A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Night the Lights Went out by Karen White- Feature and Review


From the New York Times bestselling author of Flight Patterns 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....



The Night the Lights Went OutThe Night the Lights Went Out by Karen White
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Night the Lights Went Out by Karen White Is a 2017 Berkley publication.

Karen White reigns supreme when it comes to modern day southern fried storytelling. I love Karen White’s novels, so it’s fair to say I’m a little biased when it comes to her books, but this one is really special.

Marilee and her two children are uprooted from their lives after her husband, Michael cheats on her with their child's third grade teacher.

Moving to Sweet Apple, Georgia, Marilee rents a cottage from a gruff elderly woman everyone calls ‘Sugar’.

As Marilee gets settled in, she meets the other mothers in town, forges friendships, and may even have a love interest. But, one of the most important relationships she cultivates is with Sugar, as the two women begin sharing a type of quid pro quo confession of their painful past and sins, while unearthing a few old mysteries and solving a crime along the way.

There are books I enjoy, books that touch me or move me, books that make me laugh, or keep me on the edge of my seat. Some books combine all those elements, like this one did, but few of them hit all the notes with perfect tone and pitch and harmonizing, quite like this book did. I haven’t read a book like this one in a long time and I really, really, really needed this kind of story.

While books often focus on marriages, romance, and relationships within the family, allowing friendship bonds to lurk around the surface, this book places friendship front and center, and teaches a few valuable life lessons in the process.

We all have regrets, have all made mistakes, suffered painful losses, some more than others, and confession can be good for the soul. This is something Sugar discovered, albeit kicking and screaming and determined not to allow anyone to melt that carefully constructed exterior she hides behind.

Marilee finds in Sugar a dependable friend, a mother figure, and an unlikely kindred spirit. Sometimes, we still, even well into adulthood, seek approval, a salve for our loneliness, and a way to seek redemption for things we wish we could take back or redo, which is something Marilee goes through in this novel, while Sugar watches from the sidelines, ready to step in if and when necessary.

The characters in this book are going to stay with me for a long time. They are so well crafted, realistic and vivid I would swear they came to life. The plot is amazingly well crafted, quirky, emotional, witty and humorous, but also suspenseful and edgy.

The southern setting is a Karen White trademark, and as I've said many times before, there is just something about a story told with a southern flair that pronounces everything, from the food, (cookies in this case), to the scenery, to the dialogue. Karen White has that flair down to a science, and this novel is no exception, in fact, it’s exceptional.

In other words, this story has something for everyone, and can be read by anyone, and enjoyed by all, and is the type of story that is good for your soul. I loved it!

So, you’ve heard me gush long enough. Go forth and pre-order this book, you won’t regret it!





After playing hooky one day in the seventh grade to read Gone With the Wind, Karen White knew she wanted to be a writer—or become Scarlett O'Hara. In spite of these aspirations, Karen pursued a degree in business and graduated cum laude with a BS in Management from Tulane University. Ten years later, after leaving the business world, she fulfilled her dream of becoming a writer and wrote her first book. In the Shadow of the Moon was published in August, 2000. Her books have since been nominated for numerous national contests including the SIBA (Southeastern Booksellers Alliance) Fiction Book of the Year, and has twice won the National Readers’ Choice Award.

Karen is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and currently writes what she refers to as ‘grit lit’—Southern women’s fiction—and has also expanded her horizons into writing a mystery series set in Charleston, South Carolina. Her 22nd novel, THE GUESTS ON SOUTH BATTERY, was published January 10, 2017 by Berkley Publishing, a division of Penguin Random House Publishing Group.

Karen hails from a long line of Southerners but spent most of her growing up years in London, England and is a graduate of the American School in London. When not writing, she spends her time reading, scrapbooking, playing piano, and avoiding cooking. She currently lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two children, and two spoiled Havanese dogs.

- See more at: http://www.karen-white.com/bio.cfm#st...

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