Cleverly plotted, full of suspense, pulls you in from the first page’ SUNDAY MIRROR
Jane hasn’t lived anywhere for longer than six months since her son was born five years ago. She keeps moving in an attempt to escape her past. Now the idyllic coastal town of Pirriwee has pulled her to its shores and Jane feels as if she finally belongs. She finds friends in the feisty Madeline and the incredibly beautiful Celeste, two women with seemingly perfect lives – and their own secrets.
But at the start of new tern, an incident involving the children of all three women occurs in the playground, causing a rift between them and the other parents. Minor at first but escalating fast, until the whispers and rumours become vicious and spiteful, and the truths blur into lies. It was always going to end in tears, but no one thought it would end in murder . . .
‘Blame and guilt, forgiveness and retribution, love and betrayal. A tense, page-turning story . . . a great read’ MAIL ON SUNDAY
‘Staggeringly brilliant . . . literally unputdownable’ SOPHIE HANNAH
I have a confession to make regarding this book. I found it lurking in my kindle library and I do remember requesting it from NetGalley, but it was around the time of our house sale and move, which was a very busy stressful time and somehow I ended up forgetting about it until now. So thank you to the publisher via NetGalley for my ARC copy. I apologise for the lateness of my review.
My Thoughts and Review
I remember all the publicity surrounding this book and the fact that it was adapted into a successful TV series but I didn’t read any other reviews about it and had no idea what friends thought about it so I’ve come to read it with completely fresh eyes and no pre-conceived views about it.
Right from the beginning I was drawn into this dark comedy and for me it was a completely addictive brilliant read. The novel is set in a small coastal town of Pirriwee Sydney in Australia, but it could have been set anywhere in any school playground in the world (the TV adaptation was set in California).
The setting is the kindergarten class in primary school. Right from the beginning, we learn that there was a murder in the school on School Trivia Night but there aren’t any clues given to the identity of the victim or perpetrator(s). The story then goes back to six months ago, right from the beginning of it all.
Each parent, gives their own account of events leading up to that night and some of the accounts are in the form of police statements.
It starts with Renata one of the mother’s accusing Ziggy, son of Jane, of bullying Amabella (‘it’s French. Not Annabella, Amabella’) A petition is started by Renata to try to have Ziggy removed from the school. Ziggy and Jane his mother are new to the area and just want to blend into school life without being the focus of negative attention. They are championed by new friends the feisty Madeleine, mother of Chloe, and beautiful Celeste, mother of twins Max and Arthur. Each have their own background stories that are slowly revealed.
Any parent will recognise the playground politics that take place within the school and so will anyone who has ever attended school and is interested in human nature. Something for everyone here.
The subject of bullying in all its forms is covered here. The characters are richly drawn and multi faceted and each have secrets. Not everyone is as they seem and the ending took me completely by surprise.
A really good, enjoyable and highly recommended read.
About the Author
Liane Moriarty is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Truly Madly Guilty, Big Little Lies, The Husband’s Secret, The Hypnotist’s Love Story, and What Alice Forgot. She lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and two children.