On Harlow Street, the well-to-do neighborhood couples and their children gather for a barbecue as the summer winds down. Everything is fabulous until Whitney, the picture-perfect hostess, explodes in fury because her son disobeys her. Everyone at the party hears her exquisite veneer crack—loud and clear. Before long, that same young boy falls from his bedside window in the middle of the night. And then his mother can only sit by her son's hospital bed, where his life hangs in the balance. Over the course of a tense three days, the women of the neighborhood grapple with what led to that terrible night.
I want every man to read this book despite promotional materials trumpeting its appeal to women ... Audrain is unwilling to court her readers’ sympathies, allowing her characters to be imperfect, vulnerable, furious and unrepentant. She examines their fury and presents their unvarnished emotions without passing judgment or apologizing ... Can be a bit of a slow burn ... As a result, we often find ourselves ahead of the characters as they uncover secrets and truths they’ve hidden from themselves. But there is a voyeuristic pleasure in watching the collisions of couples when their infidelities come to light, as well as their nasty secrets and petty jealousies. Even if the narrative is occasionally freighted with detail and stage direction, these diversions somehow never muddy the simplicity and honesty of the characters’ ire. This is both refreshing and disquieting.
Stunning ... Audrain has taken command of what might be called the suburbs-and-secrets genre ... The result is a powerful, immersive story, with a surprising level of tension and suspense. Audrain has discovered the truth that many writers overlook: the highest stakes often seem tiny, or inconsequential, rooted in intimacy and domesticity.