I LOVE Liz Nugent’s writing and her latest novel, Our Little Cruelties, did not disappoint!
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
Three brothers are at the funeral. One lies in the coffin.
Will, Brian and Luke grow up competing for their mother’s unequal love. As men, the competition continues – for status, money, fame, women …
They each betray each other, over and over, until one of them is dead.
But which brother killed him?
That blurb is short, sharp and straight to the point but it it is just brilliant in its delivery! There’s little to say about the plot that this doesn’t already tell you and I wouldn’t even want to risk any spoilers by saying anymore.
However, what I will say, is that once again Liz Nugent creates ALL of the spine tingling feels that make her writing tick every single box for me. She is the mistress of unlikeable characters, characters you really should despise but who also manage to draw out a degree of sympathy for. They are also characters who pull you right into the midst of their toxic lives and trap you there until the very last page, and indeed beyond, as they stay with you for a long time after you turn the last page.
Our Little Cruelties is the perfect title for a family tale of five individuals so dysfuntional and toxic, it is terrifying. There were times where I burst out laughing while reading, but not because it was funny, but you know that kind of anxious laugh you get when you watch something terrible happening and your emotions go all over the place, that was my laugh. The rivalry between the three brothers may have seemed ridiculous on the surface but when the callous manipulation of emotions and behaviors were shown as the cause of this, it was hard for that laughter not to turn to tears.
As I said, I don’t want to say much about the story and so I’m not going to tell you which of the characters I empathised with the most but what I will say is that despite the cruelties delivered, each of them burrowed their way under my skin a little and it was hard not to find myself feeling a certain level of empathy and compassion.
Liz Nugent makes every word earn it’s place on her pages; each sentence, paragraph and scene work together to create a depth that is surely quite exquisite in its darkness.
Don’t miss this!
Our Little Cruelties is available to purchase from:
And all good bookstores.