College professor Charlotte is an expert on happiness and her academic and publishing career promoting the ways to bring joy into your life couldn’t be going better. The only problem is her life isn’t so rosy at home – her teen daughter is in the midst of her first infatuation, her husband isn't happy about her drinking habits, and her childhood sweetheart is back in her life.
I was looking forward to this book because I have done the super-popular Yale course run by the professor who inspired the protagonist’s career path. The story showcases well the unease Charlotte feels from having to appear so together and upbeat in public while things are falling apart in her personal life. Overall, it’s a relatable journey of self-discovery.
Waverly, Kate and Amy have been close friends for years. Though very different women who each want very different things in life, they have tried hard to maintain their friendship.
Waverly owns a bakery that is not as successful as her friends may think. Kate is from a wealthy family and is married to the new golden boy about to be elected governor of Virginia. Amy is married to a doctor and has a little girl and what appears to be the perfect life she always dreamed of.
The three women are all holding on to dangerous secrets that will shock the others. Waverly is in deep financial trouble and unable to deal with it. Kate's future as the the first lady of Virginia is in serious jeopardy. And Amy is keeping a secret from her two friends that is so horrifying that she is in complete denial. Each of these women need to somehow allow her friends to help rather that just keeping up appearances. As the secrets between the friends pile up, the tension builds until it all blows up in a shocking way.
This is a fabulous debut novel that will have you questioning how well you really know your friends. (AR)