Social Lives

social-livesWilshire, Connecticut, is home to some of the wealthiest people in the world. The husbands battle each other in the financial markets of nearby Manhattan while the wives manage the estates and raise the next elite generation. Some of these women are envied, others respected. But regardless of where they stand, each woman is defined by the world she inhabits and bound by the unyielding social structure that surrounds her.

Rosalyn Barlow, the most envied woman in Wilshire, is waging a battle of social manipulation to silence the scandalous gossip that threatens her daughter’s reputation while her self-made billionaire husband grows more and more distant in his young retirement. But for fourteen year-old Caitlin Barlow, navigating life as a teenager in a culture of wealth and sexual promiscuity has become far more perilous than either of her parents knows. Newcomer Sara Livingston has nothing but disdain for everyone and everything around her and a growing terror at having another child in a world she’s come to resent. As she is pulled into the Barlow family’s storm, the walls begin to close in around her marriage and the life she once thought she wanted. And for Jacqueline Halstead, who’s just discovered her husband is under investigation for fraud surrounding his hedge fund, saving her family from total ruin means doing the unthinkable – and shaking the Barlow family, Wilshire, and herself to the core.

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Jacqueline Halstead rushed out of the bedroom to the study in the adjoining suite. The briefcase was on her husband’s desk, closed, and as had been his practice over the past several weeks, locked. That had been the first piece of hard evidence, this practice of securing his briefcase at home, though it had taken her far too long to see it for what it was. Evidence. The moodiness, the weight loss, the late nights had finally brought the picture into focus.

Her movements were carefully devised and practiced. She positioned herself around the briefcase, then made a note of the numbers on the lock: 70412. He was changing the combination daily now, though she knew from his demeanor that the distrust was not meant for her. She had a ?nely tuned sense for these things, for detecting the truth within an embrace, a look. No. He trusted her, she was certain. It was not the fear of being discovered that had him twisted in so many knots, but instead the guilt of a caring man. His wife, their children, and all that was at stake were the worries that were eating at him from the inside. And still the lock was changing.

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