A woman named Kat hesitates when she's invited to take a boating trip on Martha's Vineyard, but she ultimately decides to go. Everything that follows turns her life into a nightmare — and Everything That Follows is also the title of this novel by Vermonter Meg Little Reilly.
Reilly, who grew up in Brattleboro, said she "wanted to write a story about living in someone else’s vacationland." Martha’s Vineyard fit the bill both because it's a vacation destination, and because it's wild island shores present a good setting for a psychological thriller.
In the novel, doubts about what actually happened on that boating trip start to creep in — and even Kat herself is unsure what her memory is producing.
"There were a few people involved in the incident, and they each create a different story for what they saw," Reilly said of the book's characters. "And they're also interpreting the experience through their own lens of class, primarily. The ability to pull strings, perhaps, or call on family favors, it really changes one's relationship to authorities and the law."
Reilly is also the author of We Are Unprepared. She has a background in politics, having worked as President Barack Obama's deputy associate director at the White House Office of Budget and Management.
VPR listeners may recognize Reilly's name from some of her commentaries.