Today dear readers I am on the blog tour for Our Little Cruelties (Published in paperback on 21st January 2021) By Liz Nugent. A big thank you to the publishers Penguin for my copy and invite to take part in the blog tour, always appreciated.
Our Little Cruelties
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?
About The Author
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.
From the moment I began reading, the intense, dark and sinister atmosphere took hold of me. The narrative opens at a funeral, once three brothers have now become two. One lies in the coffin but there is no hint as to who or which brother took part in placing them there. You suddenly realise that you now can’t turn back. You are curious what exactly happened, instantly you are hooked.
The narrative follows all three Drumm brothers, William, Luke and Brian taking it in turns to tell their story. They reflect back and forth from their adult life to their childhood. The reader views the same events and stories from all three perspectives. It’s fascinating as you get a completely different outlook each time. Where one viewed dressing up as Jesus on the cross at a Halloween party a great idea, the other thought they should be carted off to the looney bin. It opens your mind to how we all see the same scene but we all have different opinions of how we saw it. I loved it and found it mesmerising.
The Drumm brothers were raised mostly by their father as their mother was often on stage performing or singing at a concert. It becomes very clear early on that the mother is the star of the family and their father is more than happy to let her shine. All three brothers love their father and never fall out with him. Their mother on the other hand is a different story. It became a competition to see who could catch her eye, be the favourite and most loved out of the three. She treats them all differently which creates a tense atmosphere between the three brothers which carries through into their adulthood. None of them are close or think too fondly of the others. They lie to each other, make fun, manipulate and set out to ruin one another’s lives. It’s much more than sibling rivalry, it’s something else entirely, it’s their little cruelties. There were so many moments my mouth was left gaping at how far each brother would go to hurt the others. The destruction they each brought was shocking to read yet you dare not turn away as you become too wrapped up in the family drama. It’s a modern day greek tragedy, no one is safe.
William is the oldest brother and always looks out for himself. As Brian often says “What William wants William gets.” and was always a mummy’s boy. She would feed him bigger portions when it was her turn to cook and praise him every chance she could. In his adult life he marries Susan and they have a daughter together called Daisy. He is passionate about film and is trying to get funding for his film production company to make short films. Life seems to be falling into place for him however he is a massive womaniser, cheating on his wife and only thinking about himself.
Brian is the middle child and feels like the family joke. His mother would mock his nose which only made him more self-conscious. While his two brothers find success in their careers, Brian struggles to know what to do and gets into teaching. He is jealous and commits to managing Luke as he falls on and off the wagon. He also spends a lot of time with Daisy, his niece and goddaughter and wishes Susan had married him, not William.
Luke is the Rock-Star little brother and suffers deeply with his mental health. As a child he never felt loved by his mother who was always putting him down and belittling him. He had nightmares of an old woman living in the woods behind his house that would threaten to take him away. His mother would always talk to him about the bad stuff and he soon adapted to just accept bad news. He grew up with a strong faith in god and wanted to save his mother’s soul.
Out of all three of the brothers I felt more sympathetic towards Luke. He came across as an innocent child just wanting his mother’s attention and received nothing but disgust in return. It’s easy to see why he turns out the way he does and struggles to maintain a clear mind. It is because of the unfairness of their mother’s love that they are the way they are. However other factors do weigh into it. The more you dive into their past the more you discover about how they were moulded into the people they later become. It’s painfully heartbreaking at times and you realise how cruel life can be.
I give Our Little Cruelties By Liz Nugent a Five out of Five paw rating.
This book will consume you. The lies, secrets and deceit are thick throughout and you become unsure of who to trust. You question each brother’s motive, who is telling the truth? At times you side with William but then you hear Luke’s version and quickly think otherwise but then Brian’s account makes more sense and is more reliable as he isn’t on drugs like Luke. But then you wonder if he is only out for himself and is consumed with jealousy of the success of his two other brothers. I couldn’t get enough dear reader and felt chills each time a new lie or secret was discovered. The anticipation gripped me right up until the end. I was left speechless…
Don’t forget to follow the rest of the blog tour, dates below, enjoy!
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