Friday, June 23, 2017

The Night the Lights Went Out by Karen White

  From the New York Times bestselling author of the Tradd Street series comes a stunning new novel about a young single mother who discovers that the nature of friendship is never what it seems....

Recently divorced, Merilee Talbot Dunlap moves with her two children to the Atlanta suburb of Sweet Apple, Georgia. It's not her first time starting over, but her efforts at a new beginning aren't helped by an anonymous local blog that dishes about the scandalous events that caused her marriage to fail.

Merilee finds some measure of peace in the cottage she is renting from town matriarch Sugar Prescott. Though stubborn and irascible, Sugar sees something of herself in Merilee--something that allows her to open up about her own colorful past.

Sugar's stories give Merilee a different perspective on the town and its wealthy school moms in their tennis whites and shiny SUVs, and even on her new friendship with Heather Blackford. Merilee is charmed by the glamorous young mother's seemingly perfect life and finds herself drawn into Heather's world.

In a town like Sweet Apple, where sins and secrets are as likely to be found behind the walls of gated mansions as in the dark woods surrounding Merilee's house, appearance is everything. But just how dangerous that deception can be will shock all three women...

Opening line:

"The Playing Fields Blog: Observation of Suburban Life from Sweet Apple, Georgie; Written by Your Neighbor"

There is a lot of info in the first bit of this book! Smart, sassy, small town with drama.
What a fun and intriguing story. There were times I wanted to put it down when it dragged just a bit but the author made it so I really wanted to see the relationships grow, the memories expanded on and the mystery solved.
The Night the Lights Went Out was told from a three different viewpoints: Sugar (young and old), Merilee and a anonymous blogger. The blog brought in insight and lots of humor; so did Sugar. She's quite a character (in all sense of the word). She's strong, stubborn Southern woman who knows her own mind and will. But her facade, and secrets, slip away as a newly-divorced mother of two rents out her old home behind where she now lives.
Merilee is fresh of a divorce and painful relationship when she meets Sugar and "the love interest (I heard a man's deep voice draw that out...)." Lucky for Merilee, one of Sweet Apple's favorite daughters is there to scoop her up and take care of her "because that's what friends are for!."
This is a story of relationships on all ends of the spectrum and it was enjoyable to watch the build up of where the grenade finally went off.
I would read another of Ms. White's books!

L: a few swear words
V: a murder and fight at the end
S: kissing

Thanks to netgalley for the early read!