on May 6, 2014
Scandal has derailed Journalist Kitty Logan's career, a setback that is soon compounded by an even more devastating loss. Constance, the woman who taught Kitty everything she knew, is dying. At her mentor's bedside, Kitty asks her—what is the one story she always wanted to write?
The answer lies in a single sheet of paper buried in Constance's office—a list of 100 names—with no notes or explanation. But before Kitty can talk to her friend, it is too late.
Determined to unlock the mystery and rebuild her own shaky confidence, Kitty throws herself into the investigation, using her skills and savvy to track down each of the names on the list and uncover their connection. Meeting these ordinary people and learning their stories, Kitty begins to piece together an unexpected portrait of Constance's life. . . and starts to understand her own.
I was intrigued by the premise of a mysterious list of names that the protagonist has to find a connection between. I do love a mystery. Actually, that is a lie. I hate a mystery. I need to know the answer. That’s what kept me going through this story. I had to know the connection between the names.
Kitty Logan, a young journalist, is a horrible human. She’s the worst kind of horrible person. She thinks that there is nothing wrong with her at all. Other people call her out sometimes on her callousness but she gets mad at them for being mean to her.
Kitty falsely accused a man of fathering a child with a teenage student. He lost a lot of his friends and his marriage. She is being sued for libel. Don’t you know how hard this is in her life? Her overwhelming urge is to get him to forgive her. She centers herself in everything.
She is so clueless that she applies for a job teaching college level journalism soon after her libel trial. She’s hurt when they tell her that they are adding her case to the curriculum but don’t want to hire her.
Kitty doesn’t like sick people. She has avoided going to see her friend who is dying of cancer. Later she can’t even bring herself to look at a woman with cancer who is getting her hair done for her wedding.
It would be one thing if she was a bad character who Learns a Life Lesson but that is not what is going here. There is a character with a birthmark across her face who hides in her house cutting out pictures of models and putting them on her wall. That isn’t Kitty’s POV. That’s the author’s description of the character. There are racist/fetishizing comments made to a Chinese woman by a white man. Other Chinese people only speak in stereotypically broken English. There is a young man who repeatedly publicly proposes to a friend of his in order to scam venues into giving them free drinks even though she is embarrassed and repeatedly asks him to stop. There is also a casual anti-trans comment. None of this is challenged. I mentally subtitled this book White Folk Behaving Badly.
It is too bad. The overall message of the book is a good one. I guessed the answer to the mystery but it still was a satisfying conclusion. I just wish there hadn’t been so much tone deaf behavior written for the characters before you get to the pay off.