“Readers who enjoy Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies) won’t be able to put this novel down.”
— Booklist


“Atmospheric, tense, and authentic to the core, Not My Boy will catch you in its thrall.”
— Sonja Yoerg, author of Stories We Never Told


When Hannah moves into the carriage house in the shadow of her sister’s sprawling family home (and not far from her mother), she’s looking for a fresh start in a safe, privileged neighborhood. The trails and wooded areas of the upscale community promise leisure and recreation, and the sociable inhabitants seem rife with opportunities for book clubs, festivals and friendship. Recently divorced and trying to escape a dark secret that has haunted her son, Hannah pins her hope on proximity to her beloved sister, Hillary, and all the advantages her new home has to offer. But in Kelly Simmons’s Not My Boy (Sourcebooks Landmark), nothing is quite what it seems.

When a little girl goes missing and police descend, secrets are unearthed, and it seems everyone has something to hide. As investigators crisscross the community, searching woods, creeks and homes, tensions mount. And when Hannah’s son, Miles, emerges as a person of interest, she finds herself embroiled in a battle she never expected. Complicating matters even more, Hillary’s husband, Ben, is keeping a secret of his own, and when the truth comes to light, doubts about who he is and what he may or may not be capable of weigh on everyone.

Pitting sister against sister, and neighbor against neighbor, Simmons carefully mines the depths of our connections to the people around us and explores just how far a woman will go to protect the ones she loves. Told in alternating viewpoints between Hannah and her mother Eva, readers are afforded an intimate peek into the inner trappings of women at very different stages in life — and with sometimes contradictory perspectives and understanding. Who’s right? Who should readers believe as the story unfolds and the evidence mounts? Simmons will keep everyone guessing until the final pages.

Part murder mystery and part family drama, Not My Boy blends genres in a satisfying, compulsively readable way. The characters leap off the pages, and the lush neighborhood comes alive through ill-fated book club soirees, questionable poker nights and an illuminating fall festival where hidden things come to light. Simmons expertly ratchets up the tension while humanizing her characters in real, relatable ways. It will be impossible for readers not to cheer for Hannah, and especially for the misunderstood, twelve-year-old Miles, even as they are forced to wonder: What if?

Filled with snappy dialogue, a cast of lovable misfits and nail-biting suspense, Not My Boy is the perfect way to kick off anyone’s 2021 reading list.


She’ll Stop at Nothing to Find Out Where She Went

Family Secrets and Fireworks in Kelly Simmons’s The Fifth of July

Tall Poppy Review: Ghosts of the Past in One More Day

Buy this book!

Photo credit: Bill Ecklund Photography

Kelly Simmons is a former journalist, advertising creative director and the author of six novels sold in a dozen countries: Standing Still and The Bird House (Simon & Schuster), One More Day, The Fifth of July, Where She Went and Not My Boy (Sourcebooks).

She teaches in the Drexel University MFA program and is a member of WFWA, Tall Poppy Writers and The Liars Club, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping fledgling novelists. Additionally, she co-helms the weekly writers’ podcast Liars Club Oddcast.

She was born the same day as Dorothy Parker. Coincidence? She thinks not.