Emily has it all: a loving family, a great best friend, and she's involved in school activities. While her parents are on a trip, Emily has a party. In the middle of the party, her Aunt Jolie shows up. Emily thinks she's going to get in trouble, but the news Jolie brings is much worse: she tells Emily to turn on the TV and Emily finds that her parents have been killed in a plane crash. A reporter at the scene holds up a tray table on which her mother has written in lipstick, "EMILY PLEASE FORGIVE ME." Everyone wants to know: who is Emily? Emily wants to know: why does my mother need to be forgiven?
Now Emily is forced to leave her home in Pennsylvania and move in with her Aunt Jolie, AKA Jolie Jane, make-up artist to the stars. She enters an exclusive private school and begins to make friends with the other students, gets invited to exclusive parties, and tries to deal with her grief. However, can she truly move forward with her mother's cryptic apology hanging over her head?
Through bits and pieces of information she gathers from photographs and her mother's journals, Emily discovers her mother's secret. In Jennifer Jabaley's debut novel, Lipstick Apology, Emily comes face-to-face with the fact that we never really know our parents. Emily's mom was an artist. She painted and even worked in a New York City gallery before Emily was born. These things Emily knew, but she didn't know her mother's biggest secret. Now Emily has to decide: should she leave her mother's secret alone, or confront the truth?
Jennifer Jabaley's debut novel, Lipstick Apology, will be published on August 6, 2009.
PS The funny thing about this book: the whole time I was reading it, I kept thinking about how my husband and I traveled on different flights to California last summer because I couldn't stand the idea of being on a plane at the same time when we have small children. Funny enough, Jabaley tells on her website how a trip her sister took without her children inspired this story.