by Tall Poppy Nicole Baart
This simmering, slow-build of a book is absolutely riveting. Paula Treick DeBoard has outdone herself with a wrenching, thoughtful story about the perfect life unraveled.
Liz McGinnis is an uncomfortable transplant in a chic, gated community called The Palms. Her husband is the new community director and she longs to make it work—for his sake. But her gossipy, entitled neighbors make fitting-in difficult, and her quiet daughter, Danielle, struggles to find friends. Until the glamorous, gorgeous neighbor girl befriends her. Soon, Danielle is changing right before Liz’s eyes—and not for the better.
The Drowning Girls is told from alternating perspectives, and it’s downright agonizing to be able to see the story from a bird’s eye view. Misunderstanding and misinformation abound, but when the accusations begin to fly and someone is seriously hurt, the entire community must come to grips with the dark lies that shimmer just beneath the surface of their perfect facade. Very highly recommended for readers of psychological thrillers.
From the publisher:
Liz McGinnis never imagined herself living in a luxurious gated community like The Palms. Ever since she and her family moved in, she’s felt like an outsider amongst the Stepford-like wives and their obnoxiously spoiled children. Still, she’s determined to make it work—if not for herself, then for her husband, Phil, who landed them this lavish home in the first place, and for her daughter, Danielle, who’s about to enter high school.
Yet underneath the glossy veneer of The Palms, life is far from idyllic. In a place where reputation is everything, Liz soon discovers that even the friendliest residents can’t be trusted—and almost everyone has secrets they’d do anything to protect. So when the gorgeous girl next door befriends Danielle, Liz can’t help but find sophisticated Kelsey’s interest in her shy and slightly nerdy daughter a bit suspicious.
But while Kelsey quickly becomes a fixture in the McGinnis home, Liz’s relationships with both Danielle and Phil grow strained. Now even her own family seems to be hiding things, and it’s not long before their dream of living the high life quickly spirals out of control…
Nicole Baart is the mother of five children from four different countries. The cofounder of a non-profit organization, One Body One Hope, she lives in a small town in Iowa. She is the author of seven novels, including, most recently, Little Broken Things.