Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
Publication Date: Available now from Penguin.
When a harmless quiz night ends with an act of shocking violence, the parents of Pirriwee Public School can’t seem to stop their secrets from finally spilling out. Rumours ripple through the small town, as truth and lies blur to muddy the story of what really happened on that fateful night .
The first thing to say is how cleverly realistic this story is – and also, God save us from parental politics. Any mother or father who has had a child at Primary school will recognise a fair few of the characters in this story and may possibly recognise one or two characteristics of their own personality…which gives the whole thing a terrifically authentic feel.
I was absolutely fascinated – when single mum Jane moves to Pirriwee and sends her son to kindergarten, a first day run in with another child and her mother sets off a chain of events that eventually leads to disaster – secrets are kept, lies are told and everything boils to the surface during a drink fuelled riotous quiz night. As the story unfolds in both current time and flashback, it is absolutely addictive and also, in some ways, a lot of fun despite some rather dark themes running throughout.
Certainly Ms Moriarty has captured the cliquey, bitchy atmosphere that can exist at the school gates perfectly – then takes that and runs with it to create a marvellously intense and compelling tale where you will take sides, change them, change them back again, all the while wondering how on earth it will all resolve itself. There is a lot of ironic humour and occasional laugh out loud moments, but the heart of this is much much darker….
The underlying theme, that of bullying and domestic violence, is done with a compassionate eye and also an awful lot of blunt realism – anyone who has ever asked why a battered wife or husband stays with their spouse would do well to read this.
Equally, I found all the interpersonal relationships highly intriguing, the friendships that form, the truth behind the facade of perfect marriages, the truth that we can never really know what goes on behind closed doors or what the true motives of the people around us are.
Overall a scintillating and evocative read, which will make you laugh one moment and cry the next. Brilliant stuff. Loved it.
Happy Reading Folks!