From Meg Little Reilly, comes a stunning thriller that will keep readers up turning pages long into the night, EVERYTHING THAT FOLLOWS!
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CAUGHT IN THE BACKWASH, THEY HAVE LOST CONTROL OF THEIR LIVES…
For fans of Megan Abbott and Chris Bohjalian comes a novel of moral complexity about friends who must choose between self-preservation and doing the right thing in the wake of a fatal boating accident. Set in the moody off-season of Martha’s Vineyard, Everything That Follows is a plunge into the dark waters of secrets and flexible morals. The truth becomes whatever we say it is…
Around midnight, three friends take their partying from bar to boat on a misty fall evening. Just as the weather deteriorates, one of them suddenly and confusingly goes overboard. Is it an accident? The result of an unwanted advance? His body disappears quickly, silently, into the dark water. The circumstances are murky, but what is clear is that the other two need to notify the authorities. Minutes become hours become days as they hesitate, caught up in their guilt and hope that their friend has somehow made it safely to shore. As valuable time passes, they find themselves deep in a moral morass with huge implications as they struggle to move forward and live with their dark secret.
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“Taut with moral complexity and a subtly building tension, this is the kind of story that punishes you if you dare to put it down. ”
— Kim Cross, New York Times best selling author of WHAT STANDS IN A STORM
“[a] skillfully wrought tale of atonement in a frame of psychological suspense.”— Booklist
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Reviewed by Anna Green on behalf of KFF
This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I am totally blown away. A psychological drama set in Martha’s Vineyard with seemingly ordinary characters thrown into a moral dilemma.
There are three main characters in this story: Kat, Sean and Hunter. Kat and Sean are in a relationship and Hunter is their friend. Kat’s past defines her character. When that “incident” happened, her actions and her choice altered the dynamics of this trio’s relationship.
Sean has a teenage daughter from a previous relationship, lives in Martha’s Vineyard and the type who will never leave his hometown. He is forever linked to this place. He has been in a relationship with Kat for more than five years. He got to know her when she drifted into town and became his mother, Orla’s apprentice glass blower.
Hunter is the son of a powerful political figure, privileged but completely ignored by his father. He has undergone rehab for his overindulgent lifestyle. His friendship with Kat and Sean developed when he arrived in the island to keep a low profile and not draw attention to his father’s campaign in the upcoming elections.
Martha’s Vineyard the setting of this story plays a big role in this book. I love the author’s way of setting the mood of the book through the town’s quirky character, the locals and the events that followed. This author’s writing style is different than I am used to but it doesn’t mean that I didn’t like it, in fact I love it! She creates characters that are so empathetic. This tale is about self-preservation and redemption. It challenges your moral compass, makes you think deep and dig deep inside your heart. It made me question myself if I would have done the same, maybe or maybe not. I cannot tell you because you might judge me. One thing I can tell you is that you should read this book. Highly recommended!
[Sean] pulled a beer from its plastic ring and handed it to her. “So you’re better?”
The feeling she’d been avoiding was pushing up from her stomach now, constricting her windpipe and sending a flood of blood to her face. Kat wanted to fall into Sean. She wanted to just explain it all and unload some of that feeling onto him. She wasn’t better and she needed to tell him so. But that was the weaker option. As soon as he knew, he would have an opinion about how to move forward. He’d be a liability to this secret and a party to it. She pushed the feeling back down with a dry swallow.
Kat sat on the couch and took two sips of the beer, though she wanted to drink it all at once. It seemed like Sean was observing her as she drank. He was in search of a better answer for what was going on with her. Or maybe he wasn’t at all and she was just paranoid.
He sat beside her and opened his own beer.
Kat leaned in toward him. The cold outside air was still on his clothes and face, in his beard, which she liked as much as she could like anything at that moment. She kissed his cheek and he turned for her mouth.
It didn’t feel right to fake this, but Kat decided that she should probably take off her clothes. That’s what she normally would have done in such a situation, and she needed to behave as normally as possible.
“You smell like a campfire,” Sean said into her neck. The studio always gave her a whiff of char.
She smiled and pulled off her shirt. “You smell like you.”
They both undressed and then moved to the carpeted floor with slow and synchronized motions, followed by more frenzied ones, as always. Her head wasn’t in it, but nothing about Kat’s physical response to Sean would have indicated that. Everyone hit their marks and had their uncomplicated pleasures. Thank God. Their sex life had always been robust and satisfying; never too adventurous, but a steady and nourishing diet. It was a comfort to know she could get right into it without much trouble. This was all very normal behavior, normal enough to quiet any of Sean’s suspicions. The whole act made her feel like a liar, but she was glad to pull it off.
When they finished and dressed again, Sean kissed her head and went to the bedroom. Kat could hear him crawl under the down comforter. She would have preferred to be alone on that night, but saying so was not an option, so she joined him.
Sean murmured an “I love you,” grunted comfortably and fell quickly to sleep beside her.
Kat liked the warmth of his fuzzy back against hers. That feeling was real. Maybe this could work, she thought. Maybe Kyle’s body had disappeared forever, and she and Hunter could keep this secret, and they could go on with their lives as normal. Sure, there would be news about the disappearance of a local man, probably a search party and some media attention. But what did that have to do with any of them? Nothing at all. They didn’t even know Kyle Billings.
Kyle Billings. Kyle Billings. Kyle Billings. That was his name. He was a person who had existed and then stopped existing. Everyone on the island would know his name soon. Tragic story, what happened to that kid, they’d say. And Kat would just be one of those people who knew his name because she’d seen it on the news. She would shake her head and think of the family, just like everyone else. Nothing strange about that.
Meg Little Reilly’s EVERYTHING THAT FOLLOWS – Tour Schedule:
Mythical Books – Excerpt
What Is That Book About – Excerpt
Belle’s Book Belfry – Review
Kindle Friends Forever – Review & Excerpt
A Southern Girls Bookshelf – Excerpt
Adventures in Writing – Excerpt
Movies, Shows, & Books – Excerpt
Suey Library – Review & Excerpt
Bookishly Yours – Excerpt
Friends Till The End Book Blog – Excerpt
Linz Readz – Review & Excerpt
Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
A Book Nerd, a Bookseller and a Bibliophile – Review & Excerpt
4TLOReading – Review & Excerpt
Brittany’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Literary misfit – Excerpt
TEXTTEASER BOOK BLOG – Review & Excerpt
A Bookaholic Swede – Excerpt
Jax’s Book Magic – Excerpt
Miss Riki – Review & Excerpt
Books A-Brewin’ – Excerpt
Jen in Bookland – Review & Excerpt
Literature Goals – Review & Excerpt
The Book Addict’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Crazy Chaotic Book Babes – Review & Excerpt
I am a Book Hoarder – Review & Excerpt
Margaux – Excerpt
Shakespeare’s Wench Book Blog – Review
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About Meg Little Reilly:
Meg Little Reilly is the author of the novels EVERYTHING THAT FOLLOWS and WE ARE UNPREPARED. She’s a public radio commentator, essayist, and outdoors enthusiast. Prior to writing novels, Meg worked in national politics and the White House. She holds a B.A. from the University of Vermont and an M.A. from the George Washington University. These days, she lives in rural Vermont with her husband and two daughters.