KIRKUS: Redfearn's debut ratchets up the tension page by page, as husband and wife try to inflict the most damage on each other without harming the kids. Every character hides something, and each surprising revelation torques the plot further. The emotional and physical injuries mount, driving inexorably toward a surprising climax. A compelling tale of the deceit, violation and anguish that undergrid the myth of suburbia.
PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY: This snappily paced, cinematic novel about the dysfunctional modern American family from architect and first-time author Redfearn contains heavy doses of violence, danger, and fear. Events hurtle along with great urgency to a rousing climax. A smart, suspenseful debut.
RT BOOK REVIEW: Top Pick! With clear, efficient dialogue and authentic scenes, this story rings universal. Equal parts suspenseful and moving, Redfearn's skillfully told, candid story flows easily within a well-defined plot, making this novel a stunning and captivating read.
Chillingly realistic and pulsating with suspense, this deftly told story will leave you breathless. -- Heather Gudenkauf, NYT Bestselling Author of The Weight of Silence
Beware! This psychologically astute, swiftly paced story will leave you wondering "what if" even after the last page is turned. -- Christina Schwarz, NYT Bestselling Author of Drowning Ruth
Using beautifully nuanced prose and taut pacing, Redfearn skillfully weaves a gripping tale about the dark side of suburbia. This is top-notch storytelling! -- Alyson Noël, #1 NYT Bestselling Author
From the Author
What if...? The two most provocative words in the English language, cause for endless contemplation and reflection, and the inspiration for Hush Little Baby. I'd like to start by saying that I am married to a wonderful, kind, not-abusive-in-any-way man. Like Jillian and Gordon, we have two children, a boy and a girl, and we live in the beautiful town of Laguna Beach, California. My life is good. But... what if?
What if my husband wasn't as wonderful as he appeared? This exact real-life scenario provided the premise of the novel. A friend of mine was going through a divorce. Until she separated from her husband, the two seemed like the picture of happiness, not too dissimilar from me and my husband. But the story she told over drinks one night of the abuse and cruelty she endured behind closed doors was so frightening it made me wonder how many other marriages are not what they appear.
The curveball came about a month later when we went out again and my friend's story had changed, the tale altered and now with glaring inconsistencies from the earlier version that caused an alarm to blare in my brain. What if she was making it up? Custody of the kids was at stake. Could she be setting her husband up? For over ten years I'd known her husband as a stand up guy, the baseball coach who never yelled, the neighbor who happily carted your Christmas tree home in his truck, the kind of guy who always showed up and did his part. Yet how quickly I dismissed all that based on a story over drinks, how quickly everyone dismissed it, so easily accepting that he was abusive and dangerous.
So I got to thinking how easy it is to sabotage a life, that if my husband set out to destroy me, to preemptively strike before I realized what was going on, he could do it. He knows my weaknesses, my failings, my vulnerabilities. If he had the inclination, he could easily undermine my reputation and portray me as unstable or a bad mother, ensuring that if we divorced, he'd get custody of the kids.
My friend loves her children above all else, three beautiful boys. At the time they were four, nine, and twelve, and their futures, as well as her own, hung in the balance. To this day, nearly three years later, I don't know if she was telling the truth or manufacturing lies. Either way, her story was a captivating cautionary tale that made me wonder how far someone might go to keep their spouse from getting custody of their kids and then, if the kids were in danger, real danger, how far the other spouse might go to get them back.
My life is good. My husband is a good father. I'm a good mother. Our universe orbits around our son and our daughter and either of us would do anything... anything... to protect them.
What if...? The words are chilling, don't you think?
I hope you enjoy reading the novel as much as I enjoyed writing it.