The Night the Lights Went Out
Setting – Georgia
Berkley (April 11, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Hardcover: 416 pages
Kindle ASIN: B01LWLFUT2
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….
Merilee Talbot Dunlap’s and Sugar Prescott’s lives collide when Merilee rents a cottage from Sugar following her divorce. Sugar doesn’t usually get involved in her tenant’s lives but there is something that draws her to Merilee and her children. When an anonymous local blog spills all the details about Merilee’s divorce and she finds she doesn’t have much in common with the other moms at her children’s pricey private school (paid for by their grandparents), she finds herself opening up to Sugar. She does make friends with a couple of the moms but Sugar advises her to be cautious of Heather Blackford, one of the Sweet Apple’s elite that has basically taken her under her wing. There is just something about her Sugar doesn’t like….
I loved this story for so many reasons.
The first is the story starts with a blog post, what blogger wouldn’t love that.
The second is the characters and the friendships that build throughout the story. The friendship between Sugar and Merilee drew me deeply into the story. Both woman started out very uncertain about their future both apart and together. Sugar had quite a life, losing the love of her life and living on her property her entire life while developers bought up land all around her. She shares her memories with Merilee and in turn us readers. It gives Merilee a different perspective for her life. We also learn they both have secrets.
Third, there was mystery. I knew from there was something building but was totally surprised and then things fell into place like dominoes. There were fantastic twists all along the way that I really enjoyed.
Full of Southern charm, friendships, history, mystery, and humor. These complex characters will jump off the pages and into your heart quickly. As the weather warms, make yourself a pitcher of sweet tea, find a comfy chair and grab this book. A perfect springtime escape!
About the Author
Karen White is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including the Tradd Street series, The Night the Lights Went Out, Flight Patterns, The Sound of Glass, A Long Time Gone, and The Time Between. She is the coauthor of The Forgotton Room with New York Times bestselling authors Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. She grew up in London but now lives with her husband and two children near Atlanta, Georgia.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”