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When the Lights Go Out
Cover of When the Lights Go Out
When the Lights Go Out

A woman is forced to question her own identity in this riveting and emotionally charged thriller by the blockbuster bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica

Jessie Sloane is on the path to rebuilding her life after years of caring for her ailing mother. She rents a new apartment and applies for college. But when the college informs her that her social security number has raised a red flag, Jessie discovers a shocking detail that causes her to doubt everything she's ever known.

Finding herself suddenly at the center of a bizarre mystery, Jessie tumbles down a rabbit hole, which is only exacerbated by grief and a relentless lack of sleep. As days pass and the insomnia worsens, it plays with Jessie's mind. Her judgment is blurred, her thoughts are hampered by fatigue. Jessie begins to see things until she can no longer tell the difference between what's real and what she's only imagined.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier and two hundred and fifty miles away, another woman's split-second decision may hold the key to Jessie's secret past. Has Jessie's whole life been a lie or have her delusions gotten the best of her?

A woman is forced to question her own identity in this riveting and emotionally charged thriller by the blockbuster bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica

Jessie Sloane is on the path to rebuilding her life after years of caring for her ailing mother. She rents a new apartment and applies for college. But when the college informs her that her social security number has raised a red flag, Jessie discovers a shocking detail that causes her to doubt everything she's ever known.

Finding herself suddenly at the center of a bizarre mystery, Jessie tumbles down a rabbit hole, which is only exacerbated by grief and a relentless lack of sleep. As days pass and the insomnia worsens, it plays with Jessie's mind. Her judgment is blurred, her thoughts are hampered by fatigue. Jessie begins to see things until she can no longer tell the difference between what's real and what she's only imagined.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier and two hundred and fifty miles away, another woman's split-second decision may hold the key to Jessie's secret past. Has Jessie's whole life been a lie or have her delusions gotten the best of her?

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About the Author-
  • Mary Kubica is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL and PRETTY BABY. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children and enjoys photography, gardening and caring for the animals at a local shelter.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 23, 2018
    Jessie Sloane, the chief narrator of this lackluster psychological thriller from bestseller Kubica (Every Last Lie), spends her teen years caring for her mother, Eden, until Eden dies from cancer at their home in Chicago. Numb with grief, insomniac Jessie tries to get on with her life by applying to a community college, but a college official informs her that her Social Security number belongs to a girl who died 17 years earlier. Jessie never knew who her father was, nor does she have a birth certificate or a driver’s license, so trying to find her identity seems insurmountable. As Jessie’s insomnia worsens, she makes one bad decision after another. Flashbacks from Eden’s viewpoint show that she and her husband, Aaron, were loving newlyweds, but their marriage soured when Eden became consumed with having a baby. Jessie’s inability to tell reality from illusion quickly becomes tiresome, as does Eden and Aaron’s story. Eden’s account plods to a disappointing finale. Kubica fans will hope for a return to form next time. Agent: Rachael Dillon Fried, Greenburger Assoc.

  • Library Journal

    April 15, 2018

    Remaking her life after her mother succumbs to cancer, Jessica uncovers a secret that undermines her sense of self even as she navigates a world made hazy by sleeplessness. Meanwhile, the heartbreak of Eden's unmet wish to have a child brings on marital stress, emotional collapse, and, finally, some dangerous behavior. Top-drawer suspense author Kubica (The Good Girl; Every Last Lie) connects the dots; a 250,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    July 1, 2018
    When Jessie Sloane's mother, Eden, dies of cancer, Jessie is left rudderless. Then she discovers she might not be the person she thought she was.Jessie never knew her father, and she can't bear to live in the house that she shared with Eden, so she puts it on the market. When she applies to community college, she gets a call with the alarming news that a death certificate was filed 17 years ago with her name and social security number on it. She'll need to get a copy of her social security card, but without a birth certificate or driver's license--she doesn't drive--it's nearly impossible, and when a clerk takes pity on her and does a search, no records are found. It's a vicious circle, and it hampers her ability to find an apartment, although she does eventually find a place in a small carriage house she rents from reclusive widow Ms. Geissler. Unfortunately, in addition to the question of her identity, she's got a more pressing problem: Jessie has insomnia, and as the days pass and she doesn't sleep, she begins to hear and see things, eventually wondering how long she can go without sleep before it kills her. Woven with Jessie's first-person narrative is Eden's tale, beginning 20 years ago in 1996 when she's only 28. She and her husband, Aaron, are crazy in love and desperately hope for a child, but as time passes and they don't conceive, they begin trying more aggressive, and more expensive, methods. Eden's obsession builds to a fever pitch, threatening to tear her and Aaron apart. Jessie's story, an effective study of grief, nightmarishly builds to its own fever pitch, and Kubica peppers her narrative with creepy, surreal touches that will have readers questioning reality right along with Jessie. Eden's story, on the other hand, poignantly examines what it's like to want a child so badly that you'll do anything to have one. Can Jessie find out who she really is before it's too late? It all leads to a denouement that isn't very surprising, but a lesser writer might not have been able to pull off the final twist.Kubica is a helluva storyteller, and while this doesn't quite equal her best efforts, it's still pretty darn good.

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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