Penguin Group Dutton
US Publication – July 27,2021
The latest novel from Sara Shepard, author of Reputation and the #1 New York Times bestselling Pretty Little Liars series. When the principal of an elite California preschool is attacked, three moms—who feel like outsiders among the school’s manicured and ultra-wealthy community—must work together to uncover what she’s hiding, figure out who’s trying to frame them, and make sure their own secrets stay hidden.
Andrea, Lauren, and Ronnie all see themselves as good, loving moms who are trying their best, but they each arrive at the Silver Swans preschool Welcome Breakfast with something to hide. Andrea is running away from a past on the East Coast, which she cannot afford for the other parents to discover. Lauren is recovering from a postpartum condition her husband has warned her not to disclose. And Ronnie is hiding herself and her daughter from the one man who could at any moment appear in their lives and ruin everything she holds dear. They already feel like impostors among the school’s community of polished parents. But then notes appear in their children’s backpacks after the first day at school. Notes that indicate that someone knows their deepest, darkest secrets and needs them gone. Does someone not want them in the community? Or is it something more menacing—does someone know everything?
When the principal of the school is the victim of an almost-fatal attack, it quickly becomes clear that the Silver Swans community is not as flawless as the brochures and website would have you believe. The three moms must band together to uncover the school’s many secrets before the other suspicious parents and town police close in and use their outsider status to blame them . . . and before they lose what they have worked so hard for.
Lauren, Andrea, and Ronnie have all enrolled their children in the very exclusive and expensive Silver Swans Nursery Academy. These women are all new to the Raisin Beach, California area, and like so many other mothers, they want the best education for their kids. When they attend the Welcome Breakfast on the first day of school, not only does the school’s director Piper seems less than impressed, but the other mothers seem to be speaking another language. Andrea, Lauren, and Ronnie share some Bailey’s and become fast friends.
It is a good thing too since each woman has something to hide. Lauren is suffering from postpartum anger, Ronnie has a dark past, and Andrea’s family has pretty much disowned her because she is transgender. But someone seems to know their secrets and doesn’t think they or their children belong at this prestigious school. When Piper is attacked, they are all suspects and it appears that all of the things they are trying to hide will be exposed.
I was very interested in the story until shortly after Piper’s attack. It seemed to me like it lost some of its focus, and I wasn’t frantically flipping pages anymore. I did enjoy seeing how everything would work out, and Andrea was my favorite character. 3.5 stars.
I received a DRC from Penguin Group Dutton through NetGalley.