Thursday, May 09, 2019

Seven top books about the darker side of small towns & suburbia

Marybeth Mayhew Whalen is the author of Only Ever Her, as well as When We Were Worthy, The Things We Wish Were True, and five previous novels.

At CrimeReads she tagged seven favorite books about the darker side of small towns and suburbia, including:
The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson

Laurel Gray Hawthorne needs to make things pretty, whether she’s helping her mother make sure the literal family skeleton stays in the closet or turning scraps of fabric into nationally-acclaimed art quilts. Her estranged sister Thalia, an impoverished actress with a capital A, is her polar opposite, priding herself on exposing the lurid truth lurking behind middle-class niceties. While Laurel’s life seems neatly on track—a passionate marriage, a treasured daughter, and a lovely home in suburban Victorianna—everything she holds dear is suddenly thrown into question the night she is visited by the ghost of a her 13-year old neighbor, Molly Dufresne. The ghost leads Laurel to the real Molly floating lifelessly in the Hawthorne’s backyard pool. Molly’s death is inexplicable—an unseemly mystery that Laurel knows no one in her whitewashed neighborhood is up to solving. Only her wayward, unpredictable sister is right for the task, but calling in a favor from Thalia is like walking straight into a frying pan protected only by Crisco. Enlisting Thalia’s help, Laurel sets out on a life-altering journey that triggers startling revelations about her family’s guarded past, the true state of her marriage, and the girl who stopped swimming.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Page 69 Test: The Girl Who Stopped Swimming.

My Book, The Movie: The Girl Who Stopped Swimming.

--Marshal Zeringue