Five 5 Star books in a row! I’ve been on a streak of being caught up in amazing, wonderful books. That said, disclaimer-I was reading another book when Big Little Lies came in at the library for me and I just put that book right down and picked up this because I couldn’t wait to read it. And I ended up reading it in just two days. I wish I could have made it last longer, but honestly I was so caught up in the story and just had to finish it up and find out how things turned out.
I’m a big fan of Moriarty and have really loved all of her books, so when I heard she had a new one coming out I put it on hold instantly. And then…deliberately read nothing about it. (When I put it on hold it was actually not even titled in the catalog, but I did ultimately know the title, of course.) I skipped the review in Entertainment Weekly, avoided the blurb on Goodreads, and when I got the book didn’t read anything on the back or front, just opened it up and started reading. There are not that many books I’ll do that with (because obviously most of the time knowing something about the book is how you choose it), but I love it when I can. It’s extremely rewarding to fall into a story no expectations of characters or plot and truly let the story unfold before you. So if you can do that with this book, I encourage you to do so and just know it’s a good book. (In fact, same thing with We Were Liars-somehow I’d missed out on really knowing anything about the book and also didn’t even really look at the cover, and so some very basic elements of the story were a surprise to me, which I found wonderful.)
Now, if you would like to know a bit more, I will tell a little more, but not too much. As usual I found Moriarty’s native setting of Australia exotic in and of itself. The story focuses on a group of kindergarten parents in a charming seaside town, which I pictured just like the village in the British show Doc Martin. Jane, Celeste, and Madeline are all friends, though all quite different. Somehow they become aligned against some truly bitchy women who accuse Jane’s little boy of being a bully. The story is told in different points of view and covers the course of this school year. Each woman has her share of a secret life and woes and you absolutely root for them.
Now, what makes the book so, well suspenseful, is that it is also told with snippets of interviews with all the parents in the course of an investigation into someone’s death. But whose death? I truly did not know and as the story is told six months before the event, 4 months before, one week before, etc. you are getting closer and closer to the characters and getting very anxious that someone is going to die (but how?! )
I really thought this was wonderful and shocking, and for a book that could have been very sad, had a lot of extremely funny moments. I guess I’d say that I felt the same way about her previous books, as well, particularly The Last Anniversary and The Husband’s Secret. A stellar story.