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By Steena Holmes

After wasting her son in an basic college taking pictures that devastates the tight-knit group of Stillwater Bay, Jennifer Crowne unearths herself not able to settle again into her function of excellent stay-at-home mother and committee organizer. in the meantime, her ally, Mayor Charlotte Stone, struggles to maintain the city jointly, and Charlotte’s husband, the varsity valuable, is probably not the hero every body thinks him to be.

As they fight to heal from this irrevocable trauma, Jenn and Charlotte locate themselves at a crossroads—within town and inside of their friendship. For Jenn, damaged and grieving, there isn't any going again, and he or she calls for that the varsity be closed in order that she will be able to bury the previous. but Charlotte is both eager to carry town jointly, battling the college closure and assisting the shooter’s mom regain her position in the neighborhood. Jenn and Charlotte’s courting is placed to the final word try as each one weighs her personal pursuits opposed to the bonds in their friendship.

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Charity shrugged. “Are you going to ring the doorbell? ” “Are you going to reply to my query? ” Charity stared down at her toes. “Things are diverse now,” she muttered earlier than she leaned ahead and rang the doorbell herself. The yap of a small puppy stuffed the home the instant the doorbell rang. Jenn and Charity checked out one another in surprise—the puppy needs to be a brand new addition. “Sh. now not so loud, Lily. ” Jenn took a step again as Carla opened front door. Carla Anderson used to be a type of girls who may possibly famous person in any housewives’ truth tv exhibit. Her husband got here from cash, and so they had no qualms approximately exhibiting it. They’d obtained their summer time domestic 5 years in the past, and in that point they’d reworked it right into a picture-perfect seashore condo that were featured in at the very least domestic layout magazines. “Well, hi neighbor. I questioned if you happen to might drop through. ” She stood within the doorway, her manicured arms stroking the tender white fur of the yappy puppy she held in her palms. “You comprehend, i used to be announcing to the children that it’s now not formally summer time until eventually Jenn Crowne pops over together with her lovely welcome basket. ” Jenn pasted a faux smile on her face as she reached for the basket Charity held. “Welcome domestic. ” She held out the basket after which learned how awkward that appeared considering that there has been no approach Carla might take it from her, no longer whereas she held the puppy in her hands. She adjusted her grip at the basket deal with in its place. “I instructed the youngsters to not count on it to be expecting us this 12 months, and that i was once correct. Wasn’t I, Lily? ” She leaned down and put a kiss at the most sensible of her dog’s head. “I didn’t count on you to be right here so quickly. ” She attempted to sound apologetic, yet there has been whatever to Carla’s tone that her. “Oh, I must have known as you, i assume. ” Carla readjusted her puppy in her palms. “We suggestion we'd come and help the city for the yearly parade and festivities, yet i assume you-all made up our minds to forgo that this yr, that's completely comprehensible. It’s challenging to have fun in the course of one of these tragic time. ” She shook her head as though saddened through the concept. “Oh, we’re nonetheless having the parade,” Charity piped up. Carla’s brows rose. “You are? ” Disbelief flooded her voice. Or used to be it disdain? Jenn wasn’t certain the best way to learn the girl this day. “It’s simply being postponed to coincide with the July Fourth celebration,” Jenn defined. “We made up our minds to begin a brand new culture this yr. ” Carla nodded. “Of direction, that is smart. ” The basket grew heavy in her palms as they stood there. “Well. ” Jenn cleared her throat. “Welcome domestic. ” She held out the basket, yet Carla simply stared at her. “I’m sorry approximately Bobby,” she acknowledged. Jenn simply nodded. “Thank you,” she acknowledged by way of rote. That’s all she ever stated. thanks. now not for the 1st time, she puzzled why she stated that. Why was once she thanking a person for acknowledging that she’d misplaced her in basic terms son? “Did you get our plants? ” She despatched flora? Jenn glanced over at Charity, who nodded. “Yes, that used to be very style. ” Jenn questioned which association used to be theirs. would it not be the overly ornate combined basket that sat at the nook desk, or used to be it one of many many who cluttered their mantel over the fireside?

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