When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica

When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica, Don Mills, Ontario, Canada: Park Row Books, [2018]

When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica

Jessie Sloane has spent the last five years of her life circling the reality of her mother’s cancer battle.  When she passes during the night, all Jessie can think about are the last words her mother said to her “find yourself.”  Living up to those words, Jessie applies for college, rents a new apartment and starts down the path of rebuilding her life.

But when the college calls to inform her that her social security number has returned as being from a deceased person, Jessie’s shock and insomnia cause her to doubt everything she’s ever known.  Now, at the center of a bizarre mystery, her judgement is blurred and she begins to see things until she can no longer tell the difference between what’s real and what’s imagined.  Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, another woman’s decisions may hold the key to the secret surrounding Jessie’s life. 

Eden believes her life is perfect.  Her husband is wonderful, they have the best house and they’re ready to start a family.  But when it turns out getting pregnant is harder than she expected, it becomes an all-consuming, devastating bomb that erodes her happiness.  Every month of nothing is a game of mental angst, which leads down the road of increased doctors’ bills and debt.  When nothing else matters but the determination to become a mother, her marriage shatters and depression sets in.  Then, one split second decision changes the course of her future.

In a suspenseful mind-game of ‘what’s the truth,’ Jessie tries to navigate her own mystery while the past is slowly revealed to the readers.  Mary Kubica does an excellent job of creating intrigue and suspense in an emotional thriller that is not in any way a murder mystery or spy game novel, which has seemed to overtake the market at the moment.

Similar authors that you might enjoy are Catriona McPherson, Gillian Flynn, and Joy Fielding.

Susana Goldman is the Library Director of the Alamance County Public Library.  She can be reached at (336) 513-4753 or sgoldman@alamancelibraries.org.