“I remembered the way it is with dreams sometimes, how they have a habit of being less literal and more metaphoric, and I thought that sometimes with dreams like this, it’s not about who’s chasing you, but what you’re running from.”
Jessie Sloan’s mother, Eden, has recently passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer; Jessie is overcome with grief and is unable to sleep. When Jessie goes to apply for college, something her mother suggested she do, she is told her social security number belongs to a dead girl and it sends the sleep deprived Jessie into a bit of a tailspin. With the help of a new friend, a guy she met the night her mother died, she looks into her past to try and figure out who she really is and what her connection to the dead Jessie Sloan may be.
There is a whole subplot of her creepy land lady that I could have done without.
Eden’s story is told through journal entries which chronicle her struggles with infertility. As someone who suffers from PCOS and has been actively trying to get pregnant for two years I felt like Eden’s character development was a bit over the top or, at the very least, rushed. I have never begrudged my fertile friends for being able to reproduce with ease and I couldn’t imagine taking out a secret credit card to pay for treatment without my husband’s knowledge. And- Spoiler Alert- she starts fantasizing about kidnapping a child after only a year of trying! It was incredibly unrealistic, in my opinion, although I will say Kubica did a great job researching the medical process of fertility treatments so she gets points there.
I was initially wondering why Mary Kubica’s When the Lights Go Out was so lowly rated on Overdrive and Goodreads because the first three quarters were a good, almost great, thriller told by the ever popular unreliable narrator. Then I got to the twist and, while it was definitely a twist I did not see coming, it ruined the whole damn thing.