Fort Greene

Fort Greene plays key role in new novel

Brooklyn BookBeat

June 9, 2016 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Swan Huntley. Photo by Nicholas Latimer

“We Could Be Beautiful,” a new literary thriller by Swan Huntley, will be published on June 28.  In the book, Swan unravels the marriage between recently reunited family friends Catherine West, a woman who “has it all,” and her seemingly perfect new husband, William Stockton, whose dark and mysterious past Catherine finds (with the help of her former nanny) is eerily intertwined with her own. It’s a fast-paced, page-turning thriller that also serves as a subtle comedy of manners. 

The book has received much praise from critics, and it’s clear that Swan knows how to get at Manhattan’s elite and wealthy with wit, humor and a satirical eye. Perhaps it’s because she herself was a nanny for a rich family in SoHo, which is what inspired her to write the book. 

While she was working as a nanny, Swan lived in a commune in Fort Greene. This commune also makes an appearance in the novel. It re-emphasizes the dichotomy between the young, broke nanny in a commune versus the rich, but bored mother living in a beautiful apartment in Manhattan. Swan was interested in seeing the fallout that can happen when a peripheral character, such as a nanny, can make such a difference in the lives of the affluent. “We Could Be Beautiful” is literary suspense at its best.

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