In an idyllic small-town neighborhood, a near tragedy triggers a series of dark revelations.
From the outside, Sycamore Glen, North Carolina, might look like the perfect all-American neighborhood. But behind the white picket fences lies a web of secrets that reach from house to house.
Up and down the streets, neighbors quietly bear the weight of their own pasts - until an accident at the community pool upsets the delicate equilibrium. And when tragic circumstances compel a woman to return to Sycamore Glen after years of self-imposed banishment, the tangle of the neighbors' intertwined lives begins to unravel.
During the course of a sweltering summer, long-buried secrets are revealed, and the neighbors learn that it's impossible to really know those closest to us. But is it impossible to love and forgive them?
©2016 Marybeth Mayhew Whalen (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
I couldn't finish this book. I wanted to like it but the narration was terrible. if there needs to be a southern accent, please use a narrator that actually has one! the narrator's fake southern accent was too distracting to the story. perhaps I'll try reading it instead.
"And yet, Jencey understood, there were the things she wished were true, and there was what was actually true. She was learning that there was usually a great distance between the two."
Sycamore Glen, North Carolina is a small town and as in every small town, everyone thinks they know everyone else’s business. The book opens as the citizens of the town are lined up outside the city pool waiting for the gate to open for the first swimming day of the year. The entrance is covered by a giant spider web, which is symbolic of the web of lies that are woven throughout the community. And just as the spider web is torn apart and swept away, by the end of the summer, every character’s secrets will be destroyed and exposed.
As this book is full of secrets, I am not going to touch on the plot much, so as to avoid spoilers. This book was enjoyable, but it was nothing spectacular. My main complaint was probably the names of the characters. They were just a little too “soap opera” for me: Jencey, Bryte, Zell, Cailey, Lane, etc. The fact that nearly every single person in the book had some “boutique” name made the whole book less believable in my opinion.
The other main complaint I had involved one of the subplots, involving a creepy old man who lived in the neighborhood. In the end, his role in the book was actually a pretty major thing, but this entire subplot was not given near the attention I think it should have been.
During this opening day at the pool, an accident happens that pulls all the main characters together. This was done much like an ensemble cast movie, such as Magnolia, Love, Actually, Crash, 21 Grams, or Playing by Heart, where multiple seemingly unconncected storylines converge. This is my favorite type of movie, and although I normally love books like this, too, this one just didn’t do it for me. Maybe the author tried too hard to pull it off, and made a few too many storylines to deal with, I’m just not sure.
I would recommend this to readers of chick-lit, and to those who love multiple storylines. In a review on Goodreads, a reviewer said this book reminded her of books written by Catherine Ryan Hyde, and I agree wholeheartedly, though I tend to think Hyde’s books are a little stronger than this novel.
⚔️ KNIVES’ RATING REPORT
As I agree this book reads like a Catherine Ryan Hyde book, here are a few of my favorites by her:
Pay it Forward
When I Found You
Take Me With You
Walk Me Home
Resides in Elkton, M.D. (but my heart belongs in Upstate, N.Y.)
No, too predictable, too whiny
I would need to rewrite the book.
She was very good at switching voices.
Yes, the one thing I did like was, the way she wrote the book in characters i.e....Jenny, Lance , Brite etc.
This is just a story. The story of several people and their lives over one summer. They each tell their own story. I thought the performance was wonderful, the writing very good and character development perfect. It shows that our lives are not perfect, but they're better than we think they are more often than not.
I love this book it kept me guessing all the way till the end once you can push past the beginning it's amazing
I listened for 2 hours about girls going back and forth to the local pool, are you kidding me???? Nothing happened the entire 2 hours. Narrator has a bad southern darawl voice that made my head pound like nails on a chalkboard. No substance, honestly the worst book I've ever downloaded!!!
Live life like a kid in a candy store!
Good twists and turn. I wanted to make that girl turn and run so bad I was saying it out loud, in public! Lucky I wasn't locked up as disturbed. This book shucked me in.
Not only is this book EXTREMELY slow-building, there was never the climax I was waiting for. Every "secret" that came out was fairly stupid, and not at all worth the muddy pages that lead up to it. Also, the woman reading it never really changed her voice between characters, so it all just sounded monotone. Disappointed that I wasted so many hours on this...
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