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?
One small North Carolina town, a community pool, several storytellers, several points of views, and more pretense and secrets one could imagine.
With each chapter in the book, the point of view of the story changes, a new person stands up and has their chance at the mic. While most tell their part of the story in the third person, one child, Cailey, does it from the first person point of view. The multiple points of view most likely help to get a full rounded picture of events of that one summer at Sycamore Glen, but it made it hard to get into the story, get connected to the characters and to care about them.
Yes, some of the characters, like a little Cailey, touched my heart. She and her little brother were such warriors, trying to survive despite the circumstances.
It seems like every single person in the little town has a secret, something they would rather hold to themselves till their grave. The level of dishonesty, betrayal, and deceit was so deep, it might make you question who you really can trust, is anyone telling the truth, being honest, not hiding something in your own life.
At the end, the author manages to wrap everything up, to give the conclusion to the individual stories, to give hope for tomorrow for most of them.
It wasn't an easy read by any standards, yet it does make you stop and think about your own life, and the possible secrets it holds, the people around you and their trustworthiness. The story surprised me by not being anything like I expected from the blurb, yet it gave food for the thought and managed to hold my interest all the way to the end. An interesting look at the small town living in Sycamore Glen, North Carolina, and the summer when most of the secrets came to light.
~ Three Spoons
Marybeth Mayhew Whalen is the author of The Things We Wish Were True and five previous novels. She speaks to women's groups around the US. She is the co-founder of the popular women's fiction site, She Reads www.shereads.org.
Marybeth and her husband Curt have been married for 24 years and are the parents of six children, ranging from young adult to elementary age. The family lives in North Carolina. Marybeth spends most of her time in the grocery store but occasionally escapes long enough to scribble some words. She is always at work on her next novel. You can find her at www.marybethwhalen.com.
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