Ooooh … a small town that’s more or less run by an influential family, who are all shiny and squeaky clean. That’s lovely, picturesque Alma, not too far from New York City. And the family in question are the Dewars who own Alma Boots, one of the most successful companies in the country. It’s always been family owned and run, ever since it was founded and Alma basically revolves around the company.
Currently, Bobby Dewar is the company CEO (yes, Bobby … I did find a lot of Kennedy-esque similarities … there’s even a curse thrown in for good measure). His wife of 15 years is Gina and together they have a son, Calan who is a bit of a fly in Bobby’s ointment. Gina loves everything about living in Alma. She loves being a housewife, being a part of the ASC (a sort of Stepford Wives club that was created to keep boredom at bay for all the dutiful Alma housewives), even her mother in law, Tish, the Dewar matriarch.
Gina’s sister-in-law Alice, however is her polar opposite! She can’t wait to get out of small-town, small-minded Alma! Alice is married to Bobby’s brother Nick and they have a daughter, Allegra who is mostly cared for by her lovely young Swiss au pair, Malaika. Alice doesn’t really understand the whole family loyalty thing, and all the bowing and scraping to the shrine of Alma Boots and all that it stands for. She thinks the ASC is a pointless joke, and she can’t wait to get her family away from it all.
But then Bobby is accused of having an affair with a younger female employee. She alleges that he took advantage, that he’s a predator and that he should step down as CEO of a company that is built on strong family values. The entire town is thrown into turmoil. Such a thing has never happened in the history of Alma! The residents can’t even contemplate that it could be true!
Secrets, lies, loyalties, betrayals, trust and the #MeToo movement all play strong roles in this gripping story that had me hooked right from the start. I immediately pictured it as an addictive TV series! While the focus is on whether ‘whether he did or didn’t’, it’s the strong female characters who carry the story throughout. Their own individual layered stories and the nuances that each of these adds to their roles makes for intensely satisfying reading.
This is a 5-star read that I’d highly recommend. It’s absorbing and keeps up a good pace throughout. Thank you to Bookouture for inviting me along. Take a look at what other bloggers are saying about The Faithfuls …
Cecilia is an author with a reading addiction — a serious one. She is a lover of wine and all things chocolate, and the proud mother of Babaganoush, an English Bulldog. She is also a recovering lawyer, but asks that you do not hold that against her.