by Karen White
Narrator: Carolyn Cook, Susan Larkin, Tiffany Morgan
Length: 15 hours and 18 minutes
Genres: Women's Fiction, Suspense
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 5 cups
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Tradd Street series comes a stunning new novel about a young single mother who discovers that the nature of friendship is never what it seems....
Recently divorced, Merilee Talbot Dunlap moves with her two children to the Atlanta suburb of Sweet Apple, Georgia. It's not her first time starting over, but her efforts at a new beginning aren't helped by an anonymous local blog that dishes about the scandalous events that caused her marriage to fail.
Merilee finds some measure of peace in the cottage she is renting from town matriarch Sugar Prescott. Though stubborn and irascible, Sugar sees something of herself in Merilee--something that allows her to open up about her own colorful past.
Sugar's stories give Merilee a different perspective on the town and its wealthy school moms in their tennis whites and shiny SUVs, and even on her new friendship with Heather Blackford. Merilee is charmed by the glamorous young mother's seemingly perfect life and finds herself drawn into Heather's world.
In a town like Sweet Apple, where sins and secrets are as likely to be found behind the walls of gated mansions as in the dark woods surrounding Merilee's house, appearance is everything. But just how dangerous that deception can be will shock all three women....
Slated for my 2017 top ten audio list, THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT delivered an addictive, heart-warming, and suspenseful tale that kept me listening. Grab a cup of coffee and let me take you to the quiet town of Sweet Apple, Georgia where gossip and southern hospitality go hand in hand.
The tale begins as Merilee Talbot Dunlap, and her two children move to the Atlanta suburb of Sweet Apple, Georgia. Merilee has recently divorced her cheating husband. With an unsupportive family, she finds herself starting over. She and the children are renting a home from the cantankerous town matriarch Sugar Prescott. The two slowly form a friendship that was genuine and filled me with warmth. I grew to love Sugar and Merilee as we watched events unfold.
The story began slowly and pulled me in with its descriptive prose, but when Heather Blackford befriends Merilee, it began to have a darker undertone and surprised me. To my delight, this apple of a tale had a suspenseful thriller beneath its juicy layers. As things unravel in the present, we soon learn the past holds the key. You know Heather, you’ve spied her in town with her little posse of friends. She’s all sugar and sweet, but you know she’ll taste bitter.
The mounting tension and frustration as this suspenseful thread unfolded had me sitting on edge as I listen to the narrations of Carolyn Cook, Susan Larkin, Tiffany Morgan. Each nailed the characters personalities. They breathed life into them through accents, tone, and pacing. I am glad they chose three narrators, although I am sure any one of these narrators could have handled the telling.
White unfolds the tale brilliantly and shares the perspectives of Merilee and Sugar. Sugar’s tales are mostly from the past, and it was effortlessly done. I absolutely love when an author can weave the past and present giving us not one story but two and creating something memorable with them. We are also treated to entries from a local anonymous blogger who shares daily life and southern ways. Foreshadowing and events from the past along with Merilee’s vulnerability provided believability and chills.
Secondary characters, townsfolk, and a love interest all added to the tale as did Merilee’s children. White’s writing style is beautiful. Its’ the kind of story that you slip into and lose track of time. I was transported to Sweet Apple and could feel the breeze, smell the tall grass, and tasted Merilee’s sweet tea.
You’re going to want to grab a copy or audio of THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT as its a must read this summer! It is a read whose characters will stay with you long after the leaves begin to fall.
[bctt tweet=”This summer’s beach listen- The Night the Lights Went Out by Karen White #audio” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]