Release date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Park Row Books
A riveting novel about how the past never stays in the past, from the critically acclaimed author of The Drowning Girls and The Mourning Hours .
Megan Mazeros and Lauren Mabrey are complete opposites on paper. Megan is a girl from a modest Midwest background, and Lauren is the daughter of a senator from an esteemed New England family. But in 1999, Megan and Lauren become college roommates and, as two young women struggling to find their place on campus, they forge a strong, albeit unlikely, friendship. The two quickly become inseparable, sharing clothes, advice and their most intimate secrets.
The summer before their senior year, Megan joins Lauren and her family on their private island off the coast of Maine. The weeks go by, filled with fun and relaxation, until late one night at the end of the vacation, something unspeakable happens, searing through the framework of the girls’ friendship and tearing them apart. Many years later, in the midst of a political scandal, Megan finally comes forward about what happened that fateful night, revealing a horrible truth about Lauren’s family and threatening to expose their long-buried secrets.
In this captivating and moving novel of domestic suspense, Paula Treick DeBoard explores the power of friendship and secrets and shows how betrayal can lead to disastrous, and deadly, consequences.
Last year The Drowning Girls was one of my most pleasant surprises in terms of discovering a new to me author so I was super excited to get my hands on DeBoard’s latest novel. While this was very different from TDG I still enjoyed it and will always be a huge fan of the authors style.
This is told from two viewpoints, both Laura and Megan. It starts in 2016 before a press conference that’s obviously important to both women but the reasons behind it won’t be revealed for some time. It then skips back to when they were in college and meet for the first time. The past/present switch was very a effective tool here as it slowly draws you into these women’s lives and makes you desperate to know what’s ahead. DeBoard has a unique ability to capture the reader slowly and assuredly using a combination of steady, composed pacing and a gradual style of suspense that somehow sneaks up on you.
This isn’t a mystery in the typical sense of the word, there isn’t the usual scramble to figure out who committed a crime but rather you’re constantly wondering how things will play out in the end and what exactly will happen next. This is heavily character drive with a focus on getting to know both Lauren and Megan and dives deep into their histories and backgrounds. These two couldn’t be more different but they bond almost instantly and have an unmistakable chemistry.
I couldn’t believe how timely this was as it explored themes such as political scandals and sexual assault, parts of this could’ve been ripped from current headlines making for the kind of read that would be really fantastic for a book club. DeBoard is such a fluid writer who makes some keen observations, she’s extremely talented and I will continue to follow her closely.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to the author and the Great Thoughts Ninja review team for my copy.