Three brothers are at the funeral.
One lies in the coffin.
Will, Brian and Luke grow up competing for their mother’s unequl love. As men, the competition continues – for status, money, fame, women…
They each betray one another, over and over, until one of them is murdered.
But which one?
Oh my goodness! What a book! Confession, I am really enjoying my reading recently and have been lucky enough to read and review some truly excellent books over the past 12 months, but Our Little Cruelties is on altogether on another level!
Three Brothers, William, Brian and Luke in three sections tell their story, tracing back to their childhoods, all retelling events and recollections in their own words and from their own perspectives. Interestingly none of the stories were told chronlogically, flitting back and forth in time, this could have been confusing but really didn’t matter at all.
A hugely dysfuntional family and 3 unlikeable brothers, 1 is dead we don’t know more than this and the story starts with the funeral, with one of the surviving brothers reflecting on the sibling rivaly. Each brother’s story is then told in their own first person voice. We hear their despicable actions and their justifications for this. We witness the same situation from one persepective then another.
The story is comprehensively told and spans the lifetimes of these brothers, interwoven in their own accounts. Their showbiz mother, narcissitic and openly displaying favouritism to her children, a marriage riddled with affairs and gross sharing of information not suitable for the children to hear, it is easy to pin the familial difficulties on her. But with fame, addiction and mental illness added to the mix the family implodes as the boys reach adulthood. Underhand actions and betrayals make it hard to elicit much sympathy for any of the brothers, but Luke, the youngest and arguably the most vulnerable was the one I felt most for.
A very comprehensive storyline woven together from 3 perspectives which together tellls the story of a lifeltime of dysfuntion ending with death. Contemporary fiction encompassing #MeToo, social media: trolling and cancellations, loss and bereavement, love, envy and betrayal. This book has it all and reads as a mystery as the death of one of the brothers is dead, tantillising the reader to work out who and why. A real page turner and a book I may read again as I suspect there is so much more to this story than can be gleaned in the first reading.
For fans of multi perspective fiction, this book elevates this method of stroy telling to another level and is fantastically well done. A character driven story with a murder at its core, the victim and the killer revealed in a terrific conclusion of a story so well told. For fans of Jane Harper and Lisa Jewell, I will be recommending this book widely.
Have you read this one, what did you think?
About the Author
Liz Nugent’s critically acclaimed novels – Unravelling Oliver, Lying in Wait and Skin Deep – have all been Number One bestsellers. Skin Deep won two Irish Book Awards in 2018, as well as a 2019 Dead Good Reader Award at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate. Unravelling Oliver and Lying in Wait have also won an Irish Book Award and Lying in Wait was a Richard and Judy Book Club choice in 2017. Liz was named Irish Woman of the Year in Literature in 2018. Her novels are published in fifteen languages. Beore becoming a full-time writer, Liz Nugent worked in Irish film, theatre and television. She lives in Dublin.
This is a bookstagram tour, thank you so much to Ellie at Penguin Random House for inviting me to be involved with this bookstagram tour and providing me with a proof copy of the book.
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