Melanie Gideon | Did I Say You Could Go

The Book: 

Did I Say You Could Go by Melanie Gideon
Published August 3rd 2021 by Simon Schuster
Date read: August 21, 2021

The Characters: 

Gemma and her daughter Bee
Ruth and her daughter Marley


Buy it on | Amazon

The Plot (from Goodreads):

When Ruth, a wealthy divorcé​e, offers to host the Hillside Academy kindergarten meet-and-greet, she hopes this will be a fresh start for her and her introverted daughter, Marley. Finally, they’ll be accepted into a tribe. Marley will make friends and Ruth will be welcomed by the mothers. Instead, the parents are turned off by Ruth’s ostentatious wealth and before kindergarten even begins, Ruth and Marley are outcasts.

The last guest to arrive at the meet-and-greet is Gemma, a widow and a single mother to her daughter, Bee. Ruth sets her sights on the mother-daughter duo, and soon the two families are inseparable. Ruth takes Gemma and Bee on Aspen vacations, offers VIP passes to Cirque du Soleil, and pays for dinners at Michelin-starred restaurants. For Gemma, who lives paycheck to paycheck, Ruth’s largesse is seductive, but as the years go by, she can’t shake the feeling that she’s accruing an increasingly unpayable debt. When Ruth’s affair with a married Hillside dad is exposed, and she’s publicly shunned, Gemma uses it to sever ties with Ruth.

Six years later, when Gemma finds herself embroiled in a scandal of her own—Ruth comes to her defense. Their renewed friendship rehabilitates their reputations, but once again, Gemma starts to feel trapped as Ruth grows more and more obsessed with their relationship.

Click here for book spoilers for Did I Say You Could Go?
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read Did I Say You Could Go?, I suggest you turn back now.

The Twist: 

Ruth had hired Simon to woo Gemma and then dump her, but Simon fell in love with her and refused to dump her.

The Ending:

Marley was “Cam”. She did it to get a little payback, but didn’t mean for Bee to kill herself and strongly regretted that. It worked out nicely that she was able to frame her mother.  She had created the whole mom-pod that Ruth was in. Ruth went to jail (Soleil also reported her for child abuse) and Marley went to live with her dad.

The Review: 

I really enjoy these mommy drama thrillers, and this one was no exception. Especially when there’s a catty parenting messaging board involved!  I enjoy the “moms behaving badly” trope, and have read a handful of good “rich mom/poor mom” dramas. This book felt more like a YA thriller to me, although it was the mothers that were behaving like kids. Although it is a very slow burn, I needed to keep listening to see if I was right about the twist. Overall this was a very middle-of-the-road read for me, didn’t love it, didn’t hate it.

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