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Southern Drama with a Bite Nice debut I couldn t help but think of Tom T Hall s Harper Valley PTA, especially being from the same town it was written about This hit a little too close to home Both the song and book were close to the same era, the song released in 1968, and the book based in the seventies The lakeside town of Magunson, NC, however, was a bit upscale, boasting a country club, and a host of other amenities in contrast to the rural, back woodsy Harper Valley The main theme in both is gossip and its effects There is the PTA, with its plethora of cupcakes and pastries, baked by mid life supermoms that exhibit Jane Fonda fitness, all under the rule of Stacia She doles out responsibilities to whom she deems fit among the upper class wives of Overlook, the three hundred family development she and her husband, Weldon, created She sees Overlook and the goings on within the lakeside development both as her business and her privileged right Besides Harper Valley, think of a mixture of Peyton Place and Desperate Housewives, although, I ve never actually seen Desperate Housewives Still there are many back stories, as well as back stabbings going on, all centering on two families, Stacia s, and Kitty s The book opens with Kitty finding out she has contracted gonorrhea from her husband, Seth, who has never been faithful Their marriage, happening out of an accidental pregnancy, has been a ruse and mere facade from the beginning, as are most of the lives in Overlook, if the gossip, which takes on a life of its own, is to be believed Like most gossip, though, much is exaggerated But, like most small towns when push comes to shove and someone is in dire need, blood, in this case neighborhood blood, is thicker than the water of Tate Lake, the lake Overlook is built next to The ending, unexpected, comes when Kitty breaks out of her Stepford Wife role, perhaps karmic As with most karma, a sequel begins to rise, in this case from the depths of Lake Tate. [[ DOWNLOAD EPUB ]] ⇨ Overlook ☠ Kitty Haskell Has Everything A Perfect House In A Perfect Neighborhood, A Handsome Husband, Charming Children, And A Nasty Case Of Gonorrhea Rather Than Dealing With Her Cheating Husband, Kitty Worries The Exclusive Clique Of Overlook Moms Will Find Out Unfortunately, The Lookers Already Know Everything, About Everyone Stacia Curran, The Queen Bee Of Overlook, Wants To Help Kitty But She Has Problems Of Her Own Falling Property Values Threaten Her Beloved Neighborhood, Her Children Are Leaving The Nest, And She Is Losing Her Grip On The Lookers Elizabeth Hein s OVERLOOK is a hilarious debut novel, a cross between Desperate Housewives, Devious Maids, and Mistresses as the dirty secrets of this southern North Carolina suburban neighborhood are deliciously exposed.Having recently read an ARC of Hein s upcoming How to Climb the Eiffel Tower , coming Oct 1, 2014a must 5 star read, highly recommend , I fell in love with the author s razor sharp wit, and immediately purchased OVERLOOK.In the fictitious town of Magnuson, NC in the seventies Overlook is a lakeside pristine upper end three hundred home community, a country club setting of swim, tennis, golf, boating with a mixture of families busy wives and mothers, gossip, nosy maids, homemakers, career women, gardening, clubs, runners, cyclists, swimmers, joggers, young children and teens, cheating husbands, food binges, Lily Pulitzer dresses, Krispy Kreme donuts, fried chicken, bake sales, wine drinkers, cocktails, drugs, PTA, real estate agents, mistresses, and those nearing empty nester statusThe Overlook moms are otherwise known as The Lookers if you are a part of Stacia s inter circleOf course, behind every southern upper crust family, there is greed, backstabbing, betrayal, jealousy, revenge, infidelity, drugs, cover up, disloyalty, hate, and hypocrisy.Kitty, age 43, is married to Seth, VP of a Golf company a marriage out of a pregnancy years ago , basically going through the motions Mother of two, Bobby and Becky, and a busy homemaker later in the book a career mom and a cool sister, Rose Seth has never been faithful however, Kitty has looked the other way, doing her own thing, until she finds herself with STD gonorrhea It does not take long for this small community of women to spread the word of this nasty little developmentLoved hope your pecker falls off and it s kinda like screwing a skeleton Her friend Stacia Tate, influential Tate family inter racial married to the real estate developer Curran Construction for the prestigious community, has a thumb on everything and everyone in Overlook After all, it was her family who developed this oasis which is now Overlook Partners in crime, these two tackle all the challenges of motherhood and their wifely duties, while keeping one step ahead of the gossip A comic Southern novel about all the important things in life marriage and divorce, friendship and betrayal, and small town secrets Full of laughs, with true to life characters, and hilarious one liners which will keep you laughing out loud as these southern belles find themselves in all sorts of mischief Hein reminds me of a cross between sassy Southern writer, Mary Kay Andrews, Susan Rebecca White, Emily Giffin,and sarcastic and witty, Jennifer Weiner. OVERLOOK is an engaging and scandalous comedy drama chick lit, filled with humor and sass, and a juicy sequel ESCAPE PLAN, comingFall, 2014 ,after the surprise and shocking ending How far will these women go to protect those she loves Looking forward to catching up with these savvy southern mysterious and desperate housewives of Overlook. American middle class society at its worst At least I hope that s what s going on The community of Overlook is a high end closed shop, run by Stacia, whose family created the lakeside housing estate that provides homes to the well to do of North Carolina.The reader is thrown in at the deep end and accompanies Kitty as she discovers the details behind a gruesome infection she has contracted from her husband, Seth It s fascinating to me how infidelity is dealt with in this book If the author wants to highlight the lack of high expectations in society marriage, she has succeeded most effectively This family saga involves an interesting commentary from Kitty s teenage children, who seem quite philosophical about their mother s predicament The advice they give is practical and takes no prisoners They see their father for exactly what he is and think Kitty is a fool to put up with him Kitty, however, is concerned with playing the trump card She focuses on weaning herself away from dependence on Seth and, after a rather surprising turn of events, we are invited to find out what happens next in the sequel.Renee the maid is painted as the Iago of the piece I wanted from this character I felt she had potential Kitty and Stacia were almost interchangeable for me, as were some of the other women of Overlook Having said this, I read the book from start to finish The prose was fluid, the dialogue slick It just wasn t really for me, in the end.If you enjoy reading about privileged American society, love gossip who doesn t , and have a taste for domestic family drama a la Desperate Housewives , Overlook is for you.I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. We just don t talk about things like that in our family No one in Overlook is talking At least not to each other Not about anything that matters In the premiere neighborhood of the area, where surface is what counts, there are things no one talks about directly infidelity, illnes, infertility, drug use Now behind each other s backs That s a different story.Kitty Haskell is not particularly happy in her idyllic life as a Looker, but that doesn t mean she was looking for a change She d made this bed, and she was going to lie in it At least that was her plan, until her husband gave her an STD and forced her to examine her life I don t want to spoil the novel for you, so I won t tell you what happens I will tell you that you will be drawn in by Kitty s struggles and friendships The novel is funny and touching And wait till you see the ending Full disclosure I personally know the author In her edgy debut novel, Elizabeth Hein exposes the dark underbelly of suburban life I enjoyed this well written exploration into the back biting, gossip laiden world of the elite southern neighborhood of Overlook, inhabited by women and men whose secrets are traded as currency And soon we realize that there are very few secrets in Overlook The story revolves around two women Stacia and Kitty Stacia is the machiavellian and dominant PTA president queen attempting to control the intimate inner workings of her beloved community, with a varying, and sometimes questionable degree of success Mild mannered, intellectual homemaker, Kitty, is slowly waking up to reality of her life examining her own blind complacency in the context of a bombed out shell of a marriage Both women grapple with the emotional difficulties that come along with aging children and empty nests while pondering their respective futures and finding a way to go forward with their lives For better or worse. I loved Outlook It reminds me of the style and flavor of Kathryn Stockett s The Help with its network of community and secrets The characters come alive and the banter is wonderful Well written Great edgy opening The reader wonders how it plays into the story The ending was brilliant I didn t see it coming The reader is left wanting and there is Read the sequel Escape Plan to see how Kitty s life panned out Kitty and Seth Haskell live in the small community of Outlook They appear to have all their needs met and the perfect life, that is, until Kitty realizes Seth cheated on her She got a nasty case of VD Then to add to her humiliation, the whole community of Outlook already knew Intertwining of lives, friendships, secrets, affairs, mystery and then there is the crime Is it a perfect crime Overlook is a compelling and absorbing read Hein creates a matriarchal microcosm a miniature world which has a ruler Statia who takes care of and manages the lives of rest of the characters Making sure no one steps out of line is her business and she has a lot on her hands Overlook has to be perfect But underneath the varnish there s a community full of real women dealing with all the transgressions and tribulations of daily life infidelity, drugs, disloyalty, jealousy, hate, greed, and hypocrisy But sensible, perfect Kitty has had enough After her husband gives her gonorrhea from his latest lover who is also one of her friends the discovery of the pointlessness of her marriage will lead to an unexpected and shocking climax and a new beginning for Kitty and her daughter. This book is a fun read Kitty lives in a perfect town with a perfect house, perfect friends and a perfect husband, until she finds out that her perfect friends aren t and neither is her husband Matter of fact he s pretty much an a hat because he I shan t tell you because that would spoil it and the way Ms Hein has put this together shouldn t be disturbed Luckily, she has the best friend a gal ever had that has her back This is a good read, a quick read and an entertaining one and a book I recommend heartily not only to read but to give away as gifts Think next Christmas and birthdays, folks, you ll be glad you did. I was looking for a relaxing, entertaining read while commuting between home and work I liked the characters and the book is well written I am looking forward to read the next book written by this author.