True crime writer Wylie Lark doesn’t mind being snowed in at the isolated farmhouse where she’s retreated to write her new book. A cozy fire, complete silence. It would be perfect, if not for the fact that decades earlier, at this very house, two people were murdered in cold blood and a girl disappeared without a trace.
As the storm worsens, Wylie finds herself trapped inside the house, haunted by the secrets contained within its walls—haunted by secrets of her own. Then she discovers a small child in the snow just outside. After bringing the child inside for warmth and safety, she begins to search for answers. But soon it becomes clear that the farmhouse isn’t as isolated as she thought, and someone is willing to do anything to find them.
Podcast Episode Transcript
Amanda: Hey, thanks for having me.
Tamara: Absolutely. I'm so glad you're here today. Why don't you tell us a bit about yourself and your podcast?
Amanda: Well, I am um, one of the hosts of Fictional Hangover podcast. We are a podcast full of um spoilers. We talk about a different Ya or NA new adult book every single week. Full of spoilers, super detailed in depth summary and then lots of ridiculous discussion. Afterwards, we play a five question game of would you rather? With every episode. And our main goal is to be as ridiculous and terrible as possible.
Tamara: Oh, my gosh. That's a fun goal.
Amanda: I like it. It's a good goal.
Tamara: I love it. Because we, too, get very spoilery here. We jump right on it. We do not care. We warn you. You know what you're in for.
Amanda: Yes. Okay.
Tamara: We're chill over here. We just have a good time. And cursing is allowed, in case you didn't.
Amanda: Excellent. Thank God, because I am made of cuss words.
Tamara: Yeah, we're adults. I mean, most of the listeners are adults. We're adults over here. So it's all good.
Amanda: Thank goodness. I'm really glad you said that.
Tamara: Absolutely. So go ahead and share with us where we can find you online.
Amanda: You can find email@example.com. You can find us on all social media at fictional hangover. Except for Twitter, because it's too long for Twitter, so we're at fictionalhangov. No er on Twitter.
Tamara: All right, so you guys are also links in the show notes if you'd like to connect with Amanda with fictional hangover podcast. Okay, so we're going to get going. Today we are talking about the book the Overnight Guest, written by Heather Gutenkoff. It is narrated by Brittany Presley. It was published January 23, 2022 by Park Row and Harley Quinn. Audio. It comes in at 352 pages in hardcover, and the unabriced audio comes in at 9 hours and 29 minutes. Amanda, would you please share with us the synopsis?
Amanda: I would love to. She thought she was alone. True crime writer Wiley Lark doesn't mind being snowed in at the isolated farmhouse where she's retreated to write her new book. A cozy fire, complete silence. It would be perfect if not for the fact that decades earlier, at this very house, two people were murdered in cold blood and a girl disappeared without a trace. As the storm worsens, Wiley finds herself trapped inside the house, haunted by the secrets contained within its walls, haunted by secrets of her own. Then she discovers a small child in the snow just outside. After bringing the child inside for warmth and safety, she begins to search for answers. But soon it becomes clear that the farmhouse isn't as isolated as she thought. And someone is willing to do anything to find them.
Tamara: Exactly. Okay, so I always start with high level when you finish the book or audio book. I listened to the audiobook. You too? When you heard that last part and you saw the finished button, uh, what did you think? Immediately, I was honestly surprised that I.
Amanda: Liked it so much because, look, I'm obsessed with Ya books. Ya is my go to. And this one, I'm not going to lie. I listened to it because you asked me to, and I loved it. I loved it so much. There's one thing that I didn't like, though, but I don't know if you want to get to that right now or you want to save it? Because there's one thing that really bothered me.
Tamara: Okay, let me tell what I thought and then we can jump to what your problem was with it. I do read a lot of this. You guys know, I read this type of stuff once a month, sometimes more, that I don't talk about on the podcast. But when I saw this cover art, I kind of make some judgments about it based on how it looks. And I know that's not right.
Amanda: Are you judging books by the cover?
Tamara: I am. I do it sometimes. I know I try not to, but sometimes I look at something, I'm like, this shit going to be boring. It was going to be boring. I'm like, Oh, my God, was this a good pick? I started regretting it and then it was too late to change it. So when I finished, I was like, wow. I actually liked it. Once, uh, I got into it, I was able to let that go. But I really judged it before I started.
Amanda: To be fair, the cover is not very good. No. At all.
Tamara: No, it's very dull. What's happening?
Amanda: It kind of looks a little Christmasy, too, with the snow, like holiday.
Amanda: Yes. Mhm.
Tamara: Because it's like a house with, like I guess I would say someone's high beams are on looking at the house or something. And of course, the house looks kind of creepy, but maybe it's just because it's dark and it's snow and that's it.
Amanda: Yep. It could have been better.
Tamara: It could have been more grabby, I feel.
Amanda: Um, like a derelict old barn, maybe would have been good cornfield. You know, maybe that would have been I don't know. But yeah. I did not love the cover of this book.
Tamara: No. Or even, like, showing the house a house close up. But you can see the basement maybe. I don't know.
Amanda: Something hand on the glass.
Tamara: I don't know. But if I was walking through the bookstore and I saw this on a shelf or on a table, I would pick it up, look on the back and put it back. I would not walk away with it based on that.
Amanda: Yeah, I probably wouldn't have picked this one up on my own if you hadn't said, hey, Amanda, read this book.
Tamara: I'm glad I did, though, because it worked out right. Not a fail.
Amanda: So it was a pleasant surprise because.
Tamara: I always hate picking a book. And then, God forbid, it's the first time I tell someone about a book and it sucks. That's like my worst nightmare.
Amanda: I, um, told one of my coworkers that I was reading this and she's like, oh, my God, I just finished it. You have to tell me what you think. And I'm glad that I liked it because that's a real awkward conversation to have.
Tamara: It work.
Amanda: Especially when you are a librarian.
Tamara: Yeah. Like, you know that book that you loved I didn't like it. Yeah, okay, well, hit me with it. What was it you did not like?
Amanda: Okay, so, you know, at the very end, before they have their book talk in the library, like, super huge action scene at the very end. Right. And they're crashing through the barn, and they're murdering people, and they lock the guy in, like, the tool shed, jackson, whatever his name is.
Tamara: Thank you.
Amanda: Yeah. Uh, so she thinks that he's the murderer, and she locks him in the tool shed. And she's like, she thinks, one time, I hope it's not freezing to death in there. And then after all of the action, after we crashed through the barn wall and run over the actual bad guy and he gets his brains blown out, they're like, So what happened to the guy who was in the toolshed? She's like, Oh, I let him out. He's fine. What happened to him? I would be fucking pissed if I was locked in a tool shed.
Tamara: Yeah, I did wonder. He just walked away.
Amanda: Yeah. What the hell happened with that guy? He's fine. I opened the door and he walked out. So I guess he's alive. I don't know.
Tamara: I mean, that was very easy, being that after you locked him in, he was banging on the door. Oh, my gosh. Yeah, that was odd. That's it.
Amanda: Give him, like, another paragraph and it would have been fine.
Amanda: I apologize to him, gave him some hot cocoa and send him on his way. I don't know, something we needed a little bit more.
Tamara: Yeah. Like, I apologized and I asked him to go get help or something. Yeah.
Amanda: But no. What happened to the guy in the tool shed?
Tamara: I let him out and he just walks away. I get it. Yeah.
Amanda: But, you know, 300 however many pages, you said 9 hours, and that's all I didn't really care for. That's pretty good.
Tamara: Yeah, that's pretty good. Because it's funny, when you said that, I thought about that exact thing when it came up, but then I kind of let it go. But I did think about that. Like, what?
Amanda: Poor guy. He's been wrongly accused his whole life, and now he's coming to help you and he gets nothing.
Tamara: And I'm like, Why do you think he did it? First off, okay, you guys, so this whole time, she thought that this one man, Jackson Henley, killed her family and killed her best friend. But in the book, it was explained to us that he didn't go to jail. There was no proof, nothing. But yet you insist that he did it. That makes no sense.
Amanda: And then you lock him in a tool shed.
Tamara: I know. Poor guy. I do. Forgot for him.
Tamara: And he came to help her. He's just coming to help.
Amanda: Yeah. And, oh, it also bothered me, right after she locks him in the tool shed, and she tells Becky, like, oh, it's fine. Don't, uh, worry. I walked into the toolship, and she's like, no, that's not him. And she's like, yes, it is.
Tamara: How are you going to tell her who has held her captive for 20 years? Like, who are you? And I was thinking in that moment, she's telling you that's not him. Why are you insisting?
Amanda: Right? And then she even looks to tiny Josie, and she's like, is that your dad? She's like, no, that's not him. That's not my dad. My dad's right over there. He's trying to get in. She's like, oh, shit.
Tamara: She's like, Randy Cutter.
Tamara: Oh, that was, uh, ridiculous. That part did annoy me as well. I'm like, why would you tell someone has been taken by someone, and she looks them in the face every freaking day for 22 years? Why would she not know who her kidnapper is?
Amanda: You're wrong. I am the author of this book, and my parents were shot, and my brother was killed. I know.
Tamara: I know.
Amanda: I know who the bad guy is.
Tamara: She didn't want to mess with her formula. She had it down. She knew the story. She didn't want to change it. That's what it is.
Tamara: Which, by the way, I have to say, this was a different type of story. The way it was written. I figured out about maybe 35% in or ish. I'm like, oh, she's writing her own story.
Amanda: Yeah, I figured that out too. But I really liked that it had three storylines, kind of. And then they all converged. And you're like, oh, this is all the same. Everything that is happening in these three stories is the same thing that happened.
Tamara: Yeah, because at first, I couldn't figure out, why do I want to even care about Riley's little story? I'm like, it was so minute and boring. The first part, I'm like, what's happening with her? Why do I care about this? It took a while for me. It actually took the convergence of the little boy, quote unquote, for things to start caring for me to start caring, um, about Wiley anyway, because I'm like, I don't know what's wrong with this chick. I don't care at all about her. But then she became interesting after you.
Amanda: Found out that she's not actually Wiling. She's Josie.
Tamara: But you know what, though? Even before that, though, I felt like you know how when she went out there so the little boy, quote unquote, who is actually a girl, she came looking for help, and she was down in the snow getting frostbite. And she saves her. And then the whole time, she goes back and she finds the woman. And then the woman's gone. I'm like, oh, my God. That's the woman from the basement. But then I was confused because she kept saying little boy. I'm like, no, she had a girl. And I'm like, no, something is not clicking. I'm like, it, um, feels like it's her. Yeah, but she keeps saying little boy. And then all of a sudden we get the story about, oh, well, actually, I am a girl. Don't call me a boy. I'm a girl.
Amanda: Oh, I love that though, because that's like her first line. She's like, I'm not a boy. I'm a girl. Yeah, and then you have the head shaving scene.
Tamara: Oh, God. Poor child. Yeah, and the poor mother. So Becky would not even really tell her what they were doing. She was like, keeping it very basic.
Amanda: Just, do you trust me?
Tamara: I'm like, give her a reason why you're going to shave all her hair off.
Amanda: Like, yeah. Like, hey, we're getting ready to run for it.
Tamara: Yeah. Like, you know how you got that taste of outside the other week? We're going to go outside, we're going.
Amanda: To do it, we're going to hire.
Tamara: Right? And I think she would have been accepting. I think that was just really mean how she did it.
Amanda: Yes, I thought the same thing. But, you know, like, tiny Josie, I think she's clearly the hero of this story. She was the best character, I think.
Tamara: Yeah, she's a badass. And I'm like so the entire time you guys have you ever read the book Room by Emma Donahue?
Tamara: Do I need to get Room vibes? I think Room was more traumatizing than this one. But it was a similar situation where someone was kidnapped as a young teen and she was held, and she ended up having a baby in captivity. And then they got out of a room, which is really a shed in the guy's backyard, but the kid was calling it the Room.
Tamara: And so the kid was the hero in that book too. The child escaped. The child hid in the back of a truck. The child got help, and then he couldn't figure out where he was. But then somehow he got back to the mother and they escaped the room. But that kind of had these vibes for me the whole time. Every time the father would come and bring them shitty food because she didn't say thank you. Knock it on the floor, throw it in the trash. I'm like, oh my God.
Amanda: Yeah, just let her eat her KFC. Yeah, that was totally KFC. Like.
Tamara: My God. And then he would get upset about her getting pregnant and asked how it happened. And she's like, well, how the fuck do you think it happened?
Amanda: Do you think those milkshakes he was bringing her are like, trying to make her abort the babies?
Tamara: I think so, because why else would eat? I mean, unless they were protein shakes. But I don't think they were protein shakes.
Amanda: And little Josie tried one and then immediately barked everywhere.
Tamara: Yeah. So it was definitely something in there.
Tamara: I'm sure he didn't want another kid to have to take care of.
Amanda: Oh, no, definitely not. Why do you think you wanted Josie to begin with? Because he was like, it was supposed to be you at the end when she runs him over.
Tamara: Yeah. I don't know. And that's another thing that's missing. Like, what was his motive? Like, why her? I never got the why her? But I knew it was her because he killed her whole dango family.
Tamara: So he was coming specifically for her.
Amanda: But why?
Tamara: I don't know. Okay, so first off, I might have missed it. Let me just go back because maybe this is the why and I missed it. Randy Cutter, is he Ethan Cutter's brother or father?
Amanda: Father, I think.
Tamara: Okay. Because I'm like, what's the relation? And I'm like, Is it his father? I'm like, Oh, that's really gross. So he's a pedophile then?
Amanda: Yeah, he's a monster.
Tamara: Oh, God. But that doesn't answer the question. So why did he want her?
Amanda: I don't know. Especially because I mean, not to think like a pedophile. I can't believe I'm saying what I'm saying right now, but Becky, um, was described as like they're like 13 or whatever, and she's a little curvier. She looks a little more grown up than Josie. I don't want to think like a pedophile, though.
Tamara: But when does she have interaction with Randy? So I know she had interaction with Ethan when they were shooting the guns. But Ethan had eyes for Becky, right?
Tamara: Not her. But I'm like, well, when does she have interaction with Randy?
Amanda: I think he's just a monster.
Amanda: And they're like kind of neighbors, so maybe they've interacted a little bit. I think they talk about the parents arguing about farm stuff.
Tamara: Mhm. But you know what? He did show up. And this is a trend, like, with mystery, um, TV shows. Like the whole who done it TV shows. The person who did it always shows up early in the story.
Tamara: And in this case, he did. He came to her house after the fact and asked her grandfather, can I help you around here? Can I help you clean up? Do you need some help? So he was visible early in this story.
Amanda: Yeah, he went back to the scene of the crime. But they always do.
Tamara: Yes. And I didn't even think about him. I dismissed him. Just like they expect, um, you to.
Amanda: Yeah. It's almost like they know what they're doing when they're riding.
Tamara: Exactly. But yeah. So I don't know, maybe it was just vengeance because he wanted that land. And I thought I said, oh, what a DBAG. He's coming to try to buy this land. Already everyone's dead and he's trying to poach some land. That's what I thought he was there for.
Amanda: Yeah, I thought the same thing.
Tamara: That's what this gravel? The family, they hated each other because of this land.
Tamara: I should have done better. I'm like, it's not that simple, classic. And I just fell for it.
Amanda: If you had figured it out, you probably wouldn't like the book very much.
Tamara: Yeah, that's true.
Tamara: But still, I still felt a way because as you pointed out why? What was the motive? Motive is important, and there really was none.
Amanda: Yeah. I don't know. No, but I guess maybe that kind of makes it a little creepier. Maybe he doesn't really have a reason and he's just as gross. Just gross?
Tamara: Yeah, because I could see if the author had established, after we learned about him, maybe he had a pattern of, like, casing girls or trying to take girls or something, because that was really extreme. He killed a lot of people to get her.
Amanda: Yeah. Do you think this is his first go round, too? Or has he kidnapped other people in the past?
Tamara: It seemed like it was his first. That's why I'm like, well, there must be a motive. But then if it's not, then I wanted to see some pattern. Right?
Amanda: Yeah. He's just gross.
Tamara: Yeah. So that part does bother me, thinking about it like that. But it is what it is, I guess. So what did you think about the parts of the story when we were with Becky Allen? Like, were those hard for you to digest or read or hear or were you okay with it not okay with what was happening, but you know what I'm saying, right?
Amanda: Yeah. Well, you know, horror is my favorite, and I don't really feel like this is a horror book, but it kind of might be that way for some people. So I liked those chapters with her. I read a book by, um, Lori Stellars called Jane Anonymous. And like you were saying, this one gave you the room vibes. This one gave me Jane Anonymous vibes a little bit because it's about a girl who is kidnapped, except for she falls in love with her kidnapper because she doesn't know that he's her kidnapper and is real twisted. Like twisted as shit goodness. But, yeah, that's the vibe I was getting. And except for Becky. Becky was getting real pissed about everything going on. She would go through those phases where she doesn't care about anything, and it kind of seemed like she was maybe going to give up, and then she would rally and then they broke out.
Tamara: Yeah. I think I also kind of like those scenes because actually, Josie was the scene stealer. I feel like she was the primary person. Like we were almost getting it through her eyes. Not Becky's eyes, because she would say, oh, he would come and I'll go sit by the window and read my books, or I would do something other than listen to what's going on over there. And she would experience her mom getting, like, her butt beat by this guy, and she would help her mom. I'm like, that is dramatic. But this girl seems so I guess that's all she knew. So I guess it was her normal.
Amanda: Yeah. And Becky did the best that she could when we saw her getting like, her Easter basket. And she thinks, an Easter basket? The Easter bunny is coming. I'm going to get all this, like, chocolate in this great big basket. And she gets like a stick of gum and a Jolly Rancher. But Becky's trying her best with literally nothing being locked in a basement.
Tamara: Yeah. She probably had to beg for those two items and then just not consume them herself.
Amanda: Yeah. And then freaking Randy comes back with a bunny. I just wanted to punch him. You do not need to do that. You are gross.
Tamara: He's manipulating Josie. He was trying to do that with a puppy. He was trying to get her to like him or trust him and he just couldn't quite get it right. You know what I mean? Because obviously she knew her dad was a bad guy. She knew that and that she knew that he would just say, I'm going to get a puppy, but he's never going to bring me the puppy. So all his manipulation really, you could tell, like, in the end, it kind of almost got her. She, um, almost followed his instruction until she didn't.
Amanda: Until she didn't. Until she shot him in the head.
Tamara: Yes. I'm like, okay, so your mother is in there. Your mother is not even trying. She's just like on the floor. I don't understand. But this young girl, I don't even think she was ten. How old was she?
Amanda: Yeah, I was thinking maybe she was.
Tamara: No, I don't know. Maybe ten ish.
Tamara: She gets up, she's like, I need to go help Wiley. Let me go save her from my awful father.
Amanda: Yeah. And then she walks into the barn with a literal gun. And he's like, oh, you better get out of here. And she's like, no. And she puts the gun on the back of his head.
Tamara: Yeah, he didn't expect that. I mean, she was behind point blank to the head. She didn't give a care. I'm like, dang, girl. Oh my god. She's going to have therapy for 20 years.
Amanda: Yeah. I am really interested, uh, in how she turned out. I need to read her story. Can we read her story next?
Tamara: Yeah, for sure. I'd be interested in reading her story, but it seems that she seemed okay at the end of the book. But that's a long term thing. You just don't go around shooting your father in the head and just walk away. Even if he was awful, how did she know she had to get that close? Like, she's never shot a gun before. She's never handled a gun.
Amanda: Maybe looking at those crime scene photos helped her out because yikes. Looking at crime scene photos? Mhm.
Tamara: Yeah, that's what happens. She gets rescued, taken to this house, and Wiley is writing her book and she is a true crime writer. So of course she's seeing all these photographs of what her own, um, house is seen with her own people.
Amanda: She was looking at yeah.
Tamara: And this guy, like, blew her father's head off, or his her mother's head off. Uh, and the father was like I mean, I could visualize as she's explaining, as the police are walking through the house, this was horrific. It was horrific.
Tamara: And she's looking at these rewriting her story or writing her own story, and I'm like, that is girl, you need therapy. She does need therapy because I don't know. And I felt bad for her when she was a child because she's trying to explain to the police, like, at the beginning of this whole thing, she got shot in the arm, but it was kind of like a graze. So she was lucky. But she's trying to explain to the police, and instead of being very clear, it seems like she's kind of incriminating her brother by accident.
Amanda: Yeah. And she's like, oh, no, I can't say I can't say it. I want to say that it was Ethan, but I can't say it was I want to say it was my brother, but I can't say it. I can't. No, it wasn't.
Tamara: It wasn't.
Amanda: He's dead. He's hanging out with the goats. My God.
Tamara: So at the beginning, Josie, aka Wiley, was twelve, and Becky was 13. So that's how young they were. And after, she had really thought she was trying not to believe her brother would steal Becky and run away. But because Becky had a crush on him, it's like she couldn't let it go. So she comes back to the house with her grandfather to do chores. She goes out to the barn. She's doing feeding the goats or whatever. She's cleaning up, and she starts digging, and she hits pay dirt. She's like, oh, my God. She's like, I shouldn't keep digging. I should go get my grandfather. But she digs more.
Amanda: She's like, well, no, there he is. That's him. And then, um, our grandfather comes in and she's like, I got to throw up. Yeah, she did.
Tamara: I couldn't believe she kept digging. I mean, the minute I saw a hand or face, I can't remember what was the first thing she saw, but I hightailed it out of there.
Amanda: Yes. I would have just noped, right out.
Tamara: Of the barn, because I'm not doing that.
Amanda: Um, no, I'm done. I'm never going back. And then she moves back into the house.
Tamara: Mhm maybe she thought she needed to be there for closure, I guess.
Amanda: I guess. Does she do this with the other books that she writes, though? Does she move into the crime scene houses, or is it just her own story?
Tamara: I'm thinking hopefully it's just her own story. Although she might be looking at crime scene files for other stories.
Amanda: She's just going to move in. That's her stick. That's why everyone likes her. As an author who's like, oh, this crazy bitch moved into the house.
Tamara: Like, this is some conjuring type stuff or something like you got to move in to get a first account. Like what is this? No, I cannot. Okay, I think this is a good time for a quick break. We're going to listen to some commercials. Be sure to check out the Book Review Journal and the Book Review Notebook available now on Amazon. Listening to the commercials helps support the podcast. You know the drill. We'll be right back. Today's episode is brought to you by the Shelf Addiction Merch Store. Check out all the bookish, Tshirts notebooks, mugs, and more. Don't miss out on these original designs. Perfect for any book nerd. Support the podcast and visit Chefdiction.com Merch and pick up your next favorite bookish item. And we are back, guys. We are going to continue our conversation of the overnight guest. And we kind of just left it at I don't know what. What should we talk about next? There are so many more things I.
Amanda: Feel like I know there is. And we were just talking about her being a crazy bitch moving into murder scene.
Tamara: Okay, so look, let's talk about her looking at all these case files. Okay. At some point you've got to be completely desensitized if you are looking at that stuff.
Amanda: Yeah, every day. Maybe that's her coping mechanism. She saw her parents exploded when she was a kid and then found her brother, found his corpse with the goats. Maybe she's done it was too much then and now she's like, well bring it on. I'll just look at all the crime scene photos I can't.
Tamara: And you know, the thing is, I like True crime. I watch this stuff on Netflix. I watch the little things on Netflix or Lifetime or whatever. But sometimes if it gets a little too gory, I will shut my eyes and turn my head. Like I'm like, oh, I don't want to see that.
Amanda: Oh no. See, I'm all horror all the time. It's my favorite.
Tamara: Really? If it's someone's face blown off, I don't want to look. But like, okay, I can take a stab wound, I can take a gunshot. But when things are just open and I don't want to see it and.
Amanda: I don't really want to see it, yeah, I don't seek it out. I don't move into the murder house, but I wouldn't mind it for a little bit. I don't want it to be my entire life. And this is her entire life. Mhm.
Amanda: Like when did she start writing True crime?
Tamara: I don't know. Probably a long time. I mean, it sounds like from her own from this character's own point of view, she didn't know how to be a mother. She didn't know how to be a wife because she was all consumed with true crime and writing these books.
Amanda: Do you think she's going to be a better mom now?
Tamara: The book implies that she will be that she's going to have some type of relationship with her son. Her son is much older. He's an older teen.
Tamara: So I think at this point, she may be able to salvage that relationship. But I don't think she'll ever be that like, nurturing, warm mother.
Amanda: No, not if you're living in murder houses.
Tamara: Then you're just going to go around to different libraries and bookstores and just keep talking over and over again about how your family was slaughtered and your best friend was kidnapped and how you felt guilty because you just let her hand go and kept running. But let me just say this. I have no hate for Wiley because I would like to think I would not leave my best friend. But if I was being shot at and she's moving slower than me, I'll see you when I see you.
Amanda: Yeah. What am I going to do?
Tamara: I can't carry you. I can't drag you. Because what would have happened is like he said, randy said he would have taken them both if he could have.
Tamara: So that's no good for anybody. It's a lose lose situation. You know?
Amanda: It is. And she got shot.
Amanda: No, you're just going to have to let her go.
Tamara: Yeah. I feel like it's kind of like the equivalent of trying to save someone, uh, who's drowning. If they're flailing around, they're going to bring your ass down with them or put, um, your mask on before you put on someone else's. It's that survival instinct. You don't want to die. It was a bad situation. But guess the good thing about it was that Becky understood that she felt no animosity toward her.
Amanda: Yeah. I'm a little surprised that she didn't feel any sort of negative way about Josie, especially after the book came out, which Becky was like, no, I'm going to read that shit. I don't want to read that book. No. But I felt it kind of made me mad when she's at the library doing the book tour and she's, like, saying all this stuff about how oh, it's our story, and all of this terrible stuff happened. Like, okay, yeah, your entire family was murdered in front of you, which is fucking yikes. But she was kidnapped for years and raped by her captor.
Amanda: Which is worse, I would say.
Tamara: Okay, I feel horrible for saying this. There is no nice way but that happened to you all at once. And that's horrific. No one wants your whole family to die, but to live through something daily for 22 years, that's just a different level, I feel like.
Amanda: Yeah. This would be if we were covering this one on fictional hangover. This would be one of our really terrible would you rather questions.
Tamara: Oh, let's play that game. I think we kind of answered it. But I would rather I don't want to say it. I would rather be alone in the world I'll say it that way. Than helicopter for 22 years.
Amanda: Yes. Same awful.
Tamara: But that was like, the choice, because what if he got them both for 20? Both would have just been abused for 22 years.
Amanda: I feel like if they were both there, though, they probably could have figured something out.
Amanda: But I feel like Becky doesn't have much of a backbone.
Amanda: But maybe if Josie was there, if they were kidnapped together, which yikes, don't do that, but maybe they could have figured something out. Maybe they could have escaped. They probably would have killed the guy.
Tamara: Yeah, they might have. Because you can see when Becky got to, like, her wits end, I think her breaking point was like trying to starve them. She thought he was going to just leave them there to starve to death.
Tamara: She did do what she had to do to get out. And when she first came across Wiley, she was very aggressive toward her because she thought, you might hurt my child or hurt me. I can't trust you. So it's like those instincts were there, but it was like once Randy was on the scene, she totally reverted back into that person that was in the basement.
Amanda: Yeah. And mhm like, he told her if she ever did get out, that he has friends on the outside who are going to help him kidnap her again. So I can get it, but come on.
Tamara: I feel like, okay, this is some and again, I'm old, um, school. I was raised old school. And this must be some new generation stuff, because when we were kids, our parents told us things like, if anyone comes to you and says, your parents sent me. Your parents are dead, we went through a whole list of things that are false and lies and you should never believe.
Tamara: My parents even had a code that if they ever sent anyone to pick us up, they would have a word for us. Wow. Yeah. I'm telling you, my father was not playing around. He has three girls. He's not playing around. And if anybody had, like, captured me, I would never believe that. Nobody was looking for me. I would never believe that. I just don't understand what kind of person I mean, for his purposes, he picked the right person. He got the right person.
Amanda: He did. I don't think Josie would have put up with it. No, she would have done something. She would have ripped the leg off a table and beat the shit out of them. She would have tried.
Tamara: Yeah, Josie's the one. Let me get my gut.
Amanda: Yes. Good.
Tamara: And Becky is just writing hearts and stuff in her folder. I'm like, oh, I have a hard time understanding that, like, in the world today, 22,000 was when this happened. That's new enough to be in a world where parents are warning their children about things. Right. I would have died. Mhm before I believe that people didn't look for me or care about me.
Amanda: Yeah, same. And I would have tried to get out because little Josie broke the window and crawled out. Like, why the fuck didn't you try to get out of the window?
Tamara: I know. It's like, did you even try?
Amanda: You used to be a small child. You were 13. You could fit through a tiny window. Why didn't you try?
Tamara: So I think she did have to lift Josie. Didn't she have to lift her to get out of the window?
Amanda: I think so, but still.
Amanda: Don't just roll over and take it.
Tamara: No, I feel like that kind of thing knock off all kind of wood. That kind of thing would never happen to me because I just would be that this is too hard. It's not worth it.
Tamara: You're not worth the trouble because it would be hell. And you might kill me or just escape. And then I'll go to jail. So there's no point.
Amanda: Yeah. I wouldn't take it.
Tamara: No, I would fight.
Amanda: And we hope everyone would do that. Don't just give up.
Tamara: I wouldn't.
Amanda: Listeners, don't give up if you're kidnapped.
Tamara: Yeah. Let's just hope you never get kidnapped. I'll knock on wood for you.
Amanda: Yeah, me too. Please don't get kidnapped.
Tamara: Yeah, I would never. I would be the biggest pain in the ass. And unfortunately, I say I would be the person that probably would be dead because I would fight so hard. They just have to kill me.
Amanda: Because they would be like, damn it. Yeah, I've made a really bad decision. Uh, let me just murder this person.
Tamara: Yeah, that might happen. Why am I so dark? I don't know.
Amanda: I am too. Oh, my God.
Tamara: But that's how I think about things. Like, I'm going to make it hard for you. Like even kidnapping. And we didn't get that kidnapping scene, per se, but like, you fight like hell. Don't let them move you or take you.
Amanda: No, don't go to a second location. We all know that since the least. Yeah. Or the 70s, but I'm not that old. But, you know, don't go to a second location. You do whatever you can. You're in the cornfield. Just disappear into the corn.
Amanda: Someone will find you.
Tamara: I'm like, you don't have to shoot me because you're not going to grab me. You're going to have to try to shoot me.
Amanda: And Josie did get shot, and she disappeared into the corner. And then she peed herself because she couldn't hold it in any longer. And she's like, well, I hope they don't hear me peeing, because I got to pee.
Tamara: Yes, I'm Josie. I'm out there. I'll be out there for 12 hours. You're peeing. I guess it's okay now.
Amanda: It's okay to pee now.
Tamara: So I have a hard time with, uh, the believability of that. I think maybe if I had seen gotten the scene where she was taken.
Amanda: I think I would have been disappointed, though. I would have been screaming at the audiobook. What are you doing? Try harder.
Tamara: I don't know what else to say. Like, poor Becky.
Amanda: Poor Becky. But try not to get kidnapped.
Tamara: Yeah, please try not to get kidnapped. And I haven't had to be had any alcohol today.
Amanda: Uh, this is just everyday me. So I'm really glad we're having this conversation and we're on the same level.
Tamara: Yeah. But I know, like, this book will be triggering, uh, for some people. Some people can't read any kind of stuff like this.
Amanda: Yeah, it could be terrible for you. But I enjoyed it. I really did, even though I didn't think that I was going to.
Tamara: Yeah. So do you have any other gripes or concerns about this book?
Amanda: No, I really think I yelled about everything that I wanted to yell about already.
Tamara: Okay, well, let's talk about the audiobook narrator. How did you like the narrator?
Amanda: I love Brittany Presley. She has narrated so many things that I really like, so I was pleased with it. She did such a great job as Little Josie.
Tamara: She nailed it.
Amanda: She did. She really did.
Tamara: She's really good. She's actually been the narrator or a part of a team of narrators for several books we've read this year already on the podcast. And it's just coincidence. Like, we don't look for her, but she ends up on a lot of these thriller mystery titles.
Amanda: What other ones have you talked about?
Tamara: So we just finished The Night Shift. She was on that one. And, uh, she was a part of I think it was a three person narrator set. She was on the book of Cold Cases that we read. And she was also in I think she was in one More Thing we've read in, like, the last eight months or so.
Tamara: Oh, Local Woman Missing, which we loved that book by Mary Kubica. We loved it. She was one of the narrators on that. And that was a team of narrators again. So she just keeps showing up for us in these books that we've been selecting for the Buddy Read. Yeah, he's a great narrator.
Amanda: One, uh, of the books that I liked most that I listened to last year, and we didn't talk about it on the podcast. This was just one that I listened to on my own, is called Agnes at the End of the World. She narrated that one. And that one was produced by Alice Green, who, um, is one of my heroes in life. She's an excellent audiobook producer, but Brittany Presley narrated that one. And she did a stellar job. That one's about, like, a girl who is escaping from a cult. Um, she grows up in a religious cult and her little brother has diabetes, which so do I. So that's why I wanted to read it, to see if they did a good job with the actual, like, what a type one diabetic goes through. And they did stellar. It was a great job. I feel really bad that I cannot remember the author's name right now.
Tamara: Kelly McWilliams. I just looked it up.
Amanda: Yes. Kelly, uh, McWilliams.
Tamara: Could I add this to my TBR?
Amanda: It was good, and Brittany did a great job narrating that one.
Tamara: Okay. I'll add it to my May Read Someday list. I have two levels of TBR. I have, like, my read. I will absolutely read, and maybe, uh, I'll get to it someday.
Amanda: Yeah, that's fair. It gets a little weird. I'm not going to lie. It gets a little bonkers, but it's escaping a cult. Yeah, that's always end of the world.
Tamara: So that's double whammy.
Amanda: Yeah, what do you expect? But she did a really good job narrating that one. And, um, another one that I really like. And we talked about this one on the podcast. It's kind of embarrassing. Hotterodactual Boyfriend by Alan Cummin. He narrated that one, too. And that book is bugging nuts. But yeah, it's, uh, a literal Pterodactyl that goes to high school.
Tamara: Oh, my God.
Amanda: And everybody falls apart.
Tamara: I feel like I'm Googling it right now.
Amanda: Look, I know a really great podcast that will summarize the entire book for you.
Tamara: Let me guess.
Amanda: Yeah. So you should listen to that episode. I think you really enjoy it.
Tamara: Okay, I think I will have to listen to that episode because these ratings are god awful. So there's no way there's no way I'm going to read that.
Amanda: No, it's ridiculous. But Brittany Presley narrowed that one and she did a really great job. And that one is, like, really close to our heart on fictional hangover.
Tamara: Okay, I'm going to have to go back and find that one. Oh, my gosh. Lord have mercy. Okay, uh, so I do have one more question about the audiobook. How fast, uh, what speed did you listen on.
Amanda: The first time I listened to it? Two point 25.
Tamara: Uh, you're fast.
Amanda: The second time I listened to it, I cranked it up to three. I was done in 3 hours.
Tamara: Oh, my God. And I think I'm fast. I listened on one point 85.
Amanda: Um oh, no.
Tamara: And I thought it was a little slow. I thought I could have picked it up a little more, but I'm like, that was my first time. And I'm like, I don't know. I don't want to miss something, but in my bones, I probably, um, could have listened to it on two. Probably.
Amanda: Yeah. I always listen fast, though, and I shouldn't because I am myself trying to crack into the audiobook narration the world. I've done two, and it's a thing where audiobook narrator is like, no, don't speed up my book. You're missing all my acting. You're missing all of my work. But, man, I just cannot listen. I can't.
Tamara: Like, sometimes, I don't know. And I haven't had any narrator interviews for a while. I took a break from interviewing. I was doing a bunch of interviews for a long time, and I was burnt out, so I took a break. But that's something I've always wanted to ask a narrator. It's like, why do you talk so slow? Because some narrators, I swear, it's like, uh they are talking like this.
Amanda: Yes. I couldn't do it. I tried to slow myself down when I was narrating my books that I've done, and I couldn't do it.
Amanda: And I mean, I talk like, uh, 90 to nothing anyway, so it's really hard for me to slow it down. But yikes.
Tamara: Yeah. Because the faster speed is our normal cadence. We normally talk faster. A lot faster than that.
Amanda: Yeah. So, mhm, we talked to Beth Revis a few weeks ago on fictional hangover, and she was talking about how she listens to audiobooks really fast, too, and she said something that I really appreciated, and she's like, if you're a good enough narrator, I should be able to listen to you at three times speed and still get everything out of it. And I'm like, damn.
Tamara: Okay, I'm gonna try it. I'm going to pick up another Britney Presley narrated title, and I will try to listen to her at three times and see if I like it.
Amanda: It was fast.
Tamara: That sounds so fast to me. Now, see, I guess it's something that just takes practice and time, and then you hear everything.
Tamara: So let's break the thing. Are you ready to rate the overnight guest?
Tamara: Okay. So the only rule I have as far as writing, we do a good read style.
Tamara: So it's one to five, and you can't do haves because they don't accept haves.
Tamara: So go for it.
Amanda: I gave this one four stars.
Tamara: All right?
Amanda: Yeah, me too.
Tamara: I gave it four stars as well. I'm really shocked. I rated this that highly. I didn't anticipate it.
Amanda: I know. Same. I was like, oh, my God, I'm going to hate this book. But I didn't, and I was pleasantly surprised. Yay. Yeah. Look, I probably would have faked it if I hated it. I would have been like, okay, swallow it down. Just put on a pleasant face and get through it. I would have done that for you.
Tamara: Look, I appreciate that, but you don't have to do that for me.
Amanda: That'll be next time. Okay. This was our first episode together. Next time.
Tamara: Next time I'll let it go. Okay. Hopefully I'll pick another good book so that doesn't have to happen, right?
Tamara: But I'm ready. Bring it if it ever comes up. I'm ready.
Amanda: Let's do it.
Tamara: All right, I think we're done. What do you think, Amanda?
Amanda: I think we're probably done. We've had a really good conversation about this book that might have been a little bit ridiculous.
Tamara: Yeah, I know. You guys got to see a darker side of us.
Amanda: Probably not. If you're used to fictional hangovers, you're like, man, Amanda's going light today.
Tamara: Oh, Lord.
Tamara: Well, it's been a blast. I'm so glad you were able to join me here on Shelf Addiction. I appreciate that a lot.
Amanda: Thanks so much for having me. It was a ton of fun.
Tamara: Absolutely. So you guys, you know the drill. Join us over on Facebook, over in our group, Shelf Addiction Official, and you can talk about the books with us there. You can also join our book club on the Book Clubs app, and we meet once a month in a private zoom. So if you'd like that, we're here for you. It's a good time. And if you don't like that, no worries. We will be here again on the next episode where you can listen with your ears. That is it for today, and we'll see you guys next time. Until then, happy reading. Uh, take care, guys. If you enjoyed today's episode and would like to show your support, there are a few things you can do. Head on over to Apple podcast and leave a positive five star review or like this episode on your favorite podcast player. It seems so simple, but it really helps me out. You can share this podcast with other book nerd friends or on your favorite social media space. You can also join the Shelf Addiction Patreon family for as little as $2 a month. You will help us produce even more awesome content um, for your ears. You can also consider joining the Shelf Addiction Official Facebook group, where we talk a lot, all things bookish, and more in a safe space. The Shelf Addiction podcast is a part of the Nerdy Maven network. You can also reach us via email at info at shelf Addiction.com. Thank you for listening.