From debut author Grace comes a novel about an introspective single mother and her struggle with loneliness.
Laney Secord moves gracefully and is “very attractive—a still-blonde thirty-two, with blue-green eyes.” A widow with a 7-year-old son, who seems to grow ever more distant, Laney lost her husband, Jay, several years ago. She’s financially secure but restless. Living in Plainview, Colorado, life for Laney is far from that of the cultured, city-dwelling psychologist she once dreamed of becoming. Instead, she lives “like a prisoner counting down the days of a sentence, never sure what day it really was.” After a surprise visit from a 16-year-old Eagle Scout, she kisses him. Laney finds her thoughts captivated by how, exactly, she allowed the kiss to occur. She fantasizes about the boy, his father, and her good friend’s husband, with whom she’d once had sex. Clearly, in a town “where everybody would know everybody else’s business,” something must give. Keeping the reader guessing about the inevitable, messy consequences, the novel progresses with a seamless intrigue that, despite Laney’s continual rhetorical questions, is never dull. For a novel that is often about complex feelings, however, internal descriptions can sometimes prove bland: “She felt anxious and also angry with herself.” But surely such behavior is evidence enough for the reader to guess at Laney’s internal state. Featuring its share of steaminess—“His mouth traversed her body, rapidly and skillfully”)—those interested in romantic melodrama will be eager to reach the conclusion, particularly as it takes increasingly shady turns.
A swift tale of one woman’s longings, the book makes for a dark journey through small-town America.