A Simple Favor is Darcey Bell's debut novel.
Miles and Nicky attend the same school. Miles's mom Stephanie, is a stay at home widowed parent and Nicky's mom, Emily, is a married working mom. The moms make seemingly unlikely friends, but they are. So, when Emily asks Stephanie if she can pick up Nicky from school now and then, Stephanie is happy to oblige.
But ..."It's been two days since she hasn't shown up or gotten in touch with me or returned my texts or calls. Something terrible has happened. She's vanished. I have no idea where she is."
A great premise that opens up a wealth of what-ifs and possibilities....
Stephanie is the narrator of part one of A Simple Favor. She's not sure what to do - Emily's husband Sean is out of town. Maybe Emily just got caught up at work, maybe she's on her way? But Stephanie does take the time to write a post on her mommy blog asking everyone to keep an eye out for her best friend. The tone of Stephanie's blog entries and self dialogue was pitch perfect. Somewhat obnoxious, self-serving, self-deprecating, self-righteous and self-delusional. As the search for Emily is finally undertaken, Stephanie makes herself available to help Sean and Nicky in any way she can.Any way. The reader is left wondering what has really happened - did Stephanie have anything to do with Emily's disappearance or perhaps Sean knows more than he is telling.
The second part belongs to Emily and the third part is Sean's voice. Each character is unlikable and unreliable. I'm not going to spoil things for you, revealing any more. But I do want to mention that I was very, very tempted to skip ahead and read the final chapters. But I resisted! Bell delightfully leads the reader down the garden path, leaving them wondering what will happen next. Lots of twists and turns on that path! I will mention that one of the characters has a fondness for Patricia Highsmith novels and Hitchcock films.
A great debut and I look forward to Bell's next book. Read an excerpt of A Simple Favor.
"A Simple Favor was preempted by Fox 2000 for feature development within 36 hours of submission. Foreign rights have already been sold in 24 countries and territories."
"Darcey Bell was born in 1981 and raised on a dairy farm in western Iowa. She is a preschool teacher in Chicago. A Simple Favor is her first novel." You can connect with Darcey on Twitter. See what others on the TLC book tour thought - full schedule can be found here.
I received this book for review from HarperCollins and TLC Book Tours.