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  • Another brilliant read

    Another cracker from Liz Nugent, read through in 2 days, couldn’t put it down !

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  • Tremendous!

    This psychological thriller by Liz Nugent features the dysfunctional Drumm family, comprising selfish Melissa Craig and her sons, William, Brian and Luke. The story opens with the funeral of one of the brothers, though whose funeral it is remains under wraps at this point however, there is an implication that one of the other siblings is responsible for the death. In an unsystematic narrative, the brothers' perspectives on events in their lives are aired, culminating in a shocking finale that eventually reveals which one of them dies. In Our Little Cruelties , Liz Nugent displays remarkable character development skills whether or not you love or loathe the main players. Self-absorbed, minor celebrity mother, Melissa favours her eldest son, film producer William, an entitled, chauvinistic, and unpleasant guy. She is indifferent to the mean and money-oriented Brian, and is cruelest of all to her youngest, the fragile pop star Luke, ensuring that his mental health issues haunt him throughout his entire life. Right from the start, it's obvious that things are headed towards a catastrophe, and Our Little Cruelties certainly didn't disappoint in that regard. Viewing the same events from alternative perspectives afforded me greater insights as the lengths to which these brothers go to are gradually uncovered. The finale, when it comes, is devastating yet predestined. Don't miss out on this tremendous jaw-dropper! I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel at my request from Penguin UK via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

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  • Little cruelities

    I didn't enjoy this book.There was misery all the way through .

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  • What a ride

    This book was a fast paced psychological drama that i was totally invested in from the first page!

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  • A gripping family saga / murder mystery

    Part family saga, part murder mystery, Liz Nugent's latest title, Our Little Cruelties is a discomfiting exploration of the festering resentments, internalised trauma and vicious betrayals within the dysfunctional Irish Drumm-Craig family over a 50-year period. Narcissistic matriarch Molly "Melissa" Craig, a one-time professional performer whose star is on the wane, is not the world's greatest mother, and her behaviour has lasting and profound effect on the psyches and adult lives of her three sons. William, the eldest and demonstrably Melissa's favourite, is self-assured and ruthless, unashamedly sweeping aside the interests, hopes and wishes of others (including his own brothers) in his lifelong pursuit of getting what he wants. Brian, the middle son, alternately ignored and tolerated by Melissa, grows up resentful of anything either of his brothers have that he hasn't. On the surface he's the stabilising influence, but behind the scenes, he's coniving and undermining whilst feathering his own nest. Youngest son Luke, rejected and ridiculed by Melissa and his older brothers, is blessed with musical genius and deep insight, but internalises his hurt and rejection, descending into a tortured life of substance abuse and psychiatric illness. The family drama unfolds in a four part narrative against the backdrop of a mystery: the book opens with three brothers at a funeral - two ostensibly mourning, one in the casket, deceased. Via short prologues to each of the parts, the reader learns that another of the brothers is responsible for the death. Who is dead? Who is guilty of murder? These mysteries aren't solved until the final pages of the book. Three of the four parts are told from the perspectives of each of the brothers, giving alternate perceptions of many of the same events and personalities. The fourth part draws the narrative together. While none of the characters are particularly likeable, they're well-developed and interesting. Nugent's depiction of inter-generational trauma and long-held patterns of resentment, self-preservation and revenge is frightening but compelling. While the reader may not like the way the brothers behave, their motives are to some degree understandable, given the circumstances of their upbringing. The author skilfully uses foreshadowing, dramatic irony and non-linear narrative to maintain momentum and reader engagement. From the brothers' self-interested perspectives, we gradually see revealed something approaching an objective reality. Our Little Cruelties wasn't a pleasurable read at times, however I found it a thought-provoking and compelling depiction of family dynamics. My thanks to the author, Liz Nugent, publisher Penguin Ireland and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review a copy of this title prior to publication.

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