When the Lights Go Out

When the Lights Go Out

by Mary Kubica


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A woman is forced to question her own identity in this riveting and emotionally charged thriller by the blockbuster bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica

Jessie Sloane is on the path to rebuilding her life after years of caring for her ailing mother. She rents a new apartment and applies for college. But when the college informs her that her social security number has raised a red flag, Jessie discovers a shocking detail that causes her to doubt everything she’s ever known.

Finding herself suddenly at the center of a bizarre mystery, Jessie tumbles down a rabbit hole, which is only exacerbated by grief and a relentless lack of sleep. As days pass and the insomnia worsens, it plays with Jessie’s mind. Her judgment is blurred, her thoughts are hampered by fatigue. Jessie begins to see things until she can no longer tell the difference between what’s real and what she’s only imagined.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier and two hundred and fifty miles away, another woman’s split-second decision may hold the key to Jessie’s secret past. Has Jessie’s whole life been a lie or have her delusions gotten the best of her?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778330783
Publisher: Park Row Books
Publication date: 09/04/2018
Edition description: Original
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 138,797
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Mary Kubica is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL and PRETTY BABY. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children and enjoys photography, gardening and caring for the animals at a local shelter.

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When the Lights Go Out 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not what I was expecting from Ms. Kubica. The book was good, but not as suspensful as her others! A good way to spend an afternoon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At times it was rather boring...but it all fit together.
shedevilmx88 More than 1 year ago
When The Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica is a Psychological Suspense. This is the third book of Mary's that I have read and once again it was a bit hard for me to get into the book, but I am glad I pushed through because it is totally worth it! She does a great job with twists in the books that keep you guessing. I look forward to reading more of her books in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was ok. It was boring at times and I skimmed through it.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Jessie Sloane's mother just died after a long battle with cancer. She is trying to piece back together her life without her mother, but with a few problems with financing for college she gets dropped into her own mystery. Another storyline that runs parallel to this story, is a woman named Eden who desperately wants a child and is doing almost anything to get one. The stories collide at just the right moment and then bounce back and forth in just the right rhythm. I sit on the fence with books with unreliable characters. As the story progresses and the reader knows that Jessie isn't sleeping you keep wondering if what she is seeing and saying is anywhere near the truth. You want so much for her to not be losing her mind after everything that has happened to her. There were moments when I didn't enjoy the unreliableness of her, but I loved all the other aspects of the story so I could forgo and forgive this part.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
runnergirl83 More than 1 year ago
Jessie has been taking care of her ailing mother. After her mother dies, she is trying to start a new life. She applies to college, but then finds out that her social security number raises a red flag. She is soon trying to discover her past that her mother did not tell her about as she tries to find out why there is something wrong with her social security number. This novel rotates chapters between Jessie and her mother, Eden. The chapters with Eden are from twenty years earlier. You learn about Eden's early marriage and her struggles to have a baby. She wants a child more than anything, but her and her husband are having problems. They go to see a doctor and soon she is taking shots, doing IVF, and whatever they can. This is expensive and drains their bank accounts, puts them into debt and puts a strain on the marriage as her husband wants to move on and Eden is obsessed with having a child. Reading about her infertility struggles is heartbreaking. She sees a friend, pregnant with her fourth child, ignore her children and go on about how she didn't want her three boys, she wanted a girl and never wanted to have a fourth child. Each month is another disappointment as Eden gets her period. She even has hope one month and then suffers a miscarriage. I found myself much more interested in Eden's story than Jessie's. I ended up more skimming Jessie's chapters. And then the ending. I cried, as a different choice could have easily been made which would have impacted the lives of people in a better way.
Holly More than 1 year ago
Holy Moly does this book throw you for a loop during that thrilling ending that will leave you wanting more! The book starts with Jessie just losing her mom, Eden and all the emotions that come with that but not all is what is seems when Jessie tries to apply to college to only discover that she might not be who she thought she was. We also go back in time to 20 years to a young Eden during the start of her journey that will lead to what will happen at the end of the book. I don't want to spoil too much but I will say that having Jessie's character having insomnia during those last few hours of Eden's life set's the stage for this book and what may or may not happen. This book will have you flipping through the pages just to get to that ending that will have your mouth on the ground for what really happened. I truly think that every book that Mary Kubica writes, it just gets better as she goes and I can't wait for the next thrilling thriller from her! Thank You to Mary Kubica for such a twisted thriller that had me hooked to this book until that last word was read!! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved The Good Girl but this book was a disappointment. Will still read more of her books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not much of a story. Very monotonous
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received a netgalley of Mary Kubica's When the Lights Go Out, in exchange for an honest review. The book tells the story of two woman, Eden and Jessie. We slowly learned how their lives are entwined. One is running away from something and the other is desperate for answers. The ending is not what I expected but it is a good read.
Debi_2014andBeyond More than 1 year ago
The Booksparks Fall Reading Challenge 2018 (#FRC2018) is here.  Summer is coming to a close and BookSparks releasing their next reading challenge.  They pick 17 new Fall books, and they take readers on an adventure this season.  Today's book is another book in their challenge - When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica. Jessie mother, Eden dies from cancer and her whole world as she knows it falls apart.  Jessie is grieving the loss of her mother as she discovers that she doesn't really know who she is - literally. She learns that her social security number belongs to a dead girl. She's not sure why her mother worked so hard to keep Jessie's identity a secret, and she never even knew her father.  She starts putting together the clues she's able to find about her identity.  Jessie's insomnia results in her chronic sleeplessness, causing her mind to wander, her memory to fail and her emotions to explode all over the place.    Along with a story narrated by Jessie in the present time, readers are provided with a narrative from Eden in a journal from the 1990's, sharing her life with Aaron - their happy home and marriage, but also their inability to have children.  Their stories run separately throughout the book until they finally connect at the end. The author builds characters the main very well, and readers come to know Eden and Jessie and empathize with them as they moved through each of the issues they were individually facing. And the ending....... I honestly didn't see it coming. I'm glad I didn't read any reviews that were spoilers (and I'm not going to write one here).  I caught myself gasping out loud in a very quiet waiting room of a medical facility, causing folks in the room to look my way! I was so shocked though, I couldn't help myself. Overall, When the Lights Go Out was yet another page-turning and suspense-filled  novel from Mary Kubica - this one more on the domestic suspense side than thriller - but nonetheless well written and slow building until that final ending that I won't be forgetting very soon. I was provided with a complimentary electronic advanced reader copy through Net Galley in exchange for my post.  I was not required to post a positive review, but have chosen to do so because this book was great! Thank you!
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
Nope, nada, this novel did not work for me. I have read Mary Kubica’s books in the past and I have enjoyed them but I didn’t enjoy this one. It was the ending that the upset me the most. The story is basically about a woman whose mother has just recently passed away. Jesse has had sleep issues since her mother’s hospitalization and these issues still remain. These sleep issues are now causing Jesse to hallucinate. Ready to begin her own life now, Jesse finds out that her identity is not really her own. Confused and frustrated because she has no one to talk to, Jesse tries to piece together her past to figure out what her real name is and who this “Jesse” really is. Enter in the story of Jesse’s mother. Through her journals, we read her tale of desperation to become a mother. Frustration, tests to become pregnant and failure all become part of the picture. Her mother ultimate goal was to be a mother. I felt ripped off as I finished this novel. It was like the author wrote “the end” before the final chapter. It was all good until the very end. I guess I should have read some reviews before reading this book, I would have skipped it.
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
Hmmm. Well, okay...where to start? This one is going to be light on details, because there's not really a lot that can be given beyond the actual description without giving too much away. The book definitely kept my attention--even though the two main characters, Eden and Jessie, weren't my two most favorite characters ever (I liked Eden less and less as the book went on, and continuously wondered WTF Jessie was doing about 90% of what she did--it all seemed so crazy, though we eventually figure out why, at least) I kept going because I NEEDED to find out what the heck was going on. And then I did. Find out, that is. And...I'm still not 100% sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, things made a whole lot more sense once we find out the big "aha" reveal. On the other hand, it felt like a cheap trick...but not as much as the other "ahhhhh..." moment, which actually made me a bit upset when I went back and thought of all the ways Ms. Kubica clearly tried to steer us away from the truth along the way, some of which couldn't have been in there for any other reason than to mislead the reader. (view spoiler) So, good things: it kept me reading, and the dual narrators of the audiobook did a fantastic job. Not-so-good-things: I had less-than zero respect for Eden at the end of the book, and more than half of the storyline left me feeling cheated. Would I read more from this author? Maybe...but I'm not going to run out right away to do so. Rating: 3 stars / C
4840318 More than 1 year ago
3 stars I’ve got to say, I have read other books by Kubica and really enjoyed them. But this one, not so much. And I know there is a lot of talk about the ending and the twist, but for me, that was the only thing that saved the book and garnered a 3 star rating. So let’s start with the ending, shall we? I LIKED it. That’s right folks; I am putting it out there. I liked the ending and I really thought the twist was genius. When it happened, I was literally like “holy sh_t, that was brilliant”. Unfortunately, that was the only thing I thought was brilliant. The book is told in alternating POV between Jessie and Eden. I really struggled reading the Jessie sections, it was the same thing over and over again. Jessie basically doing nothing all day, hearing voices, seeing things and not sleeping. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. I found myself skimming though much of this since it was all just the same thing over and over. I definitely enjoyed the Eden storyline more, at least there was a story and developed. However, I had a lot of trouble connecting with Eden. I thought she was immature and annoying. My parting thoughts are this. If I hadn’t read so many reviews that talked about this controversial ending, this likely would have been a DNF for me. But since I knew readers were up in arms about, I had to get to the end to see what all the hullabaloo was about. I was glad I did, because the ending ended up saving the book for me. I won’t; however, hold it against Ms. Kubica and I will continue to be on the lookout for anything and everything she writes. We all have bad days and we all deserve another chance. Finally, there are tons of reviews from readers who loved this book, so I encourage you to check it out for yourself. Thank you to Harlequin for my copy of this book via NetGalley
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a good story, confusing at times. I don’t think it was a page turner. It was just ok for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was really hard to put down. Mary Kubica had me unable to figure out where it would all end up even as I read the last 30 pages. A really good read.
toReadistoEscape More than 1 year ago
Not my favorite Mary Kubica book. I was excited to read this book because I loved Every Last Lie, Good Girl, and Pretty Baby written by Mary Kubica. The book started out great. It was very engaging and a unique storyline with interesting characters. About midway through I started to lose interest. Jessie’s battle with insomnia was too dramatic and drawn out for me. The book started to have a repetitious groundhog day feel to it. I didn’t like the ending. I don’t want to spoil it by saying what I didn’t like. Many of the reviews said they didn’t like the last twist and I think they are having a hard time explaining what they didn’t like without giving a spoiler. Let’s just say, if Mary Kubica turned this book into her High School English teacher she would have lost points for breaking one of the main rules in writing a short story. There were also a few loose ends in my opinion. When I finished the book I was questioning some of the things that had happened and don’t feel a conclusion was provided for it. I thought maybe I missed something and tried to look back to find my answers but wasn’t able to. This was an enjoyable read. However, I expected more from Mary Kubica. If you haven’t read her books before I highly suggest starting with one of the others mentioned above. They were much more consistent all the way through. I will still look forward to her next book. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Candice_S More than 1 year ago
Before I started this one, I saw some other reviews, and every single one was either a hard I loved it, or a hard I hated the end. It was completely polarizing, and that intrigued me even more. I am a long time Mary Kubica fan, and so I refused to seek out any spoilers or in depth reviews, and instead jumped in blind. And I loved it. This will be an unpopular opinion amongst some of by favorite bookish friends, but honestly I think this book is exceptionally well done. It is fast paced, its compelling, its completely unique and it is TENSE. I could barely stand to put this down between reading sessions, as I was dying to find out what had happened. Mary does an amazing job moving this story back and forth between Jessie Sloan's present, and her mother, Eden's past. Eden has just passed away, and Jessie is struggling tremendously - exacerbated by the fact that the college she has applied to has informed her that her social security number has raised a red flag, that she has no other family to turn to for answers, and that she is suffering from a severe bout of insomnia, leaving her uncertain of what she really knows. Eden's story is equally compelling as she moves through the early days of her marriage and her desperate struggle to have a baby - and every failure as she confronts her infertility. Both of these characters are wildly complex, frustrating, relatable and honest. You want to simultaneously reach out to hug them or throttle them, depending on the chapter. The way Mary wove together the two narratives builds on the tension of the story, until you are just as desperate as Jessie is for the truth. And the end is one I never, ever saw coming. Which is all I will say because a reader deserves to experience this one all on their own, without spoiler. I will say that I continue to LOVE Mary's work - I love that a writer can still take me on a ride, surprise me and make me gasp out loud. I would absolutely recommend this one for mystery lovers!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you to net galley and The Publisher for this copy. 4.5 stars!! Wow Mary Kubica's writing has me hooked, with each book she has me wanting more and more. When the lights go out is no exception. The story told in alternatinntiag points of view of Jessie and her mother Eden. Jessie has questions about her mothers past and the early years of her life, but her mother will not talk about it. Eden's perspective is telling that story is a slow emotional burn. I couldn't wait for her chapters! Those where some of my favorite! Jessie sets out to find out about her life, who is her father, Where was she born, what is about her mothers past that makes her not speak of it? I LOVED the ending! I really liked all the twists and turns, the emotions, and the slow burn of a good thriller.
CLynnT More than 1 year ago
Oh Mary, I love your writing style and I will continue to crave your books like a fix. But you let me down with the ending of this one. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride; I stayed glued for the entire day off and don’t regret a minute of the suspense. But the twist was a bit of an insult. I literally flipped back thru to try to find the clue I missed. There were just too many items left dangling that remain unclear. But I forgive you, because it was an enjoyable read. I anxiously await your next project! (I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. Thank you to Harlequin- Hanover Square Press for making it available.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good but sad
BookishlyBedelia More than 1 year ago
Who am I? Where do I come from? Is my whole life a lie? These are questions that Jessie Sloane is now forced to ask herself in the slow burn psychological thriller, When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica. Jessie's dying mother tells her to 'go find yourself'. Jessie, assuming her mother meant for her to make something of herself, do what she enjoys, make her life what she has dreamed of enrolls in college but after red flags are raised as to her identity, Jessie has to wonder if that is what her mother actually meant by those words. Now: Plagued with insomnia Jessie takes us with her on her quest to 'find herself'. Not just questioning her identity but also the things around. her. Is she seeing what she thinks she is, hearing what is being whispered to her or is the insomnia making her endeavor that much harder? Each passing day brings her closer to solving the mystery of her life but with each passing day brings more exhaustion and the fear that lack of sleep will eventually end her life. Then: We follow Eden back 20 years and relive her emotional and heart wrenching struggles with her. Her story is one born of love and what society tells us are worth is to be. The triggers and stumbling blocks taking Eden to places that she never thought she would be. Eden may hold the answers to Jessie's questions. When The Lights Go Out is told with a then and now narration volleying between Eden (then) and Jessie (now). I adored both of them. I found Eden and Jessie incredibly relatable and likable. I cried for Eden and bit my nails for Jessie and loved every moment of the book. Prior to reading this book, I read the mixed reviews and I knew the end was a love or hate conclusion and I can say that I loved it. I thought it was perfect and flowed really well with the rest of the story! Given an alternate ending, I wouldn't have chosen any other. I very much enjoyed When the Lights Go Out!
AmberK1120 More than 1 year ago
Thanks to the publisher for sending me a free review copy. Ok, so here's my brutal truth review: I don't really know what I just read. I stayed up late to finish it because I couldn't wait to find out what really happened, but I'm still not sure if I know. I think I need to process it some more because I have questions! 
That being said, I really enjoyed this book. I've heard some mixed reviews, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I found myself repeatedly seeking out the book so I could keep reading. I will agree with readers who have said this has a slower pace than some of Kubica's previous books. Honestly, when I realized that only a day or two had passed in the timeline, I was baffled because I'd thought it had been four. But for me, it only added to the confusion and uncertainty of Jessie's narration. I mean, she's suffering from severe insomnia, which is guaranteed to make her unreliable, so this was the kind of uncertainty I wanted from the book. 
This is the third thriller I've read over the last couple of weeks where going into it with minimal knowledge of the plot really enhanced the reading experience, in my opinion. Had I gone into this book with anything more than the synopsis above, I'd have been very disappointed. I loved experiencing everything as it played out for Jessie, and not knowing what was real or what was her insomnia.
I really loved this book. I was confused and completely immersed in the chaos, and it was a fantastic escape. If you're intrigued by the synopsis, if you're a Kubica fan, I recommend diving in fairly blind. Don't seek out too much info from reviews, just go in with the synopsis and be ready for lots and lots of questions. 
Highly recommend.