Jessie Sloane's plan to accomplish her dying mother's wish that she "find herself" hits a snag when her college application is flagged because her name and Social Security number relate to a death certificate filed 17 years ago. Distraught at the loss of her only family, Jessie sets out to fix what she's certain must be a simple clerical error and finds only more mysteries about her identity.
Meanwhile, back in 1996, Eden and husband, Aaron, have purchased the cottage of their dreams and start trying to have a baby. Eden's fervor in treating the couple's fertility problems is intensified by visits from neighbor Miranda, who seems to get pregnant merely by being in the vicinity of her husband. To make matters worse, Miranda ignores her small children and constantly complains about the drudgeries of marriage and motherhood.
Plagued by insomnia, Jessie experiences visions that twist her perception of the present and her investigation into her past in ways she's unsure she can trust. Eden is also undergoing a transformation as her longing for a child threatens her marriage and makes her question what she's capable of.
When the Lights Go Out is Mary Kubica's fifth psychological thriller, and she continues to prove adept at her favored narrative of alternating characters and timelines. Kubica's stories always include emotional underpinnings that serve her characters, particularly important when faced with challenges of coincidence and believability. The final twist will be polarizing, but there is no question that Kubica has a knack for compelling storytelling. --Lauren O'Brien of Malcolm Avenue Review.