A clever, compelling debut novel with a unique premise of what happens when three best friends engage in what seems to be a harmless act, but instead results in tragedy, leading the women to confront buried resentments, shattering secrets, dark lies, and the moral consequences that could alter their lives forever.
Three friends, thirty years of shared secrets, one impulsive gesture…and a terrible accident. When friendship goes bad, someone has to pay.
It's New Year's Eve. Three thirty-something women—Aimee, Melinda and Lou—best friends for decades, let off sky lanterns filled with resolutions: for meaning, for freedom, for money. As the glowing paper bags float away, there's a bright flare in the distance. It could be a sign of luck—or the start of a complete nightmare that will upend their friendships, families, and careers.
The day after their ceremony, the newspapers report a small plane crash—two victims pulled from the wreckage, one a young boy. Were they responsible? Aimee thinks they are, Melinda won't accept it, and Lou has problems of her own. It's a toxic recipe for guilt trips, shame, obsession, blackmail, and power games.
They're not bad people. But desperate times call for desperate measures.
Set in Australia, Scott's quiet debut centers on three lifelong friends: Melinda Baker, the successful CEO of a direct-sales jewelry company; Aimee Verratti, an obsessive-compulsive wife and mother; and Lou Henderson, a single mom struggling paycheck-to-paycheck. On New Year's Eve, the three friends perform a letting-go ceremony, inscribing note cards with all the things they're going to leave behind and tying them to paper lanterns. As they watch their lanterns float over the town of Hensley, they see a small fire in the distance. The next morning, Aimee reads an article in the paper about a nearby plane crash that seriously injured a deputy high school principal and his teenage son. Convinced that she and her friends mistakenly caused the crash, Aimee grows more and more anxious. Lou and Melinda become concerned that she'll tell all of Hensley, but they can't dwell on it for long, as they soon have other issues to deal with, such as Lou's 16-year-old daughter getting pregnant and trouble with Melinda's business. Decades of secrets slowly unravel as this small-town mystery crawls to an anticlimactic end. Too much information and not enough action spoil this effort.