Angela Mullen left her catering business in East Hampton behind to marry the man who swept her off her feet during a lightning summer romance – great-looking, brilliant NYU economics professor Jason Powell. Now six years later, with her son Spencer rounding out the family, they’re leading a picture-perfect life.
Jason’s become a cultural icon: author of non-fiction bestseller Equalonomics, frequent talk show contributor and podcaster, and renowned international consultant. While Angela is the one who keeps the homefires burning, their bellies satisfyingly filled, and handles all the nitty gritty details so their world can keep spinning like a top.
But things are about to get wobbly…
First there’s a disturbing incident at Jason’s firm, FSS Consulting, where an attractive college intern named Rachel Sutton accuses Jason of inappropriate conduct that could qualify as sexual harassment. Then Kerry Lynch, a female executive who works for one of Jason’s clients, accuses him of something much worse.
Jason keeps protesting his innocence, and Angela says she believes him. But when something unexpected occurs, everything spins out of control…
Angela’s an appealing character, easy to relate to. She has a tragic past that’s left deep psychic wounds – a dark secret she keeps hidden from most of the world – and that has led her to isolate herself and shelter in place. She loves her family and works hard to protect it, especially her hyper-aware son Spencer, who she sends off to camp when the accusations against Jason start trending on social media.
Angela’s also extremely loyal and makes every effort to “stand by her man.” And although one could argue that she’s hopelessly naive, haven’t we all been there? Ignoring the warning signs, fighting the odds, wanting desperately to believe in the faithfulness of the man we love?
Jason is attractive in his own way, exhibiting an easy charm coupled with an underlying sincerity that’s gradually called into question as the layers of shiny new paint are chipped away.
The topic of sexual harassment and abuse is timely and adds another layer of meaning to the story, and the foibles of social media are presented artfully. But what made this novel the most compelling for me was the fascinating dance between lies and truth, what we think we know about others… and what we think we know about ourselves.
A masterful, twisty page turner for sure.
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