The Night the Lights Went Out Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
From the New York Times best-selling 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....
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|Listening Length||15 hours and 19 minutes|
|Narrator||Carolyn Cook, Susan Larkin, Tiffany Morgan|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||April 11, 2017|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #46,638 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#941 in Family Life Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#1,828 in Women's Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#2,543 in Women's Domestic Life Fiction
Reviewed in the United States on March 25, 2018
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Astute mystery fans will collect clues to the two biggest “who’s” as they go, making the reveals not so splashy. However, the story involves way more than that. White’s character backgrounds and development are deep and multi-faceted. Even though it was frustrating how easily and often Merilee was hoodwinked, they were necessary to forward movement of the plot.
There seemed to be a couple loose ends untied, but not to detract from the whole of the story.
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….
Small town Southern life feels familiar to me, having lived in such places, even when they were not actually in the South. Folks who migrate from that part of the world carry their values and traditions with them, along with the secrets of the past, and creating a mini-Southern enclave wherever they are.
Secrets are a core theme in The Night the Lights Went Out, and we have a couple of the characters that share some of their secrets, a bit at a time, as alternating narrators. Sugar, the ninety-something matriarch is technically Merilee’s landlord, but as time and secret-sharing bring them closer together, we see that a very strong bond is forming.
I loved Sugar, who reminded me of my feisty grandmothers. And like them, she knew how to hold a secret close…until its revelation would strengthen a friendship or save a life.
Heather was a character that I disliked from the beginning. First, because nobody is all that perfect and seemingly one’s best friend without an agenda. I worried about how willingly Merilee gave over her friendship to this woman, but it would be a while before we saw what was really going on behind that façade.
Alternating with Sugar and Merilee’s narratives are blog posts from an anonymous source, entitled “Your Neighbor.” A site that seems like a gossip fest soon reveals itself for its tidbits of wisdom, including Southern Sayings, interpreted for those who are new to them.
This intense story turned dark and threatening and kept me turning pages until the startling revelations and the delightful denouement, thus earning 5 stars.
The book was full of wonderful quotes and southern sayings. A lot of them, you can relate to your everyday life. It is a story that shows the strength of women, strength in friendships, and strength in yourself. I found it to be very uplifting. Karen White hit it out of the park again.
There is just tiny bit of romance thrown in. I found myself reaching for more romance. However, at the same time, I can understand the romance part being a very background story to the main story. The story is focused on the strength of Merilee and Sugar, not a man who comes to save them. I'm just a sucker for some good romance.
As soon as Heather asked Merilee to go look for Dan down in the cellar, I knew she was being set up for something. I just didn't know what. I found the chain of events surprising at the end of the chapter.
The repeating topic of conversation about passwords and such had foreshadowed to what Merilee was being set up for. She was much too trusting to begin with and sometimes, I wanted to yell at her, but at the same time, I probably would have done the same thing being the new "mom" in the group. Sadly, that's what we do as humans. We want to be accepted and feel like we are in the crowd. No one likes to be left out.
I was not surprised that Daniel was unhappy. It definitely was foreshadowed in the conversations that Merilee and Daniel had. I found myself struggling with wanting Daniel to find happiness and Merliee getting together with Wade. It seemed to be a constant struggle for some reason. I felt like we got to know Daniel a little bit more than Wade throughout the book. And for that reason, I felt like Daniel and Merliee would have made a good couple, as well. Unfortunately, with him already being married to Heather, that would have made the story very conflicting and hard to root for.