In a small suburb of New York City, everyone knows everyone else. It's more than a friendly wave of acquaintances; it's a life long knowledge of who your neighbors are. People keep an eye on each other, helping out when they can. It sounds idyllic. Unfortunately, it's also a place where high school cliques never seem to get outgrown, old mistakes are not forgotten, and skeletons don't stay quietly in the closet. In Fragile, Lisa Unger explores how "fragile" our communities, relationships, and even ourselves can be.
Maggie fled as a young adult, seeking someplace where she wasn't under the town microscope. Adulthood brought her back where she married and settled down to raise their son. While people around town have their problems, Maggie does her best to help them. All is well until one of the town teens disappears. Maggie uses all her psychologist skills to help with the case. What she discovers may be more than she can handle. Things begin to fall apart and she is forced to question her trust of those closest to her. Life in "small town USA" becomes a nightmare and she doesn't know if she can handle it.
Overall, I enjoyed the book because it stood the cliched concept of the perfect small town on its head. It is easy to look around our communities and see the good, but in reality, so much more can hide just under the surface. Be warned that parts of the book are hard to read, that the subject matter is very serious. If you have a difficult time watching the newscast of your nearest city, you might want to skip this read. Otherwise, looking past the events into the characters, their thoughts and feelings, you will have a very interesting read. The Ruminating Reader awards 3 out of 5 stars. It falls short of 4 stars as due to the subject matter, I do not know if I will be rereading this anytime soon.
Lisa Unger is an award winning, bestselling author. Her novels have been published in over 26 countries around the world. She lives in Florida with her family.
Fragile is written by Lisa Unger and published by Shaye Areheart Books.