Thursday 2 April 2020

Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan @SVaughanAuthor @simonschusterUK #LittleDisasters #BookReview

You think you know her…
But look a little closer
She is a stay-at-home mother-of-three with boundless reserves of patience, energy and love. After being friends for a decade, this is how Liz sees Jess. 
Then one moment changes everything. 
Dark thoughts and carefully guarded secrets surface – and Liz is left questioning everything she thought she knew about her friend, and about herself.

Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan is published today; 02 April 2020, by Simon and Schuster. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

I have read and reviewed all three of this author's previous novels and she has become one of my all time favourite writers. It's fair to say that she became more well-known after publication of her last book; Anatomy of a Scandal which was something of a change in direction for her. However, I would also recommend her earlier books too; The Farm at the Edge of the World, and The Art of Baking Blind; they are both wonderful reads.

So, Little Disasters.  Oh my goodness, this is such an emotional and often terrifying read. It's written incredibly well and opens with a prologue that is shocking in its intensity and emotion, and the story doesn't let up at all. You will be kept on the edge of your seat as you experience every possible emotion, it felt almost voyeuristic at times as this wonderfully talented author allows the reader to see the plot from all sides.

Liz is a doctor, she works long shifts on the children's ward of the local hospital, often called to A&E to deal with an emergency admission. When, one night, she is called to assess baby Betsey, just three months old with a head injury, she has no idea how much this case will impact on her life. On her relationship with close friends, and on what she begins to learn about her own family background.

Betsey is the daughter of Liz's friend Jess, and is her third child, and only daughter. Jess has always been the perfect mother. often appearing over protective of her brood, but always loving and caring, putting the needs of her children before anything else. When it becomes clear that Betsey's injury could be very serious, Liz has to make the tough decision to call in the authorities.

What follows is a cleverly layered and very intimate look at relationships and how we can hide the truth. The author's ability to portray such perception into motherhood; and all that entails is superbly crafted. The constant worry, the guilt, the trying to keep up with the other mothers, the difficulties in ensuring a marriage thrives despite the impact of small children, and most of all, the secrets that are buried underneath the gleaming worktops and the freshly ironed baby clothes. Sarah Vaughan captures all of these and more; she carefully and empathically weaves issues around mental health and neglect into this wonderfully compelling story, revealing so much more to the characters than originally shown.

Little Disasters is so impressive. It is so carefully crafted, with multiple threads and so many shocks revealed. It is a story that haunts the reader as more is revealed. I was totally gripped throughout.

Sure to be one of my top books of the year. Highly recommended

Anatomy of a Scandal, Sarah Vaughan's 3rd novel and her first courtroom drama/psychological thriller, combined her experiences as a news reporter and political correspondent on the Guardian with her time as a student reading English at Oxford. 

Translated into 22 languages, it was an instant international bestseller, Sunday Times top five bestseller, and kindle number 1 bestseller. It has been optioned for television and shortlisted for awards in the UK, Sweden and France.

Little Disasters is published on April 2 in the UK, on August 18, in the US, and in various other countries in 2021. 

Married with two children, she lives just outside Cambridge, and is currently working on her fifth novel.

FB: Sarah Vaughan Author
Twitter: @SVaughanAuthor

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