Published by HarperCollins, ISBN 978-0-06-225953-0
Hardcover, $25.99, 320 pages
Sara Shepard is best known for her YA book series, Pretty Little Liars, which was turned into a successful television series. Her latest novel, The Heiresses, is an adult novel, but geared toward her older YA readers ready for a terrific beach read.
The Saybrook family made their fortune in diamonds after WWII. Patriarch Alfred and his partner began their business after returning from the war; they became wealthy and hugely successful, and now most of Alfred's family works in the business.
After Alfred's death, his son Mason became president of Saybrook's. He and his wife have two daughters: Corinne, the type-A, hardcharging daughter engaged to a Texas oil heir she fell in love with at Yale, and Aster, the ultimate party-girl, with no job or responsibilities.
Mason took his niece Poppy under his wing after her parents died in a plane crash. He was supposed to be on that plane, but at the last minute didn't go. Rowan is Mason's other brother's daughter, and she is also works for the family business. Natasha is the last heiress, who moved away and hasn't spent much time with her cousins.
The family is the subject of intense public interest, much like the Kennedy family. Also like the Kennedys, people have said they have a curse- the plane crash, a grandson kidnapped at age four and never found, and the man who was to have been the new CEO mysteriously drowned at a family celebration five years ago.
A tabloid website has been set-up that seems to have inside information on the Saybrook family secrets. Who is behind it? One of the heiresses dies, but did she commit suicide or was she murdered? The heiresses are in a car that is hit head-on, and another ends up seriously injured in a coma.
The main mystery of the novel is who is trying to kill the heiresses and why. There are plenty of suspects, and a careful mystery reader may pick up on enough clues to figure out who is behind it. I'm not a big mystery reader, and even though the characters and the plot seemed at times formulaic, Shephard kept me turning the pages to see what will happen next.
Shepard includes a family tree at the beginning, which is so helpful in keeping the many family members straight until you get a little in to the story.
After we find out who is trying to kill the heiresses, Shepard gives us another, even meatier, mystery involving a big secret that goes back many years. I like how she tied that into the murder mystery.
Matriarch Edith is one of the most fascinating characters. She's always cold and wears her fur coat no matter the temperature. She says what she thinks, and is critical of her granddaughters. I wish we had seen more of her. Edith has a great scene at the end of the novel that sets up the sequel, and I have to say bravo to Shepard for hooking us into reading the next book. There is no way I'm not putting that one on my TBR list when it publishes.
rating 4 of 5
My review of Sara Shepard's first adult novel, Everything We Ever Wanted, is here.Thanks to TLC Tours for putting me on Sara Shepard's tour. The rest of the stops are here.
Sara’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, May 20th: Mystery Playground
Wednesday, May 21st: The Gilmore Guide to Books
Friday, May 23rd: Write Meg
Monday, May 26th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, May 27th: Kritters Ramblings
Wednesday, May 28th: From L.A. to LA
Thursday, May 29th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, June 2nd: Excellent Library
Tuesday, June 3rd: Stephany Writes
Wednesday, June 4th: Bibliophilia, Please
Thursday, June 5th: Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, June 9th: bookchickdi
Tuesday, June 10th: Book-alicious Mama
Thursday, June 12th: A Bookish Way of Life
Monday, June 16th: BoundbyWords
Tuesday, June 17th: cupcake’s book cupboard
Wednesday, June 18th: Books à la Mode
Wednesday, June 18th: Great Imaginations
Thursday, June 19th: Books in the Burbs
TBD: My Bookshelf