With Regrets, from author Lee Kelly, is equal parts Big Little Lies and Bird Box, a suburban drama wrapped in a 24-hour survival story at the end of the world, perfect for fans of David Koepp's Aurora.
Seven courses, seven guests, twenty-four hours that will obliterate everything.
When recent NYC-transplant Liz Brinkley and her husband are invited to an exclusive soiree by their neighbor, “lifestyle guru” Britta Harris-Che, Liz’s immediate thought is hell no. Britta is insufferable, and Liz is wary to leave her young children with a barely-teenage babysitter. And yet she RSVPs anyway, trying to extend an olive branch to her withdrawing husband, who seems desperate to get in with the cliquey elite.
They’ve barely made it through their first round of champagne when a “red alert” comes through their phones, and every channel on the television tells the same story: strange atmospheric masses, reported to look like “glimmering clouds,” have been spreading through major U.S. cities and killing anyone they touch. Authorities have just one clear directive: Find shelter. Immediately.
A collective panic seizes the dinner party; all the guests have children at home. In the mad dash to their cars, they see it: a shimmering net floating over the town. The street is littered with wrecked cars and dead bodies. Leaving now is not an option. Instead, the group launches into survival mode, grabbing supplies to take shelter in the hosts’ wine cellar. But everyone has very different opinions about the best plan from there.
Liz becomes increasingly willing to do anything it takes to get back to her children. As the glimmering clouds continue to kill anyone who steps outside, the tensions and suspicions among the party guests near a boiling point. But she begins to realize that there may be others in that cellar even more desperate than she is.
About the Author
Lee Kelly is the author of City of Savages, A Criminal Magic, and The Antiquity Affair (co-authored with Jennifer Thorne). Her short fiction and essays have appeared in Gingerbread House, Orca, and Tor.com, among other publications, and she is an MFA candidate at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. An entertainment lawyer by trade, Lee lives with her husband and two children in New Jersey, where you’ll find them engaged in one adventure or another.
Praise for With Regrets: “Lee Kelly gives us a story that is both terrifying and poignant. Needless to say, I loved With Regrets—I think you will, too.” —Christina Dalcher, Sunday Times bestselling author of Femlandia
“Compulsively readable . . . An exciting premise combined with a cast of very relatable characters add up to a book that is impossible to put down.” —Jesse Q. Sutanto, bestselling author of Dial A for Aunties and Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers
“With Regrets is a tense and claustrophobic look at what happens when an already uncomfortable dinner party is interrupted by a world-changing catastrophe. Told through four unique women trapped in a wine cellar, the book is a thrilling mix of dystopia, locked-in thriller, and family drama as the complex characters are forced to deal with fear, unraveling secrets, and the ultimate terror: being separated from loved ones when disaster strikes.” —Darby Kane, bestselling author of The Last Invitation
“By turns harrowing and hilarious, With Regrets is a nail-biting page-turner that brings the apocalypse thrillingly close to home.” —Jennifer Thorne, author of Lute and Diavola
“Pulse-pounding and wildly original, With Regrets exposes the dark underbelly of suburbia and the true cost of keeping up appearances. Expertly crafted tension rachets up as a mysterious environmental threat looms large, but even more danger may lurk in the cellar in which these dinner companions find themselves trapped for the night. Lee Kelly has created a thrilling, nuanced, highly entertaining story that readers will find impossible to put down.” —Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, author of The Girls Are All So Nice Here
Praise for Lee Kelly: “Well-crafted and delightfully taut, A Criminal Magic is a wonderful piece of spellwork.” —V.E. Schwab, New York Times bestselling author of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
“This urban fantasy, always electric, reads like jazz itself.” —Publishers Weekly, on A Criminal Magic
"There are plenty of heart-pounding moments in Kelly’s debut, and an abundance of vividly imagined details bring post-apocalyptic New York City to searing life." —Publishers Weekly: A Most Anticipated Novel of Spring 2015, on City of Savages
"Kelly’s prose is gorgeous and brilliant.” —VOYA, starred review, on City of Savages
"This is a solid, suspenseful, Prohibition-era crime story...a clever and very imaginative variant on a tried-and-true theme." —Booklist, on A Criminal Magic
“Better hope you clear off your calendar when you start Lee Kelly's City of Savages, because you're going to be white-knuckle gripped from page one. . . . It's a thrilling apocalyptic story, for sure, but Kelly also imbues her story with the powers of familial bonds and some seriously strong women.” —Bustle
“A Criminal Magic is a solid, well-written tale . . . but it's the ending that is going to have everyone talking. The final plot twist is a punch in the gut.” —Tor.com
“Reminiscent of The Night Circus with a splash of The Great Gatsby.” —Romantic Times, on A Criminal Magic
“A Criminal Magic is a smart, absorbing read, with a deft take on Prohibition, engaging characters, and an utterly believable and fantastic version of magic that is as splendid as it is dangerous.” —Kate Elliott, author of The Spiritwalker trilogy
“Intriguing, exciting and unusual.” —S.M. Stirling, author of the Change series, on City of Savages