Title: Vegas Girls by Heather Skyler
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 348 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss
For Fans of Julia Glass and Ann Hood, a Novel about How the Choices We Make Last a Lifetime
Vegas Girls begins when three former high school friends, now in their mid-thirties, reunite in their hometown of Las Vegas—a city they vowed to escape as soon as they could—to celebrate their new lives and revisit old haunts. But what starts out as a week-long, sun-kissed reunion takes a strange turn as mysterious gifts appear, familiar faces pop up in unexpected places, and each woman reveals a secret, private quest.
Ramona is searching for a son she gave up for adoption before their high-school graduation. Jane is trying to leave her husband of eleven years, even with her two kids in tow. And Ivy, who has a new baby, is haunted by the memory of her mother abandoning her twenty years ago—and she has begun spotting her everywhere. Add to this a darkly charismatic ex-boyfriend of Ivy’s who won’t give up hope of rekindling their romance, and a strange, new friend of Jane’s in need of help, and the week quickly begins to unravel.
Set against desert heat, swimming pools, and casino lights, and told masterfully through five different points of view, Vegas Girls is about how we navigate the present while carrying the ghosts of our past; about growing up with one eye glued to the rearview mirror; and about what happens when the past you thought you left behind turns out to have been with you all along.
Vegas Girls by Heather Skyler is a lovely novel of friendship that will resonate with readers of contemporary women’s fiction. This poignant story spans a weeklong reunion between three childhood friends who are at a crossroads in their respective lives.
Ivy Jacobsen and her husband Frank have recently returned to Las Vegas and she is playing host to her childhood friends Ramona and Jane in the week leading up to her son’s first birthday. A chance encounter with her former boyfriend Jeremy Burnham resurrects both bittersweet and painful memories from a tumultuous time during her teenage years. While their romance was somewhat rocky, Ivy cannot forget how he thoughtful and sweet he was during a painful period in her life. Seeing him again stirs up her unresolved issues and raises fears that history will eventually repeat itself now that Ivy is a mom.
Jane now lives in Wisconsin with her husband Adam and their two young children. Depressed after recently losing her job, she is growing increasingly dissatisfied with her marriage and she is seriously considering a divorce. Hoping the week with her friends will provide her with some much needed clarity, Jane keeps her problems to herself as she grows frustrated with the demands of parenting two young kids. She is attracted to a newly divorced father of two in Ivy’s neighborhood but will Jane act on her feelings for the handsome stranger?
Both Jane and Ivy wonder if their never married friend Ramona will bail on the reunion so they are pleasantly surprised by her arrival. A successful musician, she is still playing in local venues while her band regroups after losing some of their members. While she is looking forward to reconnecting with her friends, Ramona is secretly searching for the son she gave up for adoption years earlier. Haunted by regrets, will finding her son help Ramona come to terms with the events that are occurring in the present?
With the non-glamorous side of Las Vegas serving as a backdrop, Vegas Girls by Heather Skyler is a beautifully rendered novel of friendship. The characters are multi-faceted with relatable struggles and issues to overcome. The storyline is well-developed and quite riveting with the chapters alternating between each of the various characters’ perspectives. I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend this compelling story that perfectly captures the complexities of friendship, the regret for past choices and the hope for a happy future.