Half of What You Hear
From well-loved women’s fiction writer Kristyn Kusek Lewis comes a breakout novel about a woman moving to a small community and uncovering the many secrets that hide behind closed doors—perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty and Elin Hilderbrand.Greyhill, Virginia—refuge of old money, old mansions, and old-fashioned ideas about who belongs and who doesn’t—just got a few new residents. When Bess Warner arrives in town with her husband Cole and their kids, she thinks she knows what to expect. Sure, moving to Cole’s small hometown means she’ll have to live across the street from her mother-in-law, and yes, there’s going to be a lot to learn as they take over Cole’s family’s inn-keeping business, but Bess believes it will be the perfect escape from Washington. She needs it to be. After losing her White House job under a cloud of scandal, she hardly knows who she is anymore.But Bess quickly discovers that fitting in is easier said than done. Instead of the simpler life she’d banked on, she finds herself preoccupied by barbed questions from gossipy locals and her own worries over how her twins are acclimating at the town’s elite private school. When the opportunity to write an article for the Washington Post’s lifestyle supplement falls into Bess’s lap, she thinks it might finally be her opportunity to find her footing here…even if the subject of the piece is Greyhill’s most notorious resident.Susannah “Cricket” Lane, fruit of the town’s deepest-rooted family tree, is a special sort of outsider, having just returned to Greyhill from New York after a decades-long hiatus. The long absence has always been the subject of suspicion, not that the eccentric Susannah cares what anyone thinks; as a matter of fact, she seems bent on antagonizing as many people as possible. But is Susannah being sincere with Bess—or is she using their strangely intense interview sessions for her to further an agenda that includes peeling back the layers of Greyhill’s darkest secrets?As Bess discovers unsettling truths about Susannah and Greyhill at large, ones that bring her into the secrets of prior generations, she begins to learn how difficult it is to start over in a town that runs on talk, and that sometimes, the best way to find yourself is to uncover what everyone around you is hiding....

Half of What You Hear Details

TitleHalf of What You Hear
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 3rd, 2019
PublisherHarper
ISBN-139780062673374
Rating
GenreFiction, Mystery, Womens Fiction, Contemporary, American, Southern

Half of What You Hear Review

  • Holly B
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 This was an engaging read that was chock-full of small town scandals and gossipy woman with way too much time on their hands. Bess Warner was fired from her job as social secretary to the First Lady in Washington and she has decided to trade it all for a much slower paced town.  At least that is what she believes when she decides to move back to her husband's hometown of Greyhill, Virginia.What is the saying? From the fire to the frying pan... She finds herself living across the street fro 3.5 This was an engaging read that was chock-full of small town scandals and gossipy woman with way too much time on their hands. Bess Warner was fired from her job as social secretary to the First Lady in Washington and she has decided to trade it all for a much slower paced town.  At least that is what she believes when she decides to move back to her husband's hometown of Greyhill, Virginia.What is the saying? From the fire to the frying pan... She finds herself living across the street from her controlling mother-in-law, learning how to run the family's Inn, her teenage twins trying to fit in at the elite private school, and  battling some women who don't mind spreading rumours.I was invested in the characters and learning what Greyhill's secrets held. The author did a wonderful job creating a realistic plot with some compelling ladies that I had to follow through until the end to "figure" them out.  I didn't know who to trust and couldn't stop turning pages until I learned more.I enjoyed the small town drama, mysterious backgrounds of some of the residents, their history, and the secret that caused so much finger pointing. I was completely pulled into the story.Fans of women's fiction with a hefty side of small town drama, will fall in love with this novel and getting to know these characters. Okay, you may also dislike a few of them!Thank you to Harper Paperbacks  for sending me a review copy.This book is out on December 31,2018  and will be posted to my blog.
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  • Kristy
    January 1, 1970
    Bess and Cole Warner arrive in Greyhill, Virginia from Washington, DC. Ostensibly they've come to take over the local inn from Cole's parents, Diane and Bradley, but they are also fleeing the city. Bess is leaving behind her job as a social secretary at the White House, which she left in disgrace. Greyhill, meanwhile, is a beautiful town, but also one of old money, tradition, and gossip. Bess literally lives across the stress from her in-laws, allowing Diane to pop in anytime, bringing with her Bess and Cole Warner arrive in Greyhill, Virginia from Washington, DC. Ostensibly they've come to take over the local inn from Cole's parents, Diane and Bradley, but they are also fleeing the city. Bess is leaving behind her job as a social secretary at the White House, which she left in disgrace. Greyhill, meanwhile, is a beautiful town, but also one of old money, tradition, and gossip. Bess literally lives across the stress from her in-laws, allowing Diane to pop in anytime, bringing with her her trademark mixture of judgement and condescension. Bess soon realizes that it's not easy to assimilate into Greyhill if you're deemed an "outsider." Her husband seems happy among his old friends--many of whom are more than glad to spread gossip about Bess. Her twin children are figuring out their way at the local private school--a challenge that seems harder for her daughter than son. When she's offered a chance to write an article on a local figure, Susannah Greyhill Lane, Bess jumps at the chance. She soon realizes Susannah is a bit of a kindred spirit: the town doesn't seem to like her much either. Susannah also has a lot of secrets, some of which involve Bess' in-laws. As Bess learns more about Greyhill's past, she starts to wonder exactly what she's gotten herself and her family into. This was a really engaging, easy-to-read book that expertly captured the small town dynamic. Bess was a likeable character, struggling as an outsider in her husband's town. She's trying to put a mistake behind her at her former job, giving her even more trust issues. The novel is told mainly from Bess' point of view, but we also get snippets of town gossip, too. Ugh, having lived in such a town, I can tell you that Lewis really gets it right. I was wrapped up in the story from the beginning and felt awfully sorry for Bess--moving away from all she knew and having to deal with those hateful small town busybodies (sometimes there's nothing worse, really). "It's like living in Stars Hollow, the charming small town on Gilmore Girls... Although honestly, so far, Greyhill feels a little more Desperate Housewives. The star character being me." I was initially drawn to reading this book because the fake town of Greyhill, as written, is practically in my backyard. It frequently mentions my hometown of Madison (which, believe me, *never* shows up in books - it's not that big), as well as where I currently live. Even better, Lewis captures both quite well, as well as the moneyed, snobby atmosphere of Greyhill that will be intimately familiar to anyone who lives in Virginia. There's always something fun about reading about a place (or places) you know. My favorite sports team even gets a mention! Bess is also a very realistic mother. The book does an excellent job of capturing how hard it is being a mom when your kid is going through a hard time, for example. Honestly, it does a good job of portraying parenthood in general--it's real and true throughout. I very much appreciated that. None of the sugarcoated parent/child relationships we get in some books. This one was not completely what I expected. While it's character-driven and portrays Bess' struggle to fit in in Greyhill, it is almost a mystery at times. You can't really trust what you read and it's twisty, with some surprises thrown in. It makes for a fast, interesting read that delves into the history of Greyhill and Bess' family. Overall, this was a really captivating book. I enjoyed the characters and the story--and the setting was a real bonus. This is the first book I've read by Krusek Lewis, but I definitely would like to read more. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Harper Collins, via LibraryThing in return for an unbiased review - thank you! Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Google+ ~ Instagram
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  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Moving to her husband’s small home town was something Bess always wanted to do because of the lovely homes, and because she thought it would be good for the twins.The move wasn’t without problems. Two of a number of problems were that she would be across the street from her mother-in-law, and they would be taking over the inn that had been in the family for years.Little did she know about the problems that would come up dealing with the residents. One of the residents who was quite famous becaus Moving to her husband’s small home town was something Bess always wanted to do because of the lovely homes, and because she thought it would be good for the twins.The move wasn’t without problems. Two of a number of problems were that she would be across the street from her mother-in-law, and they would be taking over the inn that had been in the family for years.Little did she know about the problems that would come up dealing with the residents. One of the residents who was quite famous because of an accident is Susannah Lake. Susannah is someone that Bess is asked to interview. Susannah is a woman who moved back to this small town after many years, lives in a forty-room house, and is the talk of the town as well as a former girlfriend of Bess’s father-in-law.Susannah is also a woman that you can’t really be sure if what she says is the truth.The other residents were nosy, catty, and loved to gossip - the beauty of a small town, right? Everyone knows everyone’s secrets and pasts.Poor Bess became the target of all the women....not what she expected when she moved to this quiet, small town. She thought everyone would be kind, but they all knew the history she and Cole shared and made sure they commented on it. The problem with commenting on their history was that Cole seemed to side with the people from when he was growing up instead of Bess....not a good thing.HALF OF WHAT YOU HEAR addressed social issues as well as personal issues of fitting in.There are secrets that the residents of Greyhill have kept for many years, and as the mystery unravels, the book's interest picks up and ends up with a few surprises. There also are a few very unlikable residents. 4/5This book was given to me by the publisher via Edelweiss as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Page
    January 1, 1970
    After reading a few too many World War II novels in a row, I needed something a little less depressing. “Half of What You Hear” was a perfect palate cleanser. It’s light and fast paced. The characters are believable, and the relationships ring true. Not everything in this book is happy; far from it. Many of the characters are deeply flawed, and all of the characters face struggles. But if you’re looking for a quick, engaging read, I recommend it. Now back to the Nazis.Thanks to Edelweiss+ for an After reading a few too many World War II novels in a row, I needed something a little less depressing. “Half of What You Hear” was a perfect palate cleanser. It’s light and fast paced. The characters are believable, and the relationships ring true. Not everything in this book is happy; far from it. Many of the characters are deeply flawed, and all of the characters face struggles. But if you’re looking for a quick, engaging read, I recommend it. Now back to the Nazis.Thanks to Edelweiss+ for an advance copy.
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  • Liz Fenton
    January 1, 1970
    Incredibly intriguing, Half of What You Hear is a must-read that artfully delves its way through the layers of gossip, secrets and lies of the small and seemingly charming town of Greybill, where everyone knows your name, and oh so much more. Buckle up for a fun ride and one thing is for sure: you won’t know who to believe until the very end.
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    Half of What You Hear by Kristyn Kusek Lewis is a fast-paced, compelling page-turner that reminded me so much of what it's like growing up in a small southern town! When you grow up or live in a small town like Greyhill, the small, old-moneyed Virginia town, in Lewis' newest novel, everybody knows everybody else and if they don't, many of them try and find out everything they can about you until they think they know you. You can't go outside without someone you know stopping to give or get the l Half of What You Hear by Kristyn Kusek Lewis is a fast-paced, compelling page-turner that reminded me so much of what it's like growing up in a small southern town! When you grow up or live in a small town like Greyhill, the small, old-moneyed Virginia town, in Lewis' newest novel, everybody knows everybody else and if they don't, many of them try and find out everything they can about you until they think they know you. You can't go outside without someone you know stopping to give or get the latest gossip, which will then be passed all over town by the end of the day...and never told the same way twice! Oh, the gossip and secrets! That's one thing that seems to keep small southern towns a buzz even if the secret was never supposed to be shared!After a shocking episode that causes her to be fired from her job as the social secretary at the White House working for the first lady, Beth Warner is ready for a more carefree and relaxed life where she can begin recovering from her very public humiliation, but she doesn't bargain with the struggle to fit in with Greyhill, the sleepy southern town where everyone, including her husband Cole, has been friends since practically birth and she's viewed as an outsider, especially by the pack of gossipy, petty adult women who have the high school mentality that they run the town. Even her own mother-in-law is overly critical and her kids are pushing her away, especially her daughter as she struggles to fit into her new school. Beth feels more lost than before since she can't find a way to adjust to her new life in her town.When Bess is offered the opportunity to interview Susannah Lane, Greyhill's most famous and mysterious resident, for the Washington Post, she accepts since she thinks this will be a way to get a foothold in with the town since tongues have been non-stop wagging since Susannah's return after living in New York City for decades! Beth finds that she starts to hit it off with Susannah but when Susannah starts to spill shocking and disturbing secrets about the past, Beth can't help but wonder about Susannah's motives. Can Susannah be trusted? Or is she crazy like town gossips say she is? I really enjoyed this domestic drama! It has a great plot with an intriguing mystery in it that I didn't expect. The cast of characters were all enjoyable even the side characters, and Susannah is one lively character that I won't forget for a long time! I had to shake my head at several of the characters when they were gathered to gossip because some just had no clue that they were being talked about in another part of the book!  Lewis really portrays the power gossip has to destroy someone unless a person is willing to search for and speak the truth. A great lesson in only believing half of what you hear unless you know it's the truth! I definitely recommend it to fans of contemporary women's fiction and light domestic drama...if you're a fan of Emily Giffin, Elin Hilderbrand, or Liane Moriarity, then I think you'll like this one but expect to be transported to a southern setting where the tea is sweet and the gossip not so much!  Half of What You Hear releases on December 31, 2018, so make sure you grab a copy!**Thank you Edelweiss and Harper for an ARC copy to read in exchange for my fair and honest review. ** 
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  • Sandra
    January 1, 1970
    This was an ok read, but it didn't really keep my attention. I thought the characters were mostly well-written, and the town, but maybe there was too much drama, or maybe the plot just didn't jibe with me all the way through. It had too many "mysteries" going on, so I ended up not really caring about any of them. I enjoyed it, but didn't love it.
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    A small town, a new family trying to fit in, an eccentric old lady, and gossip that never stops. Greyhill, Virginia is a small town with lifelong residents. Cole grew up in this town and is ecstatic to be moving his family back. His wife, Bess, is not so sure. Behind this idyllic setting is a web of gossip that fuels the residents. As Bess tries to find her way in this new town of hers, the women make it hard with their judgements and backhanded compliments. Bess is feeling insecure and on edge, A small town, a new family trying to fit in, an eccentric old lady, and gossip that never stops. Greyhill, Virginia is a small town with lifelong residents. Cole grew up in this town and is ecstatic to be moving his family back. His wife, Bess, is not so sure. Behind this idyllic setting is a web of gossip that fuels the residents. As Bess tries to find her way in this new town of hers, the women make it hard with their judgements and backhanded compliments. Bess is feeling insecure and on edge, so when she’s given the opportunity to write a story about the mysterious Susannah Lane she jumps at it. Told in multiple perspectives, it was fun to read the actual events and then follow along with different townspeople as the story was altered or perceived differently in the subsequent rumor mill. Half of What You Hear was a fun Southern tale with a side of mystery that left me turning the pages. For me, Half of What You Hear was ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars. Thank you @harpercollinsus for this advance reader in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Patty
    January 1, 1970
    Half Of What You HearByKristyn Kusek LewisWhat it's all about...When Cole and Bess return to Cole’s small Virginia town to run his family’s inn they have no idea of what living in a small close knit community would be like. Mean girls, mean women, gossip...lots of gossip...surround them. Not only does Bess have trouble trying to fit in but her daughter does, too. Why I wanted to read it...I love books like this one...there is lots of mystery and intrigue mixed in with growing up in a small town Half Of What You HearByKristyn Kusek LewisWhat it's all about...When Cole and Bess return to Cole’s small Virginia town to run his family’s inn they have no idea of what living in a small close knit community would be like. Mean girls, mean women, gossip...lots of gossip...surround them. Not only does Bess have trouble trying to fit in but her daughter does, too. Why I wanted to read it...I love books like this one...there is lots of mystery and intrigue mixed in with growing up in a small town that has lots of secrets. Susannah is one of those mysteries. After living in NYC she returns only to shake this small town up again! She is quite a character. And a character that Bess gets involved with right away. What made me truly enjoy this book...I tend to forget just how nasty mean girls can be and how difficult it is to stand up to them. Bess not only has issues with women her age but also her daughter and her mother in law. Why you should read it, too...Readers who love small town mysteries with a Southern twist will love this book. I received an advance reader’s copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss and Amazon. It was my choice to read it and review it.
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  • Rachel Wells
    January 1, 1970
    When Bess and Cole leave DC for Greyhill, VA to take over Cole’s parents’ inn, the picturesque town seems like the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of their old life. However, small town southern life is a whole different ball game. As Bess dives into the intricacies of what makes this town tick (and the rumor mill run), she discovers that not everything is as it seems in Greyhill. Kristyn has managed to capture life in a southern town...where everyone knows your name and your business When Bess and Cole leave DC for Greyhill, VA to take over Cole’s parents’ inn, the picturesque town seems like the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of their old life. However, small town southern life is a whole different ball game. As Bess dives into the intricacies of what makes this town tick (and the rumor mill run), she discovers that not everything is as it seems in Greyhill. Kristyn has managed to capture life in a southern town...where everyone knows your name and your business before you do! This book was a charming tale filled with just the right dash of suspense and intrigue to keep the pages turning!
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  • Susan Csoke
    January 1, 1970
    Bess is elated to be leaving Washington with her husband Cole and their twins to begin a new life in old quiet Greyhill Virginia just across the road from Cole's mother. Soon Bess is rethinking her decision as she unravels the dark secrets of Susannah Lane, a prominent figure in Greyhill!!!! Thankyou Goodreads for this free book.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    A decent read about a woman who moves with her family to her husband’s hometown in Virginia. She writes a newspaper article about a resident from one of the prominent familes of the town and finds she has to deal with the drama, gossip and secrets of the people and their community. I enjoyed this book. And the main character had twins...as did I. Always fun to read about something you can relate to.
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  • Cori
    January 1, 1970
    If you enjoy Liane Moriarty books, I highly recommend Half of What You Hear! Full of drama and entertainment, @kristynkuseklewis creates a light, fun read..At first the characters appear to follow over- exaggerated cliches, but most of them have way more depth than initially presumed. Bess, the main character, finds herself in a whole new world when she moves to her husband's hometown. The town is full of women who like to spread rumors and pass around the latest gossip, oftentimes at the expens If you enjoy Liane Moriarty books, I highly recommend Half of What You Hear! Full of drama and entertainment, @kristynkuseklewis creates a light, fun read..At first the characters appear to follow over- exaggerated cliches, but most of them have way more depth than initially presumed. Bess, the main character, finds herself in a whole new world when she moves to her husband's hometown. The town is full of women who like to spread rumors and pass around the latest gossip, oftentimes at the expense of other others. The move back to her husband’s hometown was prompted by a bad work situation, after Bess got fired from the White House. After the move, Bess agrees to switch careers and do an article on the #1 town pariah, Susannah (even more of an outcast than herself). While interviewing Susannah, long buried secrets come to light and cause irreparable damage to the town and Bess's family. Bess gives Susannah the benefit of the doubt and tells her children that "People say things about you as you go through life, people might believe you're a certain way--but it should never dictate what you believe about yourself in your heart, or the way you behave towards others." Since Bess was bullied as a young girl, old insecurities are brought back up to the surface when she moves into town and is judged by the majority of the women. As if being the town outcast wasn't hard enough, rumor also has it that Bess's daugher Livvie is bullying her classmates. Bess must figure out how to juggle her husband's annoying ex girlfriend, writing an article on the towns biggest outcast, drama with her in-laws, and raising preteens..In a book like this, I assumed I could predict the ending; but I was wrong and there were a few pleasant surprises along the way.Thank you @harperperennial and @tlcbooktours for the free copy.
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    Half of What You Hear certainly seems to be an apt description for this book. When Bess suffers public humiliation and a firing from her job as the social secretary to the First Lady, she and her husband Cole move back to his small, picture-perfect hometown and across the street from his parents. What quickly becomes apparent to Bess is how cliquish the community is and how she doesn't fit in. An old friend offers a job to Bess writing an article about the reclusive and eccentric Susannah which Half of What You Hear certainly seems to be an apt description for this book. When Bess suffers public humiliation and a firing from her job as the social secretary to the First Lady, she and her husband Cole move back to his small, picture-perfect hometown and across the street from his parents. What quickly becomes apparent to Bess is how cliquish the community is and how she doesn't fit in. An old friend offers a job to Bess writing an article about the reclusive and eccentric Susannah which seems a refuge until Bess comes to question what Susannah's motives are during their meetings. I can certainly imagine these things happening, but it's not the most fun reading material. Most of the women are horrible people, Bess' husband is unsupportive to the struggles she's going through, and Susannah and the stories she tells are incredibly confusing. In the ARC I read the book alternates between Bess telling the story and the occasional chatter around town, but there's one brief chapter told from her daughter's point of view that seems random and out of place. This book is okay, and I definitely felt outrage by the way Bess was treated in the Greyhill community, but it was also something I couldn't really get into with everyone being so nasty and manipulative to each other.
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  • Lacey
    January 1, 1970
    Looking for a juicy, summer time-feeling read to hold you over during winter? Well, look no further!Bess has moved to her husband’s small, old money, the hometown of Greyhill, Virginia. Where the summers are hot but the gossip is even hotter. Bess would love to fit in comfortably but immediately feels like an outsider. When the opportunity to interview the town’s eccentric billionaire, who is also treated as an outsider, for her friend at Huffington Post, she feels like she shouldn’t pass up a c Looking for a juicy, summer time-feeling read to hold you over during winter? Well, look no further!Bess has moved to her husband’s small, old money, the hometown of Greyhill, Virginia. Where the summers are hot but the gossip is even hotter. Bess would love to fit in comfortably but immediately feels like an outsider. When the opportunity to interview the town’s eccentric billionaire, who is also treated as an outsider, for her friend at Huffington Post, she feels like she shouldn’t pass up a chance to get something right after her failed previous job as a White House event coordinator. But digging into the town’s past and Susannah Lane will have more consequences than Bess expected and could end up ruining the life she has worked so hard for.Half Of What You Hear is 350 pages long and took me 3 days to read.I really enjoyed reading this book and give it a 3 out of 5. The ending is perfect and had me questioning everything I had previously read.Thank you, Harper, for sending me this copy!Here’s to the adventure of finding a novel novel!Lacey
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  • Reader_27
    January 1, 1970
    I found myself sucked in really quickly with Bess's story. She's trying to find herself after losing a high profile job in D.C. and moving to a slower paced idyllic lifestyle in Virginia. Very quickly she learns life isn't as idyllic as she thought in her new home in Virginia. Family ties are important and things Bess (and honestly as a city girl myself) would find odd or trivial are certainly not viewed the same among her new neighbors. Adding to the problems, Bess has two teens who are also tr I found myself sucked in really quickly with Bess's story. She's trying to find herself after losing a high profile job in D.C. and moving to a slower paced idyllic lifestyle in Virginia. Very quickly she learns life isn't as idyllic as she thought in her new home in Virginia. Family ties are important and things Bess (and honestly as a city girl myself) would find odd or trivial are certainly not viewed the same among her new neighbors. Adding to the problems, Bess has two teens who are also trying to settle in their new environment and Bess accepts an assignment of interviewing a notorious, yet mysterious neighbor.I would definitely recommend this book. Kristyn builds this story at a very enjoyable pace. The Virginian based characters are like a lot of old southern folk, anyone with family from the south can easily see how realistically Kristyn describes them.Thank You GoodReads and Harper Publishing! (Received this book in a Giveaway drawing)
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  • Bridget Bishop
    January 1, 1970
    Kristyn Kusek Lewis's sophisticated writing in HALF OF WHAT YOU HEAR blends southern charm with northern wit to create an intriguing, fast-paced mystery. Her heroine is well-developed and relatable. All of the characters feel like people you might know (for better or worse). HALF OF WHAT YOU HEAR examines how change -- in time, environment, and/or occupation -- can impact all kinds of relationships.I especially enjoyed how well Kusek Lewis captures what it means to be a woman -- and what that lo Kristyn Kusek Lewis's sophisticated writing in HALF OF WHAT YOU HEAR blends southern charm with northern wit to create an intriguing, fast-paced mystery. Her heroine is well-developed and relatable. All of the characters feel like people you might know (for better or worse). HALF OF WHAT YOU HEAR examines how change -- in time, environment, and/or occupation -- can impact all kinds of relationships.I especially enjoyed how well Kusek Lewis captures what it means to be a woman -- and what that looks like for different generations. Kusek Lewis expertly shows how all of the choices, circumstances and pressures women face could easily drive you off a cliff. In one striking chapter, the main character Bess, advises her pre-teen daughter on how to deal with life's difficulties while she internally continues to struggle with this herself.Kusek Lewis balances all of these deep insights with funny one liners, good fashion, and of course plenty of juicy gossip!
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  • Andi (Booklovinmama25)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Harper Books for the free review copy!After reading my usual crime/psychological thrillers that I normally do, Half of What You Hear was a great break. It was hard for me to adapt to in the beginning, but I would say about 50 pages in I was hooked. Tons of gossip, secrets, rebellion and different family dynamics that it almost had a warm comforting feel. I truly felt as if I was in Greyhill itself hanging out with all these people. Although I did want to snap the main character, Bess, Thank you Harper Books for the free review copy!After reading my usual crime/psychological thrillers that I normally do, Half of What You Hear was a great break. It was hard for me to adapt to in the beginning, but I would say about 50 pages in I was hooked. Tons of gossip, secrets, rebellion and different family dynamics that it almost had a warm comforting feel. I truly felt as if I was in Greyhill itself hanging out with all these people. Although I did want to snap the main character, Bess, out of her cordial character towards the people of Greyhill. She was very polite, but I wanted to stand up for her so many times because she felt like such an outsider! The "town rebellion" Susannah that everyone gossiped about was my spirit animal. She was so carefree and did things her way even if everyone judged her. Her and I would be like two peas in a pod.
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  • Karen Hufman
    January 1, 1970
    Bess is moving to the small town of Greyhill with her husband and 2 kids after losing her White House job to a scandal where she's looking forward to a quieter life where her husband will manage the family's inn. Bess quickly finds out that the women aren't necessarily kind and they bring back inadequacies from her past, which are feelings that her mother-in-law, who lives across the street, is only too happy to support. Thrown into Bess's life is Susannah Greyhill who has come back to town afte Bess is moving to the small town of Greyhill with her husband and 2 kids after losing her White House job to a scandal where she's looking forward to a quieter life where her husband will manage the family's inn. Bess quickly finds out that the women aren't necessarily kind and they bring back inadequacies from her past, which are feelings that her mother-in-law, who lives across the street, is only too happy to support. Thrown into Bess's life is Susannah Greyhill who has come back to town after a long absence. Bess is hired by a friend to write a story on Susannah's return and Bess gets caught up in the life and past of a small town.
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  • Page
    January 1, 1970
    Bess is a woman with something to prove to the world after a Washington mishap turned her career track into demolition derby. Tasked with getting the what, who, and why of the reappearance of the reclusive—and elusive—Susannah Lane: the former New York socialite who left Greyhillunder a cloud of suspicion and zero allegiance.At first, Bess views the opportunity to get the scoop as a way to kill the boredom of small-time life and, possibly, rebuild her tattered reputation. However, what Bess soon Bess is a woman with something to prove to the world after a Washington mishap turned her career track into demolition derby. Tasked with getting the what, who, and why of the reappearance of the reclusive—and elusive—Susannah Lane: the former New York socialite who left Greyhillunder a cloud of suspicion and zero allegiance.At first, Bess views the opportunity to get the scoop as a way to kill the boredom of small-time life and, possibly, rebuild her tattered reputation. However, what Bess soon discovers is involving herself with Susannah could have lasting consequences.The story kept my interest for the most part. There was a bit of a twist towards the end but nothing too zany. Honestly, the weird friendship of Bess and Susannah—albeit complicated—was also endearing. Especially since Bess’s husband was about as likable as a rash.The town of Greyhill doesn’t read unlike any other small town—where the residents thrive off rumors and innuendo—but that also means you’ve likely read many of these characters before: the pampered socialite, the uppity know-it-all, the clueless wonder, etc. They bored me and added nothing to the story other than a way to further justify Bess’s need to be anywhere but Greyhill. Still, it was a well-told story and it was interesting enough to keep you tethered until the end. Thank you to Edelweiss+ for this Advanced eGalley of Half of What You Hear in exchange for this honest review.
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  • Denise Levendoski
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Kristyn Kusek Lewis and Goodreads.com I won this book in a Giveaway.I really liked this book ! The lessons in this book are so very hard to learn and accept even as adults. When something happens the "truth" is based on your perception and influences, and for everyone that is different. And of course everyone wants to be the first to tell the story of how they want to remember it. This book showcases all of this, the gossip, how the truth can be twisted based on your memories but it Thank you to Kristyn Kusek Lewis and Goodreads.com I won this book in a Giveaway.I really liked this book ! The lessons in this book are so very hard to learn and accept even as adults. When something happens the "truth" is based on your perception and influences, and for everyone that is different. And of course everyone wants to be the first to tell the story of how they want to remember it. This book showcases all of this, the gossip, how the truth can be twisted based on your memories but it also has a touch of forgiveness in it.
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    I would recommend this book. The book is basically told through the eyes of Bess, the main character, living in a small town where everyone tries to know everyone else's business. People like to gossip and Bess is trying to find the truth about one remarkable person's past. The character's are believable and can easily be related to.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book and the story of coming back home after decades. For Cricket it isn’t about starting over but of reclaiming what she lost. For Bess it is about starting over and redefining herself. Neither one is easy and both have their own issues to deal with. There were times when I did feel Bess was in over her head.
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  • Sally
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the setting, the realistic characters and all the secrets! A page turner!
  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    Decent, quick read. Thank you to thre publisher and Edelweiss for the ARC.
  • Nanette
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. Reviewed for Booklist.
  • Morgan Schulman
    January 1, 1970
    DNF.
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Spent all of New Year’s Day relaxing and reading this—a great way to start the year!
  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    Probably 2.5 stars for me. It felt like the story was kind of drug out in places and didn't move forward
  • Rachel Quick
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't like any of the characters to reading this book was a real slog. Don't pick it up!
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