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The Night the Lights Went Out

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  12,303 ratings  ·  1,708 reviews
15 hours, 19 minutes

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Tradd Street series comes a stunning new novel about a young single mother who discovers that the nature of friendship is never what it seems....

Recently divorced, Merilee Talbot Dunlap moves with her two children to the Atlanta suburb of Sweet Apple, Georgia. It's not her first time starting over, but h
Audio CD, Unabridged, 15 pages
Published April 11th 2017 by Books on Tape
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Mona Early on in the book Sugar mention that the baby had died
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The Night the Lights Went Out by Karen White Is a 2017 Berkley publication.

Karen White reigns supreme when it comes to modern day southern fried storytelling. I love Karen White’s novels, so it’s fair to say I’m a little biased when it comes to her books, but this one is really special.

Marilee and her two children are uprooted from their lives after her husband, Michael cheats on her with their child's third grade teacher.

Moving to Sweet Apple, Georgia, Marilee rents a cottage from a gruff el
Always Pouting
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Merilee Dunlap is recently divorced, after her husband cheats on her with their daughter's teacher, and has moved out of their house to a cottage behind an old women's, Sugar Prescott, house. Merilee's in laws have paid for her two kids to attend the private school in the suburb and as Merilee tries to juggle taking care of the kids on her own she must also learn to navigate in the new social circle she becomes part of after being pulled into the more hands on approach the rest of the mothers ta ...more
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a fun read just full of Southern charm! There is an author who writes about the South and I love her books but I've read all but one. So I was looking for another author who gives you that fun, chicken-soup-for-the-soul read. This book just fit the needs for me. I bugged my library for the audio after reading the wonderful review by Norma on this one.

The Night the Lights Went Out is told from three points of view. Merilee, a recent divorcee under scandalous circumstances, Sugar, the stubbor
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an impressive first book for me by this author and a delightful listen with enjoyable narrators that was entertaining and filled with southern charm! I will definitely be reading more books by this author.

THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT by KAREN WHITE is a relaxing, comforting, and amusing women's fiction and suspense/thriller novel that had me totally engrossed and savouring every moment while I was listening to this book.

I absolutely love the cover of this book and found the title also
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am always absolutely giddy when I am able to get my hands on an advanced copy of Karen Whites novels. What I like most about Whites novels is her ability to create memorable characters and, of course, her great southern humor. I felt a great affection for Sugar who reminded me so much of my grandmother, who grew up in rural SC working on a tobacco farm located on a dirt road named after her family. Like Sugar, she spoke her mind and was as spunky at 95 yrs old as she was at 25. Though parts of ...more
This is one of the most skillfully crafted mysteries that I have read in a very very long time.

Starting out as a one-way street to happiness for Merilee Talbot Dunlap, a newly divorced mother of two in the Southern idiom of chicken-soup-for-the-soul read(s), so aptly named by Porsha, the story completely turns the mystery genre on its fine head. Included in the upside down view are the botoxed, helicopter-moms of Sweet Apple, Georgia, with their bling medals of social standing in the suburban ro
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing

4.5 Stars

Well, hush my mouth! What a southern stunner!

Karen White is a master at spinning a southern yarn. Just the names alone, Merilee and Sugar, clue you in right away you are about to get knee deep into the lives of women born and bred in the south.

Ms. White's ability to develop unforgettable characters is superb and her writing skills are exquisite.

We first meet Merilee Talbot Dunlap and her two children, Lily and Colin, ten and eight respectively, as they are packing up the van and moving
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
My ratings often depend on my expectations. I decided to read The Night the Lights Went Out because of two recent mediocre literary fiction reads. I was ready for something light and entertaining, and I had room to tolerate the comfort of some predictability. Karen White delivered what I was looking for. Set in Georgia, the story focuses on the parallel lives of recently divorced Marilee and her 93 year landlady Sugar. Marilee is trying to fit into her new community and Sugar is way past the nee ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

A new town, a new home, a friend you really don't want, a blog that tells the town's gossip, and Merilee has to deal with all of this along with her divorced husband and his pregnant girlfriend.

Living in Sweet Apple, Georgia, seemed like a good town to start over and for the most part it was.

Merilee was renting a house on the property of the town's oldest citizen, Sugar Preston. Sugar was portrayed as anything but sweet, but actually she was.

Merilee and Sugar became friends and shared stories fr
Diana | Book of Secrets
In THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT, Karen White intertwines the lives of two strong Southern women while telling a story of secrets, survival, starting over, and friendship. The star of this book is most definitely Miss Sugar Prescott. She's a lifelong resident of Sweet Apple, Georgia, a place that may seem perfect on the surface, but what lies beneath is a different story.

Now in her mid-90s, Sugar is still tough, headstrong, and sharp as a tack. Sugar rents a cottage on her property to Merilee Du
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
Merilee Dunlop is entering into a new stage of her life. She is recently divorced and is moving with her two children to Sweet Apple, Georgia. The divorce was amicable after her husband was found cheating with their daughter’s third grade teacher. She rents a cottage house from an elderly woman named Sugar Prescott. Sugar at ninety-four is very opinionated and is the self appointed town matriarch.

Merilee has enrolled her children in an elite private school to avoid the gossip around her failed m
Judy Collins
The 30 Best Books of 2017

Destined for the Big Screen (see my cast selection on my blog) The queen of the south, Karen White returns following Flight Patterns on my Top 50 Books of 2016 with the highly anticipated THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT.

As sweet as a Georgia peach, and as scandalous as Desperate Housewives’ Wisteria Lane, and Big Little Lies. Set aside the time, readers . . . you are going to love Sugar!

The Southern Queen B has created her best yet! Yay Atlanta . . . From the stunn
Abby Welker
Jun 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
I have NO IDEA how this book has been rated so highly. I was actually quite excited to read this book based on all of the rave reviews. Pretty much every cliche regarding women, Southern women, best friends, crushing on the guy next door, and revenge stories was included in this book. I mean, cliche all the way to the END, including "a best friend is someone, who, when you ask her to help you bury a body, she asks for a shovel..." (gag and eye roll) I couldn't end this book fast happ ...more
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Wow! This book is a jumble of all things that make a novel fantastic! There is so much going on with the main characters as their stories are told in present, past and an anonymous blog. Some parts are predictable but some are not and they take you on wild and crazy ride (to quote Steve Martin). I had a hard time tearing myself away from reading the latter part of the book. The Night the Lights Went Out is southern, full of charm, wit, and heartache. I need to read more of Karen White. 4.5 stars ...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
DNF 76%!

Seriously, I can't take it anymore. This story started off good and I enjoyed especially the anonymous blog posts that dealt with town gossip. etc. However, the main plot went from "a bit dry, but OK" to "slightly annoying and dry now and then, but still OK" to finally "This is so obvious that a 5-year old could figure out the plot and it's is BLOODY annoying". That's when I stopped reading!

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Cindy Burnett
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Karen White’s new book The Night the Lights Went Out ranks at the top of my list of books I have read in 2017. It is a must read for those who loves Southern fiction or truly anyone who loves a great read. In this book, she creates the perfect combination of wonderful characters, a highly entertaining story line and an interesting method for unfurling the plot developments. Merilee Dunlap is recently divorced and rents a cottage in Sweet Apple, Georgia from Sugar Prescott, the sourpuss grand dam ...more
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
All of my reviews can be found on

Let’s start with that cover, I just LOVE it! It’s gorgeous and though the ebook version (which I read) is pretty enough, I’m ordering a physical copy too. The Night the Lights Went Out is a perfect blending of genres with a southern flair, it has drama, intrigue, betrayals, history, a small dose of romance, truly something for everyone. Plus, it’s set in Georgia which always makes a fantastic setting in my opinion.

Merilee moves into a new hom
The Night the Lights Went Out by Karen White was an absorbing read, that I thoroughly enjoyed.

On the one hand we have Merilee, recently divorced, with two young children stepping into a new phase in her life. Refreshingly, Michael her ex and herself have a reasonable relationship. Her two children fit in perfectly to the story. Merilee has secrets, she has that look in her eye that she has experienced loss and lived on. She is resilient and strong.

Sugar her elderly landlady recognises Merilee's
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Merilee, mother to Lily and Colin, leaves her cushy life behind after her divorce and moves into a cottage on a farm in Georgia. Sweet Apple, Georgia is the quintessential Southern town and of course everyone knows everyone's business. She is renting a charming cottage on Sugar Prescott's farm, an older woman who has a no nonsense reputation around town. Merilee's children are starting over at a private school, but things are a bit different than she expected. The other moms are very high mainte ...more
Bren fall in love with the sea.
“Stupid people rarely want to hear the truth.”
― Karen White, The Night the Lights Went Out

4.5 stars.

Sweet Apple Georgia. Merilee and Sugar. Beautiful cover art. Great Southern Fiction writing. fantastic story. What's not to like?

This was only the second book I'd read by this author. I loved the first but was afraid this would not live up to what I wanted it to be. I need not have worried. Beautiful writing, unforgettable characters, languid and lovely prose and I felt like I was sitting on a fr
Dale Harcombe
Three and a half stars
After her divorce, Merilee Dunlap moves with her two children to Sweet Apple Georgia. There she rents a cottage from long-time, elderly resident Alice Prescott (known to all as Sugar.) The children, Lily and Colin, settle easily into their new school and start to make friends, But Merilee feels like an outsider until the wealthy and popular Heather Blackford, takes her under her wing. At the same time someone is writing a blog that reveals more than Merilee would like about
Chris  C - A Midlife Wife
The author used her typical story lay out in this new book. A little bit from yesterday through the eyes of Sugar, a crotchety yet supportive older woman Merilee rents a house from. Her family history and story is woven through the events of today to make this an intriguing read.

With her main character, Marilee, she has crafted a recently divorced woman trying to make it on her own. Juggling life, work, children, and even balancing friendships and maybe a love interest, she is put to the test ea
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first thought when I started reading this novel was: this is one of those books that would make an incredible film. It oozes southern charm. The reader can feel the heat of the humid summer, taste homemade cookies and even learn some proper manners.

The author depicts very strong female characters.Sugar and Merilee are two women who have had to struggle in life but despite their age difference find themselves sharing difficulties and inspiring each other. They end up being "two peas in a pod "
Erin Beall
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library, overrated
2 stars.

The Night the Lights Went Out has few successes. As a Georgia peach myself, I found the portrayal of Sweet Apple provincial and caricature-ish, not to mention incongruous: Setting the town north of Atlanta and making it home to multiple big/private schools? All the super-Deep-South, cutesy small town stuff is entirely unbelievable. You can't have a swarm of Upper East Side-wannabe moms in Range Rovers and yoga pants in what essentially is a 2017 cartoon of a one-stoplight town.

You cann
I so enjoyed the southern women in this book. Sugar is a spunky 90 something who rents her cottage to Merilee and her grade school aged children. Despite the generation gap, these 2 women become friends. The mystery of who writes the local blog was fun. It became a bit predictable is why I lowered my rating to a 4 star. An enjoyable, light read though!
5 "True Friends & Secrets" Stars for the story and 4.5 Stars for the narration!

The Night the Lights Went Out is a combination of two Southern mysteries and a women's fiction title all wrapped up in one. Told from three points of view, a 93 year-old small town matriarch, the main protagonist who is a recent divorcee with two children, and an anonymous town blogger, this audiobook is a must listen to gem!

15 hours went by in a flash when I listened to this intriguing title that has a little someth
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I have not read a book that I have loved as much as this book in a long time! A sassy 90 something lady named Sugar and the main character Merilee who unfortunately has a lot to overcome, mix the two together along with a few other characters and you have a great story! My least favorite character was Heather, the perfect wife, mother, room mother etc. We may all know someone  a bit like her, super organized, volunteers for all the school events and is just too perfect. Mer
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This one started out slow for me and I almost didn't finish reading it. Boy, am I glad I did! By the time I reached a third of the book it took off!!! 4.5 Stars ...more
A fabulously sparkling southern book about new and unexpected friendships and the keeping of secrets.

Karen White tells a story of friendships that develops between three intriguing women when Merilee Talbot Dunlap moves to Sweet Apple, Georgia, not far from Atlanta. Merilee has just divorced her husband of eleven years after discovering he not only was having an affair with, but had also gotten their daughter's third grade math teacher pregnant. Devastated, Marilee and her two children,
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

Although all four brothers were long gone, Sugar now found herself seeing them more and more, as if old age was nothing more than the past and present squeezing together like an accordion until no air was left.

But hiding the truth is like putting perfume on a pig. That pig’s still going to smell.

Curtis had taken over running the farm, but he was so lazy he couldn’t catch his breath if it didn’t come naturally.

It was a sin to hate, but I thought God would make an exception for Cur
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With more than 1.8 million books in print in eight different languages, Karen White is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 23 novels, including the popular Charleston-set Tradd Street mystery series.

Raised in a house full of brothers, Karen’s love of books and strong female characters first began in the third grade when the local librarian issued her a library card and placed The

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