Thanks to NetGalley and PENGUIN GROUP Dutton for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: July 27th, 2021
Synopsis: The latest novel from Sara Shepard, author of Reputation and the New York Times bestselling Pretty Little Liars series. When the principal of an elite California preschool is attacked, three moms—who feel like outsiders among the school’s manicured and ultra-wealthy community—must work together to uncover what she’s hiding, figure out who’s trying to frame them, and make sure their own secrets stay hidden.
Andrea, Lauren, and Ronnie all see themselves as good, loving moms who are trying their best, but they each arrive at the Silver Swans preschool Welcome Breakfast with something to hide. Andrea is running away from a past on the East Coast which she cannot afford the other parents to discover. Lauren is recovering from a postpartum condition her husband has warned her not to disclose. And Ronnie is hiding herself and her daughter from the one man who could at any moment appear in their lives and ruin everything she hold dear. They already feel like imposters among the school’s community of polished parents. But then notes appear in their children’s backpacks after the first day at school. Notes that indicate that someone knows their deepest, darkest secrets and needs them gone. Does someone not wanting them in the community? Or is it something more menacing—does someone know everything?
When the principal of the school is the victim of a near-fatal attack, it quickly becomes clear that the Silver Swans community is not as flawless as the brochures and website would have you believe. The three moms must band together to uncover the school’s many secrets before the other suspicious parents and town police close in and use their outsider status to blame them…and before they lose what they have worked so hard for. (Goodreads)
One of the reasons why I enjoy Sara Shepard’s books is because more often than not her protagonists are flawed and make pretty outrageous decisions, yet somehow remain relatable, and that’s very much the case here with her upcoming Safe In My Arms. I really liked Ronnie, Andrea, and Lauren and although I didn’t agree with everything they did, I wanted them to end up with their personal happy endings. They each had a difficult backstory which made them more sympathetic and I was completely invested in them and what they had each gone through. The mystery itself was just twisty enough that it kept me guessing until the second half of the book. The pacing was a little bumpy: it started off really strong, then slowed for several chapters before picking up again, but as I finished reading in two sittings, this is a minor complaint. The ending not only wrapped up the mystery, but also everyone’s individual stories satisfactorily, leaving no loose ends. Overall, Safe In My Arms, will undoubtedly please Sara Shepard’s legions of fans. If you haven’t tried her books before, this really is a great summer read, as long as you don’t mind practicing a little suspension of disbelief.