By Lianne Moriarty
Rating: 5/5 Stairs
I loved this book. Loved it. This is one that I picked up as an audio book for the car, and I would get to my destination and just keep sitting in the car to hear what happened next. I ended up checking out the physical book as well just so I could keep reading the story in the house.
It starts out at the school trivia night, and events unfold from a neighbor’s perspective who lives across the street from the school. The trivia night sounds like it’s getting pretty rowdy, and then before you know it sirens are wailing and one of the parents is dead. Ms. Moriarty takes us back 6 months in time to discover what happened.
She tells the story in two different, parallel ways. The first is a third person narrative that switches perspectives between our three leading ladies – Madeline, Celeste, and Jane. The second is through the transcript from a local journalist’s interviews as she works to piece the story together as well. We learn the truth and the lies that each woman is secretly facing, and not everything is as it seems.
So what, exactly makes this book so great?
- The way Ms. Moriarty changes the character perspective to tell the story
- You have no idea what exactly happened at the trivia night – who died? Was it murder?
- The characters themselves and their relationships – particularly our main three women Madeline, Celeste, and Jane.
- For a book that deals with such a serious topic – bullying, and not just between children, but adults as well – there is plenty of humor thrown in the mix.
- The asides from the journalist interviews – it is fun to read about different incidents and then hear the outsiders (rumor mill) perspectives.
- The phrase “Oh, Calamity!” I have started to use this regularly, and my boys are catching on too. Try it. You’ll see.
This is the second book I’ve read from Ms. Moriarty (see The Husband’s Secret), and I can’t wait to read more. She is one terrific storyteller.