Rory and Arden are best friends and almost identical cousins (remember the Patty Duke Show?!) who end up rooming together their freshman year of college. Soon after school starts, there is a fire in their dorm room and the girls end up jumping, both sustaining life threatening injuries and burns.
Arden’s mother Natalie tells her story in alternating chapters with Rory and Arden, so there are three points of view and the truth seems very far away. The families are incredibly close; in fact, Natalie had dated Rory’s father Vinnie before marrying his brother.
Natalie and Vinnie are partners in a restaurant that is having severe financial problems that just intensify when the girls end up in the hospital. Arson is suspected but both girls are unconscious and on life support, so it’s their families that have to deal with the serious repercussions when the cops decide that it may have been Arden who set the fire.
This is a journey through two marriages and a lifelong competitive friendship between the girls, but the mystery of the fire runs through it all. This is for readers who enjoy Jodi Picoult’s family dramas.
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1/16 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
THE GOOD GOODBYE by Carla Buckley. Bantam (January 12, 2016). ISBN 978-0553390582. 368p.