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So Much Pretty by Cara Hoffman

So Much Pretty

When she disappeared from her rural hometown, Wendy White was a sweet, family-oriented girl, a late bloomer who’d recently moved out on her own, with her first real boyfriend and a job waiting tables at the local tavern.

Five months after she disappeared, Wendy’s body is found in a ditch just off one of Haeden’s main roads. Suddenly, Stacy Flynn, a reporter looking for her big break, has a big story, but no one wants to talk to her. No one seems to think that Wendy’s killer could still be among them. A drifter, they say. Someone “not from here.”

Fifteen-year-old Alice Piper is an imaginative student with a genius IQ and strong ideals. The precocious, confident girl has stood out in Haeden since the day her eccentric hippie parents moved there from New York City, seeking a better life for their only child. When Alice reads Flynn’s passionate article in the Haeden Free Press about violence against women—about the staggering number of women who are killed each day by people they know—she begins to connect the dots of Wendy’s disappearance and death, leading her to make a choice: join the rest in turning a blind eye, or risk getting involved. As Flynn and Alice separately observe the locals’ failure to acknowledge a murderer in their midst, Alice’s fate is forever entwined with Wendy’s when a second crime rocks the town to its core.

Cara Hoffman’s first novel So Much Pretty leads the reader into the treacherous psychology of denial, where the details of an event are already known, deeply and intuitively felt, but not yet admitted to, reconciled or revealed.

Early reviews of So Much Pretty:

Hoffman’s doomed characters burn their way off her angry pages. This searing novel will linger long in the reader’s memory. – Publishers Weekly

This is an impassioned, intelligent and important work of art, and with it Hoffman takes her place in that select group of American novelists including Philipp Meyer and Adam Haslett who, eschewing nihilism and hauteur, write with urgency and passion about what is really going on out there.”
—Chris Cleave, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Little Bee and Incendiary

“So Much Pretty is everything I love in a novel – dark, fascinating, beautifully written, impossible to put down. It marks the beginning of what promises to be an indelible literary career for Cara Hoffman.”
-Lauren Grodstein, author of A Friend of the Family

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