A woman’s dark past resurfaces at her 10-year college reunion in Flynn’s adult debut.
Thirty-one-year-old Ambrosia Wellington’s job as a PR flack for a Manhattan firm isn’t the acting career she had aspired to when she started her freshman year at Wesleyan University. But she’s married to genuine nice guy Adrian, who adores her. When her comfortable, if not quite perfect, life is disrupted with emails from Wesleyan’s alumni committee announcing the upcoming reunion, she ignores them, but then she gets an anonymous message that changes everything: “You need to come. We need to talk about what we did that night.”Nearly 14 years ago, Amb couldn’t wait to leave her working-class New Jersey roots behind when she arrived at Wesleyan. Her roommate, Flora, was exactly the type of “freshly scrubbed,” saccharine-sweet “try-hard” that she despised, so when she met the magnetic and deviously cruel Sloane Sullivan, Amb finally felt like she belonged, but Sully’s price of admission was steep. Riding a wave of booze, cocaine, and ceaseless casual, drunken hookups was damaging enough, but it’s her relentless pursuit of Flora’s Dartmouth boyfriend that leads to catastrophe. Now, at the reunion, Amb must face her past and put it to rest, all while preventing Adrian from finding out about that terrible year. Sully has also received threatening messages, and Amb is wary of trusting her, but the devil she knows might be her only choice. One thing is clear: A reckoning is inevitable, and it won’t be pretty. Watching the deeply insecure Ambrosia morph into the toxic Sully’s broken acolyte is like paying witness to a slow-motion train wreck. It’s hard to sympathize with Amb, but her self-aware narration, which alternates between past and present, illustrates how a vulnerable psyche can be twisted into something exceedingly ugly. The ever rising tide of dread will keep readers hooked even when they realize that a happy ending may not be in the cards.
A sharp, pitch-black thriller that takes the mean-girls trope to another level.