The Night the Lights Went Out
April 11, 2017
Publisher via Penguin First to Read
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.
Karen White is one of those authors that you can pretty much count on to tell a great tale. She has a way of writing that just moves the plot along, with not too much or too little detail. This was one of my favorites that I've read, although I think The Sound of Glass still retains top honor. There is something about a little old lady with chutzpah that gets me, and Sugar Prescott was worth the weight of this book in gold! The character of Merilee was superbly crafted. At times I wanted to shake her and tell her to wake up, but then I realized that her situation at this time in her life completely warranted her behavior. There are secrets revealed bit by bit within the novel, that serve to validate why the characters are who they are. While I did figure out what, and who, done it before the reveal, I was engrossed enough in the characters lives that I didn't feel at all cheated out of a big aha moment. Extra kudos to the blog inserts in the novel, complete with southern sayings and the meaning behind them. A great addition to the plot.
Any fans of Big Little Lies will love this take on the haves and have-nots in a private school arena (complete with a murder), with an awesome little old lady thrown in. Another winner by Ms. White.