The Lifeguards: A Novel (Paperback)
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“A book that is at once riveting and relevant as it unpeels the various meanings of motherhood, family, and loyalty. I tore through it.”—Miranda Cowley Heller, author of The Paper Palace
The bonds between three picture-perfect—but viciously protective—mothers and their close-knit sons are tested during one unforgettable summer in a gripping novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Jetsetters.
Austin’s Zilker Park neighborhood is a wonderland of greenbelt trails, live music, and moms who drink a few too many margaritas. Whitney, Annette, and Liza have grown thick as thieves as they have raised their children together for fifteen years, believing that they can shelter them their children from an increasingly dangerous world. Their friendship is unbreakable—as safe as the neighborhood where they've raised their sweet little boys.
Or so they think.
One night, the three women have been enjoying happy hour when their boys, lifeguards for the summer, come back on bicycles from a late-night dip in their favorite swimming hole. The boys share a secret—news that will shatter the perfect world their mothers have so painstakingly created.
Combining three mothers’ points of view in a powerful narrative tale with commentary from entertaining neighborhood listservs, secret text messages, and police reports, The Lifeguards is both a story about the secrets we tell to protect the ones we love and a riveting novel of suspense filled with half-truths and betrayals, fierce love and complicated friendships, and the loss of innocence on one hot summer night.
About the Author
Amanda Eyre Ward is the New York Times bestselling author of seven novels including The Jetsetters, a Reese’s Book Club pick. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her family.
“A polyphonic story . . . Ward, with her keen eye for detail and a terrific sense of exactly when to deliver a punchline, knows her characters well. . . . She allows her characters to be petty and myopic, to make the wrong choices again and again, to fail badly, then dust themselves off and try again. Her people are resilient, with a deep longing to do better—particularly for their children.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Shake up a margarita and light a citronella; you’ll be in this one for awhile.”—Good Housekeeping
“Ward expertly weaves together each woman’s point of view as well as commentary from entertaining neighborhood listservs, secret text messages, and police reports for one of the first true beach reads of the year.”—E! ONLINE
“[A]s a commentary on privileged, suburban America, Ward packs a mean punch, delivering crystalline observations with a hearty side of wit and tongue-in-cheek humor.”—Bookreporter
“This thriller will keep you turning pages and longing for your own dip in Barton Springs.”—Austin Monthly
“At once a love letter to my favorite city and a tense interrogation of the bonds of motherhood, The Lifeguards places three very different women in the pressure cooker of one Austin summer and watches the sparks ignite. I love a carefully crafted mystery where all the tricky pieces fit just so. . . . A masterclass.”—Chandler Baker, New York Times bestselling author of The Husbands
“The Lifeguards combines dark intrigue with complex family dynamics and witty social observation. It’s a highly charged, compelling page-turner that kept me guessing till the end. Sun, secrets, tequila, and twists—what’s not to like?!”—Sophie Kinsella, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Party Crasher
“Insanely addictive, deliciously propulsive, and wholly unpredictable . . . will take your breath away. Big Little Lies meets Mare of Easttown in this masterful, explosive suspense novel set against the backdrop of sun-drenched Austin. A tense and taut thriller brimming with secrets, complex, twisty female friendships, and whiplash plot twists, this is the perfect summer read best devoured with a strong margarita.”—May Cobb, author of The Hunting Wives
“Amanda Eyre Ward brings all the thrills of Big Little Lies to the privileged, sun-dappled private patios of Austin’s ‘rich mom’ set. The result is a juicy and irresistible roller coaster of a read.”—Allyson Lynn, author of Bread
“Arresting . . . Like a cool lake on a hot day, this story hits the spot.”—Publishers Weekly