Then I saw the title and the cover: -
And I loved that there were no commas, and I loved that this was going to be a clever light read, with some twisty bits, but told in a style that was fitting to the story, as in her previous novels. Like an undercover detective, I stayed away from reading anything else about the book - usually that spoils it, and then I got the Audible version for a trip.
On about the seventh chapter entitled "The Day of the Barbecue" my curiosity peaked. On the seventieth chapter similarly titled, it all felt jaded, the tinsel dusty and the deep dark secret a flat shallow muddy puddle.
The story - without spoilers - revolves around childhood and forever friends Erica and Clementine, married to Oliver and Sam respectively. Sam and Clementine have two young girls. We also meet Vid and Tiffany, Oliver and Erica's neighbours, and their daughter Dakota. Great characters as usual, and they are nicely drawn - likeable and flawed.
The plot is also good. Clearly something significant happened on The Day of the Barbecue. But the telling. Oh my goodness, it couldn't have taken a word longer.
I'm not even sure it could have been edited down. When my children were about five, they used to delight in telling me about a fifteen minute episode of The Teletubbies. Trouble was, it took thirty minutes for them to explain the 'story'. This was a little like that. Except I wasn't stifling yawns while reading - it was good writing. Not as wryly amusing as her others, but still relatable.
If you've got through this very long review, you'll probably enjoy the book. And I won't have to tell Liane Moriarty fans to read it, they certainly will.
If you've never read her, start somewhere else, not here.
You may also enjoy Try not to breathe by Holly Seddon or The Girls by Lisa Jewell.
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