Welcome to my review, Our Little Cruelties the latest novel from author Liz Nugent. My thanks to Penguin Ireland and Ellie Hudson for my copy and having me on the blog tour. This is a dark psychological suspense thriller about family and betrayal, filled with complex characters. It’s the story of three brothers, born in Dublin in the 1960s and the cruelties they inflict upon each other as they grow up. It’s out now in ebook and paperback.
Review Our Little Cruelties – My Thoughts
The book opens with a great hook: the funeral of one of the brothers. It’s intriguing because we don’t know which brother it is or how he died. The story has a non-linear time frame and comes from multiple perspectives. Nugent does this well, so that the reader is not left wondering whose perspective it is. I found the time jumps a little disconcerting at first because I couldn’t see the relevance of the seemingly random snippets. Over the course of the story though, the picture of the characters builds up.
As each character shares their parts of the story, I find my feelings about them change. I didn’t actually like any of the characters because they are not nice people. They are complex however, which makes them realistic. I particularly enjoyed Nugent’s skill at developing this complexity and showing events from different points of view. The family’s dynamic is darkly dysfunctional and there were moments that I sympathised. The tension builds as the novel progresses and although the outcome to me is not surprising I find it shocking to read.
If you are enjoying my Our Little Cruelties review, you may also enjoy the suspense thrillers The Puppet Show (a Police Procedural) and the darkly comic My Sister the Serial Killer. Do also check out the other blog tour stops, a selection is shown in the poster below.
About Author Liz Nugent
Before becoming a full-time writer, Liz Nugent worked in Irish film, theatre and television. Her three novels – Unravelling Oliver, Lying in Wait and Skin Deep have each been Number One bestsellers in Ireland and she has won four Irish Book Awards (two for Skin Deep). She lives in Dublin with her husband.