The Night The Lights Went Out by Karen White – 418 pages
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….
My Review: 3 stars
The Nights The Lights Went Out is a southern charmer with a mystery on top. I’ve read several of Karen White’s book and especially liked The Sound of Glass and Sea Change. All of her books offer a steady hum of suspense and things that are never what they seem.
Although I liked the two main protagonists in this book, one seemed slightly naïve while the other was quite predictable as the crusty pie with a sweet center that she keeps hidden from most. Although the story read quickly and flowed seamlessly, I was able to guess most of the twists. There were many great southern colloquialisms that made me laugh out loud.
I did read this book over a long time span due to unforeseen circumstances so I’m wondering if that hampered my reading experience. Other readers have raved about this one so I’m swimming upstream with a mediocre review. With that said, I was still delighted by this dose of chick-lit as a welcome change, however, this is not my favorite book by this talented author.
Quotes I liked:
No use borrowing worries.”
-“But hiding the truth is like putting perfume on a pig. That pig’s still going to smell.”
-“But there are some people you can’t forgive for taking up space.”
-“One woman joked that the easiest way to confuse a millennial was to show them a first place trophy.”
-“That’s the measure of friendship, isn’t it? Knowing people who will jar your secret and store it in a dark cellar forever. People who know it’s never about the secret itself, but the keeping of it. And that’s something to keep in mind the next time the lights go out.”