Don’t Breathe A Word by Jennifer McMahon (Harper)
As much as I was engaged and terrified by Dismantled and the New York Times best-selling Promise Not to Tell, lesbian author Jennifer McMahon’s latest novel Don’t
Breathe A Word is even more impressive.
The characters in Don’t Breathe A Word try to make sense of things that don’t make sense — whether finding truth in a fable or discovering that your great grandfather may have slept with your aunt and produced a boy who could have kidnapped your sister. Sound complicated? It only gets worse.
The story centers around the disappearance of Lisa, a 12-year-old girl who went missing from her house after telling her brother Sam about a “magical door” that led to a world where she hoped to meet and marry the “King of the Fairies.”
The novel opens with Phoebe, a troubled young adult sleeping with her older married boss and trying to figure out her life. On her way back from yet another lonely tryst at a motel, Phoebe stumbles on the scene of Lisa’s disappearance and meets a host of characters that will continue to haunt her throughout the story.
Fifteen years later, Phoebe is in a relationship with Sam, Lisa’s brother. Sam and his mother do not talk about Lisa and the mystery surrounding her disappearance, but eventually the past creeps into the present and challenges everything Phoebe and Sam thought they knew.
Don’t Breathe A Word is an intricately woven, haunting and highly suspenseful page- turner. The perfect beach read.
Additional books to check out:
Jukebox: Curve mgazine writer (the Lipstick of the popular Lipstick & Dipstick column), Gina Noelle Daggett’s debut novel about first love. (Bella Books)
Shaken and Stirred: Joan Opyr’s novel about what it means to return home. (Bywater Books)
Harpies’ Feast: the second installment of Linda Morganstein’s Alexis Pope mystery series tackles teen bullying and suicide. (Regal Crest)