Rachel Hawkins is the New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs and Reckless Girls, as well as multiple books for young readers. Her work has been translated in over a dozen countries. She studied gender and sexuality in Victorian literature at Auburn University and currently lives in Alabama. - (Macmillan School)
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Friendship and professional jealousy fuel this nail-biter from bestseller Hawkins (The Wife Upstairs). As children, Chess Chandler and Emily Sheridan were inseparable, but they grew apart as adults. Chess became a popular self-help guru with books, videos, and TED talks, while Emily found moderate success writing an amateur sleuth mystery series. Chess's star and wealth continue to rise as Emily deals with a divorce conflict over her royalties, health problems, and writer's block. Then Chess suggests a "hard reset" to their friendship with a six-week stay at Villa Aestas outside Orvieto, Italy. Emily is reluctant until she learns the villa was rented in the summer of 1974 by rock star Noel Gordon. The villa became known as the Murder House after a guest of Noel's, an unknown musician, was murdered there that summer. The villa—and its past, chronicled in a hidden diary—energizes Emily, who begins to write again, starting with the provocative first sentence: "Houses remember." But Chess is stymied, unable to work until she finds Emily's rough draft. Intense characters complement the brisk plot, which shifts smoothly between the present and 1974. Hawkins consistently entertains. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary. (Jan.)
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