I will start with a warning; this one is DARK. There is a trigger warning for child abuse and a child being very badly harmed. There is also a TW for miscarriage and infertility. If you read Audrain’s debut novel (The Push), you know what I mean when I say that it is dark. Nothing is really off limits with Audrain. It isn’t scary, but it is disturbing. There were parts where I felt like my skin crawled a little. Not from being grossed out (it isn’t gory), just from actions made by some of the characters. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed it, I guess maybe I am a sicko, or like being shocked. This one is a page-turner for sure; I read it in a single Saturday. Four families are changed when something completely unthinkable happens. Whitney is seen as the perfect working mother. Holding down a high powered job, staying in shape, a mom to three. And then there is a neighborhood party where she just loses it… exploding in anger at her disobedient son. Nine months later, her son has fallen out of his (third story) bedroom window and is in a coma. Whitney can do nothing but sit by his bed. We meet Whitney’s best friend Blair (who has a horrible habit of snooping), their older neighbor Mara, and the doctor Rebecca (who is also a neighbor). What happened to Xavier? How did he manage to fall out of the window? The book explores so many themes: infidelity, jealousy between friends, and more. I could not put it down, and as with The Push, I gasped at the ending.
Author: Ashley Audrain