“Two parts Gone Girl, two parts Notes on a Scandal. . .will play with your expectations about who’s the villain and who’s the victim.” — Jennifer Weiner, USA Today
Longlisted for the Brooklyn Public Library Book Prize for Fiction
The acclaimed, bestselling author of This Could Hurt returns with her biggest, boldest novel yet—an electrifying, twisty, and deeply emotional family drama, set on Manhattan’s glittering Upper East Side, that explores the dark side of love, the limits of loyalty, and the high cost of truth.
You can have everything, and still not have enough.
Cassie Quinn may only be twenty-three, but she knows a few things. One: money can’t buy happiness, but it’s certainly better to have it. Two: family matters most. Three: her younger brother Billy is not a rapist.
When Billy, a junior at Princeton, is arrested for assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Cassie races home to Manhattan to join forces with her big brother Nate and their parents, Lawrence and Eleanor. The Quinns scramble to hire the best legal minds money can buy, but Billy fits the all-too-familiar sex-offender profile—white, athletic, and privileged—that makes headlines and sways juries.
Meanwhile, Cassie struggles to understand why Billy’s ex Diana would go this far, even if the breakup was painful. And she knows how the end of first love can destroy someone: Her own years-long affair with a powerful, charismatic man left her shattered, and she’s only recently regained her footing.
As reporters converge outside their Upper East Side landmark building, the Quinns gird themselves for a media-saturated trial, and Cassie vows she’ll do whatever it takes to save Billy. But what if that means exposing her own darkest secrets to the world?
Lightning-paced and psychologically astute as it rockets toward an explosive ending, When We Were Bright and Beautiful is a dazzling novel that asks: who will pay the price when the truth is revealed?
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
One of Manhattan’s wealthiest families is on the verge of collapse in Jillian Medoff’s gripping drama. Cassie Quinn can’t imagine her shy brother Billy hurting anyone, so when he’s arrested for sexual assault, she rushes home to stand by him. But staying focused on the legal struggles at hand gets harder when a problematic old love reappears in her life and the trial threatens to expose everybody’s dirty laundry. We couldn’t stop listening to Medoff’s intense tale, which really kicks into high gear when Cassie begins doubting the truth about her family and their loyalties—and learns the hard way that some secrets never die, no matter how much money you throw at them. Narrated by veteran Marin Ireland, When We Were Bright and Beautiful is a gripping listen about an affluent and troubled family.
Don’t buy this book
This was a horrible book. I’m upset that I spent money for this book. The writting was awful. The writing is all over the place. You don’t get the POV of the person on trail. Instead, it’s about the sister Cassie. I didn’t like any of the characters. Don’t waste your money on this book at all.