Oscar Wilde said, “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”
The way we keep secrets and tell lies is at the heart of Leah Stewart’s latest novel, The New Neighbor. It tells the story of two women — a frail and bitter 90-year-old, Margaret Riley, and a single mother named Jennifer Young, who is running away from a hidden, traumatic past. Jennifer’s relocation to the secluded home across from Margaret in the misty mountains of Tennessee sets into motion the slow unveiling of the womens’ secret histories, which both binds and threatens to destroy them. The novel is a gripping meditation on the nature of truth, love and identity.
CityBeat recently caught up with her to discuss the risks of trusting others and the art of writing fiction; read the Q&A here.
LEAH STEWART will read from The New Neighbor at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Commons at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 8. More info: josephbeth.com.