The Night The Lights
by Karen White is a play on the song since the title continues
“In Georgia.” This novel takes place in the suburbs
of Atlanta. As with all her books readers get a glimpse of
the Southern culture where friendship is a major theme within
The strength of the novel is the bond that forms between Sugar
Prescott and Merilee Talbot Dunlop, both with formative secrets.
Sugar, a woman in her nineties, is very crusty and represents
how society used to be. This is contrasted with the modern
day perspective that depends on technology for communication.
White is one of those authors that write such gripping characters
readers become embedded with. It is fun to see the generational
differences between Merilee and Sugar. Heather is another
character, representing the southern suburb housewife who
plays tennis, drives an SUV, and has her children in a private
school, with secrets of her own. Besides these characters,
the blog writings are character-like with its southern words
of wisdom that provide levity and frankness.
does make fun of social media, noting, "I do make digs
at Facebook and social media in my stories. I have to force
myself to go on Facebook. I enjoy my fan page because I can
talk about my dogs and books. Unfortunately, you cannot have
a fan page without a personal page. I cannot believe the things
people post; they over share I think we need to communicate
directly to people. If you have something to tell me that
is short then text, but anything bigger than five words calls
me. What really upsets me is when I leave a voice mail and
then someone calls me without listening to it, forcing me
to repeat myself."
mystery comes into play when Dan, the husband of Heather and
a friend of Merilee’s, is found lying face down in the
lake. She becomes a person of interest since her past also
includes other victims of drowning. The other sub-plot mystery
is when a bloodstained jacket is found in a locker located
in the basement of Merilee’s rented cottage.
The author noted, "All my books are about a woman's journey,
finding her place in the world, and moving beyond a setback
that many times includes a mystery. The heart of my stories
is following the main character to see if she gets out of
some predicament. In this book, they have the kind of friendship
that does not come with Facebook or texting. It comes from
spending time with each other and getting to know one another."
story has friendship, family, betrayal, revenge, loyalty,
and hope. Readers will laugh with the characters, while at
other times will be on the edge of their seats. White is great
at combining all these elements to make a gripping story with