published by: Harper
publish date: January 7, 2014
In the winter of 1897, a trio of killers descends upon an isolated farm in upstate New York. Midwife Elspeth Howell returns home to the carnage: her husband, and four of her children, murdered. Before she can discover her remaining son Caleb, alive and hiding in the kitchen pantry, another shot rings out over the snow-covered valley. Twelve-year-old Caleb must tend to his mother until she recovers enough for them to take to the frozen wilderness in search of the men responsible.
This was one of the most surprising books I've read so far this year. I can't believe this isn't the book that everyone is talking about. It's easily my favorite this year. It has everything in it: murder, kidnapping, revenge, cross-dressing. It was a crazy amazing book.
Elspeth Howell is a midwife. She leaves her family for many months at a time for work. As she is returning from one of these trips she finds her entire family, except for one son, slaughtered. As she is searching for him she, too, is shot. Her 12 year old son Caleb comes out of his hiding spot in the pantry to care for her. Once she is well, the 2 of them set out to find the murderers. Caleb, does a lot of growing up in a short period of time, and comes to some harsh realizations about who his mother really is.
I definitely recommend this book to fans of historical fiction. Any mystery fan would really like this book though, it was very well written. The Kept was an impressive debut.