It starts out as an interesting scary story about Sara, a mother, in a rural town in Vermont in 1908 who barely survived losing her baby boy, and has now lost her daughter Gertie. She learns there is a secret way to bring back the ones you love, but it is only for seven days. Sara is so desperate for her daughter, she is willing to do whatever it takes to see her again. When her daughter returns, Sara becomes convinced her husband killed their daughter. The dad is not sure if his wife is having a mental breakdown, if his daughter has really come back from the dead, or if his wife killed their child and her guilt is making her confess.
The book moves between modern day and the past. In modern times, two girls live in the house where Sara's family lived in 1908. Their father has recently died and their mother has disappeared. While looking for clues to their mother's disappearance, they find Sara's diary and begin to piece the stories together.
This is where the book became unbelievable. It tried to be bigger than the story started and it made the plot ridiculous at the end. I won't spoil it for you, but the ending was making me laugh out loud instead of being scared. I wish that it had stuck with Sara's story and the intrigue of wondering if Sara was hallucinating or if her daughter was really here, and who, if anyone, had killed the daughter. The small scale of the town and time period made it spookily claustrophobic, but when it stretched to modern times and multiple stories coming into one, it lost its focus and its impact.