Eighteen year old Jess Winters moves with her mother to the
small town of Sycamore, Arizona. Her parents' divorce caused
her mother to want a fresh start away from her ex-husband
and his new family. Jess is not exactly happy about this,
but she understands it. Jess is somewhat of a free spirit.
She loves to go out for walks at night so she can watch the
stars and just think about things. She is doing just that
when she vanishes, only this time it is during a terrible
rainstorm. The rain does not bother Jess, though. She
relishes the way the rain feels on her face. Trying to avoid
the flooded streets, she goes to the little diner in town
and spends some time there.
Jess is never seen again.
Now, almost twenty years later, remains are found that could
very well be those of Jess Winters. The investigation begins
once more. In the days that follow, the wait for the
identity of these remains to be positive, you will become
acquainted with some key people from the past as well as the
present. This allows readers to get a grip on all of the
events from past to present, which is quite enthralling when
you consider that this is a small town and you would not
expect so many secrets here.
SYCAMORE is a book filled with secrets and, of course, the
main mystery of what happened to Jess is the biggest secret
of all. Someone knows the events of that night and they are
still living in this small town. It is only through the
knowledge of this person that what happened to Jess will
ever be revealed.
I found SYCAMORE to be a compelling and captivating book.
This story takes you right into the lives of the people
residing in Sycamore. If you like to peek into the lives of
others, SYCAMORE is the perfect book for you. I honestly did
not have any idea what the ending would be and, I daresay,
that no one else will, either. This is, of course, one of
the best things about SYCAMORE. There are many characters to
get to know and you will want to know the story behind each
The answer to the questions, including the ones about the
identity of the remains as well as what happened to Jess
Winters on that long ago stormy night are all answered by
the end of the book and you will not be left hanging. While
the ending does provide a conclusion for everything, the
journey that Bryn Chancellor takes us on to the get there is
certainly one of the most mesmerizing of any book. All in
all, SYCAMORE is an amazing book. You will be hooked from
the first page, just as I was.
An award-winning writer makes her debut with this mesmerizing page-turner in the spirit of Everything I Never Told You and Olive Kitteridge. Out for a hike one scorching afternoon in Sycamore, Arizona, a newcomer to town stumbles across what appear to be human remains embedded in the wall of a dry desert ravine. As news of the discovery makes its way around town, Sycamore’s longtime residents fear the bones may belong to Jess Winters, the teenage girl who disappeared suddenly some eighteen years earlier, an unsolved mystery that has soaked into the porous rock of the town and haunted it ever since. In the days it takes the authorities to make an identification, the residents rekindle stories, rumors, and recollections both painful and poignant as they revisit Jess’s troubled history. In resurrecting the past, the people of Sycamore will find clarity, unexpected possibility, and a way forward for their lives. Skillfully interweaving multiple points of view, Bryn Chancellor knowingly maps the bloodlines of a community and the indelible characters at its heart—most notably Jess Winters, a thoughtful, promising adolescent poised on the threshold of adulthood. Evocative and atmospheric, Sycamore is a coming-of-age story, a mystery, and a moving exploration of the elemental forces that drive human nature—desire, loneliness, grief, love, forgiveness, and hope—as witnessed through the inhabitants of one small Arizona town.