“Think of the White Gloves like the Junior League-by way of Skull and Bones?”
Reluctant debutante Sawyer Taft joined Southern high society for one reason and one reason alone: to identify and locate her biological father. But the answers Sawyer found during her debutante year only left her with more questions and one potentially life-ruining secret. When her cousin Lily ropes her into pledging a mysterious, elite, and all-female secret society called the White Gloves, Sawyer soon discovers that someone in the group’s ranks may have the answers she’s looking for. Things are looking up… until Sawyer and the White Gloves make a disturbing discover near the family’s summer home–and uncover a twisted secret, decades in the making.
No one is quite who they seem to be.
If you thought the previous book had some messed-up-ness, this one goes beyond that. At the end of Little White Lies, Sawyer finds out who her biological father is, and who (Ames) isn’t. However, she begins this one with her friends not knowing the truth, and especially her cousin/sister Lily not knowing about the sister part. She wants to find out about the other kid from the pregnancy pact, the one who was Anna’s, but there are not many leads in that direction, except for the White Gloves, a secret society of debutantes that is much like a sorority in its initiation rituals. So, while Sawyer isn’t particularly interested, that and Lily’s desire to join it means they all are rushing for the secret society, which asks them to do daring things to prove their worth.
While the White Gloves thing is not that impactful on the plot, it does introduce a key character that helps Sawyer figure out some things. The mystery about Anna’s child gets more interesting as they uncover a decades-old body in the lake, an illegal child adoption market, questionable bonding exercises, and old secrets that families try to bury. This, in between Sawyer’s and Nick’s complicated romance, Sawyer’s character arc over family, Lily’s depression over finding out the truths in her family, and Sadie Grace’s stepmother’s fake pregnancy means that the plot is juggling a lot of interconnected things and character arcs. Add in some flashbacks that have to do with Aunt Olivia’s teenage years and we have a nice recipe for ‘what is going on’ in our hands. Hearing this in audiobook form was both interesting and challenging – on one hand, the narrator does an excellent job with the voices (perfectly nailing Sadie Grace) but with so many characters and names swirling around, I was constantly going ‘wait let me hear that again!’ Like Sadie Grace says, it’s a musical chair of parents going on up here. I contemplated making a family tree at the end to figure out who is related to whom and how! The ending feels like a conclusion, so yeah, this sequel nicely tied up many threads, and the book overall is quite entertaining in its plot.
Previous books in the Debutantes series
Released on November 5, 2019