Thursday, July 20, 2023

Prom Mom

Prom Mom by Laura Lippman
7/25/23; 320 pages

Prom Mom by Laura Lippman is a highly recommended domestic psychological suspense novel.

Amber Glass was known as "Prom Mom," the girl who gave birth and allegedly killed her baby while her date Joe Simpson or "Cad Dad," chased after an ex-girlfriend. Even though Amber escaped from her past in Baltimore, which made the tabloids, she chose to return and stay after her stepfather passed away. She's opening an art gallery and plans to stay out of Joe's way, maybe.

Joe is still in town, a successful commercial real estate developer, and married to a plastic surgeon, Meredith, his soul mate but that doesn't stop him from having affairs. His current lover is a young realtor, Jordan Altman, but he pursues a relationship with Amber. When the pandemic and lockdown occur, it threatens Joe's way of life as well as his financial bottom line.

The writing and character development is phenomenal, as expected. Readers won't necessarily like any of the characters, but you will immediately know who they are and how they fit into the plot and the time period. The plot will pull you right into the story and hold your attention throughout. Prom Mom is a slow-moving novel but is worth the time to reach the end. There is a twist at the end that I didn't anticipate and appreciated quite a bit.

Parts of this narrative were very engrossing and parts made me roll my eyes. Any pandemic or lockdown plot element is an immediate negative for me. It sets the novel in a specific time period and immediately dates it. This one wasn't too pompous retelling those events, but enough to turn me off. 

And if you have to write about the pandemic, give us some realistic action featuring the people who were working everyday with no time off at home to provide you care or toilet paper and frozen food. Call all of us essential but admit, at the time, we were expendable.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins via Edelweiss.

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