Review: Safe in my Arms by Sara Shepard


Release date: July 27, 2021

Publisher: Dutton

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


Andrea, Lauren, and Ronnie all see themselves as good, loving moms who are trying their best, but they each arrive at the Silver Swans preschool Welcome Breakfast with something to hide. Andrea is running away from a past on the East Coast, which she cannot afford for the other parents to discover. Lauren is recovering from a postpartum condition her husband has warned her not to disclose. And Ronnie is hiding herself and her daughter from the one man who could at any moment appear in their lives and ruin everything she holds dear. They already feel like impostors among the school’s community of polished parents. But then notes appear in their children’s backpacks after the first day at school. Notes that indicate that someone knows their deepest, darkest secrets and needs them gone. Does someone not want them in the community? Or is it something more menacing—does someone know everything?

When the principal of the school is the victim of an almost-fatal attack, it quickly becomes clear that the Silver Swans community is not as flawless as the brochures and website would have you believe. The three moms must band together to uncover the school’s many secrets before the other suspicious parents and town police close in and use their outsider status to blame them . . . and before they lose what they have worked so hard for.


I’ve been a big fan of the author since her PLL books and have enjoyed a couple of her adult thrillers as well but her books always seem to be missing a little something for me in the end. It’s kind of weird because while I’m reading I’m usually engrossed and entertained but when I finish I often find myself thinking, that’s it? So I’m not sure but I do know that I always end up finishing her books, I just find them to be a little lacking in some way.

I’m a sucker for any book that explores motherhood, even more so if the book is a thriller so I was hooked from the start here. The setting of a ritzy private preschool also appealed to me and then three women with secrets is basically my catnip. Like I said earlier, I’m always reeled in enough to read SS books quickly, but I think what was missing for me here was a more mature quality to make this feel like an adult thriller. I think where this author shines is her YA books so maybe next time I read her I just need to remember to go into it pretending it’s YA and I’ll like it more? Who knows honestly, I’m sure I’ll read her books in the future she does come up with some interesting premises. I think if you don’t mind a juvenile feeling “thriller” this may work for you, because her style is compelling for sure and while some parts of this were easy for me to predict I definitely didn’t see everything coming either. Clearly I have mixed feelings.

Overall rating: 3.5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

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