Grace Metallious, the author of "Peyton Place", a revolutionary novel about sex and secrets in small town America, inspired Annie Barnes to leave Middle River, the tight knit community that believes itself to have been Grace's model, and pursue a career as an author. Now, Annie's success has allowed her to distance herself from the world she left behind - and ...
Grace Metallious, the author of "Peyton Place", a revolutionary novel about sex and secrets in small town America, inspired Annie Barnes to leave Middle River, the tight knit community that believes itself to have been Grace's model, and pursue a career as an author. Now, Annie's success has allowed her to distance herself from the world she left behind - and from her family, who are still smarting from their decades-old associations with Grace's "Peyton Place". But after her mother dies under circumstances Annie can't help questioning, Annie returns to her home in New Hampshire to search for answers. When she discovers evidence of dangerous pollutants emanating from the local paper mill - poisons she suspects contributed to her mother's fatal illness - Annie finds herself butting heads with many of the town's inhabitants - including her sisters, who are strangely apathetic about the incriminating evidence Annie discovers. All the while, Annie must war with the memory of Grace Metalious - and the realization that not much has changed in small-town life since Grace wrote her groundbreaking book.
From Publishers Weekly
With her mother deceased and her older sister suffering similar symptoms, successful 30-something novelist Annie Barnes turns detective—Erin Brokovich-style—when she reluctantly returns to her "stifling, stagnant, and cruel" New Hampshire hometown of Middle River in Delinsky's diverting latest (after The Summer I Dared). A company town dominated by Northbrook Paper Mill, owned by the powerful Meades, Middle River's real claim to fame, according to Annie and other townspeople, is that it was the model for the once notorious bestseller Peyton Place by Grace Metalious. Annie's neighbors are equally sure that she's returned to dig up their dirt, and, like Metalious, write about it. Though Annie is less concerned with gossip than possible mercury poisoning, Metalious speaks to her from beyond the grave, egging her on in her investigation. The plucky heroine also begins a flirty e-mail conversation with a Deep Throat who calls himself "TrueBlue" and hints at Northbrook Mill's dark doings. And against all odds, handsome Meade scion James seems to be an ally in her environmental crusade. Readers with an appetite for light fare will find all the right ingredients—romance, mystery, suspense, sisterly rivalry and a thoroughly happy ending. (July)
Say the words "Peyton Place" and what comes to mind? Sex, of course, and hypocrisy, and the kind of small-town secrets that really aren't so secret after all. Middle River, New Hampshire, always knew it was the real-life model for literature's most notorious location by virtue of being author Grace Metalious' hometown. Among the residents Grace made famous were Connie Barnes and her daughter, Alyssa, though Connie is long dead and Alyssa has just died--under mysterious circumstances, if you ask her daughter, acclaimed novelist Annie Barnes. When Annie returns to the town she'd forsaken to investigate her mother's death, the townspeople fear she's back to follow in Grace's footsteps by exposing a new generation of dirty little secrets in a tell-all novel--and they'll stop at nothing to see that she never writes a single word. Working from such an intriguing premise, Delinsky is at her best, skillfully weaving elements of a tantalizing mystery and titillating romance in this vibrant page-turner.