The Children by Ann Leary
Joan and Lottie live at Lakeside year round, part of the terms of the trust when Joan’s husband and Lottie’s stepfather Whit died. Lottie spends her days on the property and up in the attic writing lists for the internet (yes, you can make money doing that) and updating her very popular mommy blog (yes, you can make money doing that too even if you make up your husband and kids) and Joan runs and is involved in community events. But this summer Lakeside seems to be filling up. Sally, Lottie’s sister, is on a break from playing violin with the symphony and decides to move back in for a bit. And Spin, the baby of the family, and a son from Whit’s first marriage, comes by to introduce the family to his fiancee and turn everyone’s world upside down.
I usually don’t like when books suddenly change mood/tone part way through, but I’ll make an exception for this one. What started as (I thought) a first world problems book turns into a glimpse of how one evil person can change the dynamic of an entire family. At first I thought it was going to focus on the quirkiness of the family members living in Lakeside and the mental illness of one of the residents, and while that was a factor in the story, the focus instead changed and became a little mysterious. Someone has it out for Lottie and is trying to harm her reputation online — who could it be? And why?
What I thought was going to be another book like The Nest turned out to be more — a short read that twists in ways you wouldn’t expect. Be prepared, this book starts out light and gets pretty darn dark.