemy you could say. There’s definitely a romantic tension between these two because despite Rena Faye’s issues with her boyfriend, she’s still technically with him when she has these interactions with Arden. 

What I did find entertaining about this book were the interludes of ghost stories. Every once in awhile someone’s version of the ghost bride tale would be told. It made for entertaining developments. 

Rena Faye then becomes determined to find the history of this ghost bride, the true story versus all the versions of her story that everyone talks about. This part of the story didn’t really take root until the near end. I mean there were some wondering and trying to figure things out earlier on, but the real digging doesn’t come until much later. 

I’ll admit I was slightly disappointed with this part of the story. It just wasn’t what I thought it would be. I guess I was hoping for something with a little more depth. I felt like things wrapped up too easily, too neatly. 

In the end, Where Echoes Lie was an eerie tale with a bit of mystery but at its heart felt like more of a family story and about forgiveness. It still had a few creepy moments but I guess I just wanted to be a little more scared than what I was. 

Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars



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