Short Take – Fiction: Under the Influence – Joyce Maynard

With her ninth novel, Maynard garners yet another Indie Next Pick and continues to prove herself a bookseller favorite. Her twisty, suspenseful novels always come with a strong dose of moral complexity that also makes them great for book clubs.

In this story a divorced mother and recovering alcoholic is taken up by a glamorous couple. She has lost custody of her son due to a DWI and when the couple offers to help her regain custody, the favor comes with some very dark strings attached.

Advance reviews praise the plotting and suspense. National review coverage is coming in the NYT and Boston Globe. Wally Lamb calls it “a riveting read.”

What begins as a seemingly altruistic friendship on the part of the Havillands turns into a quid pro quo when a disastrous accident involves Ollie and Helen, forcing them to tell the police the Havillands’ versions of events or else become victims of their vicious threats. Maynard’s latest is illuminating and mesmerizing, highlighting not only differing definitions of friendship, but the shades of gray between right and wrong and the lengths to which some will go to protect their self-interest.”
Publishers Weekly

 “Maynard’s expert narration and plotting plant the seeds for the explosive events at the end of her tale.”
Kirkus Reviews

Under the Influence (9780062257642) by Joyce Maynard. $25.99 hardcover. 2/23/16 on sale.

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