A former White House employee discovers that her husband’s sleepy hometown has more scandals and secrets than Washington.
As the social secretary at the White House, Bess Warner worked long hours and dealt closely with the first lady. But when she’s humiliatingly fired, she and her husband decide to embrace a slower lifestyle and take over his parents’ inn in his tiny hometown of Greyhill, Virginia. What Bess doesn’t count on is how hard it will be to fit in as an outsider. Most of her neighbors have known each other their entire lives, and they aren’t particularly welcoming to newbies. Struggling to find herself in a new town while her growing kids are shutting her out, Bess wonders what her next career move should be. And then opportunity knocks: A former colleague wants Bess to write a puff piece about Susannah Lane, one of Greyhill’s most famous and mysterious residents. As Bess begins to interview Susannah (who also happens to be her father-in-law’s high school sweetheart), it becomes clear there are a lot of secrets people in town don’t want her to know. The biggest one concerns what happened to Susannah’s high school best friend, who died when she stumbled off a cliff. People in town maintain that her death was an accident, but Susannah is convinced there was something more sinister involved. But the longer Bess talks to Susannah—and the more people in town tell her Susannah is crazy—the more Bess starts to suspect that Susannah may have ulterior motives. Can she actually trust what Susannah is telling her? Or is Susannah simply using her to publicize her decades-old grudges? Lewis (Save Me, 2014, etc.) creates a sympathetic heroine as well as a realistic and full cast of characters around her, including Bess’ good-natured husband, her critical mother-in-law, and the coterie of adult mean girls who run the town. The fast pace and intriguing mystery make this one perfect for fans of Big Little Lies.
A compelling look at the power of small-town gossip.