Beth, Joanne, and Megan meet in college under the usual circumstances. Beth and Joanne in the bookstore, and Megan when they rescue her after she dumps an entire tray of food over a crowd. The three quickly become inseparable, and remain so for their entire lives. However, on the night of graduation, things take a turn for the worse. The trio decide to have a girls’ night and they visit a bar. A few hours go by, and Beth realizes she can’t find Megan. She searches out Joanne, and they return to the rented bungalow in hopes of finding Megan. What they find instead is a nightmare. Megan, with her dress torn, scratches and bruises everywhere, and utterly distraught. She swears the other two to secrecy, and they attempt to move on with their lives.
Beth becomes a detective in the sex crimes unit, Megan becomes a prosecutor, and Joanne develops a life of luxury in “public relations”. That one girl’s night changed everything in their lives. But as things unravel, secrets are revealed that destroys each woman’s life thread by thread. Just goes to show, you never really know your friends.
Celeste has it all. A loving, doting husband, a perfect daughter, and her dream career. Her husband, David, is a stay-at-home-dad to their daughter, Rori. While Celeste seems to have it all, her life is a delicate balance and dance, knowing that she’s keeping a devastating secret. When Rori becomes sick with a rare disease that can only manifest if both parents are carriers, her secret comes out. During the years of trying to get pregnant, David and Celeste went through rigorous genetic testing, and this can only mean one thing… David is not Rori’s father. As Celeste falls apart, she is abandoned by her friends and goes on a binge. Events unfurl as she ends up drunkenly committing a crime, and winds up in Minnesota, living under a different name and working at a diner. She makes friends and begins to attend AA meetings, where her life changes, yet again.
After having abandoned her daughter, months have passed and she’s finally convinced that it’s time to return to her home and face the consequences of her actions. She returns to find that she’s barely been missed, and that David told Rori that Celeste had died, rather than tell her that her own mother abandoned her. Things don’t go exactly as Celeste expected, so what happens now?
This one was a rollercoaster. As a mother, I couldn’t abandon my child, much less while they fight for their lives in a hospital. It certainly makes you think of what you would do to keep a secret, to protect your family. When you lose it all, how would you react? But can a mother ever truly leave her child?
Based on a true story! Life for preteen Cassie and her older sister is anything but normal. She and her sister live in poverty on a farm with her parents, miles from the nearest neighbors, and though her father is a mean drunk, Cassie is happy with her life. She loves her band teacher, though she’s only mediocre at her instrument. She has a crush on a young man who rides her bus and attends the same school.
Then things start to change. Young boys begin to go missing, and the rumors of what happens to them are almost too vulgar for young Cassie to understand. Several of her classmates are affected, and blame is thrown around to nearly every adult male in Lilydale, including her father, her band teacher, and even the sheriff.
Throughout the nightmare, her parents continue to host their wild parties, and ingratiate those in power.
Cassie fancies herself an amateur detective, and takes it upon herself to investigate the kidnapping and rapes. Especially once her worst nightmare occurs. Her beloved crush is kidnapped. Despite being cornered by one of the victims, and seeing how the rapes have changed the boys she once knew, she discovers the common link in all of the victims. But will she find her crush in time?
This one got me. I read a lot of crime thrillers and the story being told from the viewpoint of an uninvolved preteen was quite different than the usual story told from an adult or police viewpoint. While I felt that more could have been explained, and that the story overall left more than a few questions unanswered, it was a decent read, and it’s terrible to think that this was based on a true story that the author lived through.