My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It’s a good ol’ murder mystery at heart. But while the narrative gets there, we also get a quick primer on domestic violence, on bullying in schools and, here’s the part that freaks out the mother in me, kindergarten politics! 😀
See, I have a son who’ll be starting nursery school in a few months. Every time I think of it, my heart skips a beat, there’s a lurch in my stomach and I need to sit down and take deep breaths. Yep, almost a panic attack. I’m pretty sure I’ll be the bundle of nerves on the first day of school, not the child.
And here comes Liane Moriarty with a book that deals with exactly that – how a bunch of parents navigate this minefield that is kindergarten, with their own personal struggles and having to stay strong for the children while still managing to remain sane. And oh, someone is murdered amidst all this. Oh, calamity! 😉
I liked the book. There are parallel threads going on, sort of a countdown to the D-day (or should I say M-day?) and even though it was a bit off in the beginning, I could get into that after a while. But throughout the read, all I kept thinking was dammit, this can happen to me! I mean, what’s worse – being the mother of the bully or being the mother of the bullied? I don’t know! I’d have a heart attack with either, thank you very much.
I don’t mean to take away the spotlight from the murder, but that’s how the book progressed and maybe that’s what made it a page-turner for me. I doubt if (at the risk of sounding severely cliched or stereotypical or just plain condescending) a non-mother would feel about this book the way I do. There, I said it. Troll me, pretty please. It’s every mother’s worst fear – having the school call you and say your child is hurt or your child has hurt someone else. It’s the stuff of nightmares. Bullying is every mother’s worst nightmare. So yeah, the book freaked me out a little bit and made me that much more nervous about the day my son goes to school.
The domestic violence part – yes, I’ve read it in some other book (I forget which, maybe a Mary Higgins Clark book) and it’s a typical silent killer of most marriages. It’s also one of those things where it’s very easy for a third person to say get out! get out! but in reality isn’t as simple as that. Or maybe it is and that’s why it’s so hard. I’m rambling.
Ok, so read this book if you want an every day family-drama based murder mystery. Say a Desperate Housewives type book. I finished it in less than a day, so it’s not going to hog up your time. A light read, maybe you can fit it in between a Murakami and a Saramago book? [No matter what you read, do not touch Jose Saramago’s Blindness if you want to be a happy person without any suicidal tendencies and/or depression. Just saying.]