Three couples are gathered for a barbecue when a tragedy happens in a second. Everyone is left spiraling outwards, marriages in turmoil, mental health ragged, family relationships impaired. A single moment is all that’s needed to change lives.
I was wary going into this book. While I loved Big Little Lies, I really disliked The Husband’s Secret and I didn’t know which of the two categories this one would fall into. Turns out, it’s the former (thankfully). I sped through this book and…well, I can’t say enjoy is the right word. This book is depressing in many ways. But I was engaged, at least, and I connected with the characters, and I loved the way the book wound everything together. I appreciated this book.
Moriarty’s books discuss a lot in terms of suburban, privileged lives. In this one, we’re exposed to the psychology of a person who grew up with a hoarder parent, the complicated friendship that grows between two people forced to be friends by a parent, the various ways marriages are tested by tragedy, impostor syndrome in many forms, and the subtle changes in children’s behavior that may or may not indicate a deeper problem. There’s a heaviness to all this burden, but also hope, and I like the balance that Moriarty achieves.
This was my least favorite of the Moriarty novels I’ve read. In fact, I was so not fan that I will be thinking long and hard before I read her next one.
I’m curious what made this one so bad for you?
The characters. I detested the one with the hoarder mother. I could not stand to read any of the scenes with her in it. I thought the story was melodramatic and outlandish too. as well as predictable. I just was not impressed.
I didn’t like her either – it was bad that she opened the novel. I didn’t really like any of her story (didn’t much like her husband either, nor of course her mother) but I didn’t mind reading about them. I particularly liked seeing how the other mother – the forced friend – dealt with the guilt from her mother’s do-good pushiness.
Pingback: Sunday Coffee – Book Hangovers | The Zen Leaf