FICTION

Lies in White Dresses

Morrow. Sept. 2019. 384p. ISBN 9780062861863. pap. $16.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062861870. F
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In Grant’s third historical fiction novel (The Daisy Children), best friends Francie Meeker and Vi Carothers leave 1952 California by sleeper train and head to Reno in order to obtain quick divorces. Their soon-to-be ex-husbands made reservations for them at the Holiday Ranch Hotel, one of Reno’s divorce ranches that caters to women spending six weeks in Nevada to establish residency and get a divorce. On the train to Reno, they meet and befriend a downtrodden young woman, June Samples, and her four-year-old daughter, Patty. June is running from an abusive husband and hopes he won’t find her. After an evening out celebrating their pending divorces, tragedy strikes. The various story lines are told from the points of view of many characters, which moves the plot along quickly. Comic relief is provided by 12-year-old Virgie, the daughter of the hotel owner, who wants to become a private detective.
VERDICT For those who enjoyed the author’s previous novels, as well as readers of women’s fiction and fans of Melanie Benjamin, Jennifer Chiaverini, and Meg Waite Clayton.

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