Living... a seemingly perfect life in Monterey Bay, California. It’s a wealthy enclave renowned for its incredible public school system, and Celeste is practically the poster child for the town’s chic glamour.
Profession... retired lawyer. Celeste gave up her career to raise her two sons. Lately, however, she’s been yearning for the sense of purpose that her work used to give her. As she admits, “I feel so ashamed for saying this, but being a mother, it’s not enough for me, it’s just not. It’s not even close.”
Interests... yoga, cocktails, and coffee dates.
Relationship Status... married. Celeste’s handsome, successful husband Perry seems to be a dream man. They’ve been married for years and have rambunctious first-grade twins named Max and Josh, yet Perry and Celeste still act like affectionate newlyweds. But appearances can be deceiving. Behind closed doors, Perry is physically and emotionally abusive. He and Celeste are locked in a vicious, seemingly unbreakable cycle of abuse and affection—one she feels paralyzed to leave or even talk about with anyone.
Challenge... getting through a murder investigation. Monterey is turned upside down when someone dies under mysterious circumstances at an Otter Bay Elementary school fundraiser. The police set out to investigate what happened and who may have been involved—which includes pretty much all of the parents who were there, including Celeste. Figuring out what happened means digging into the events of the past school year. Back then, Celeste was caught up in a rivalry between two queen bee moms of Otter Bay, her best friend Madeline Mackenzie and snobbish Renata Klein.
Personality... glamorous, soft-spoken, and internal. Celeste is more of a follower than a leader. She tries to stay out of the drama at Otter Bay Elementary, and she sees the world in shades of grey rather than black and white. She’s a loyal friend and deeply caring mother, but she seldom expects to receive the same caretaking in return. She buries her own fears and problems deep down. As she admits, “Perhaps my self-worth is made up of how other people see me.”
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