Date: April 11th 2017
Genre: Southern Women's Fiction
Source:Publisher via NetGalley
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.
The Night the Lights Went Out by Karen White was an absorbing read, that I thoroughly enjoyed.
On the one hand we have Merilee, recently divorced, with two young children stepping into a new phase in her life. Refreshingly, Michael her ex and herself have a reasonable relationship. Her two children fit in perfectly to the story. Merilee has secrets, she has that look in her eye that she has experienced loss and lived on. She is resilient and strong.
Sugar her elderly landlady recognises Merilee's qualities and even though Sugar is known for her crustiness, Merillee is not long in discovering the woman has a heart and eye that sees and cares. I so loved Sugar and her little pearls of wisdom. Her life connects with Merilee in many ways, they have seen similar things and their hearts understand and connect.
Then there is "the blog" from your local neighbor that comments on life in the town and the people there in. It tells it like it is and makes connections, often going against the local gossip and innuendo. It is full of southern says which I totally adored, down to earth sayings that made me ponder, like " You can't tell the size of the turnips by lookin' at the tops". And so many more. Who is the author of the blog? Well that's just one small secret in a book that abounds in secrets.
Every detail that is dropped foreshadowing something is followed up. Nothing is left dangling. I like that in a book. The plot was full of interest, moved along at a very good yet relaxed pace. Lots of things happened.
I liked how it explored friendship and resilience. And that dreadful emotion or motivation - revenge. I am always partial to a book that has someone going for a little revenge on the party that hurt them. However this book I think has cured me! Revenge is taken to a new level here, I'll never look on it in the same way. Who is the executor of the revenge and why? You'll have to just read this book to find out!