Happy Sunday!!! Now are you looking for something to read this autumnal Sunday afternoon? Well look no further! I’ve got just the ticket!
Many thanks to the fabulous Noelle Holten of Bookouture for inviting me on the #booksontours train and to Bookouture for my e-copy of Good Little Liars which I received through Netgalley (I also preordered a copy of the ebook from Amazon).
Emma held the photo for a long moment before her eyes focused on the girl’s face. She dropped it and let out a muted cry. The girl in the photograph was Tessa.
Twenty-five years after losing her friend Tessa in a tragic accident, Emma’s life is happy and settled. She rarely thinks about the day that Tessa fell to her death, or the secret that she made Emma swear to keep just hours before. But when her marriage implodes, Emma and her daughter find themselves unexpectedly moving into the headmaster’s former cottage on the grounds of her old school – Denham House. And it’s here she finds the photograph: an explicit image of Tessa, looking directly at the camera.
Between catching up with old friends Marlee and Clementine, who are home for a reunion, and the demands of single parenthood, Emma has plenty to distract her… but she can’t shake the image of the photograph. Or the thought that it’s proof of something she had long suspected: Dr Brownley, now headmaster, was involved with Tessa. Was it a mistake to keep quiet about what she knew?
Marlee and Clementine have their own complex feelings about returning to their hometown. And when Emma starts to question what really happened to Tessa, each woman must deal with the consequences of decisions they made all those years ago. Because the more Emma digs into the past, the more she discovers that everyone remembers it differently, and that the innocent schoolgirls she thought she knew are hiding some very big secrets.
A page-turning novel about family drama, lies, and the secrets we keep to protect those we love. Perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty, The Silent Wife and Kerry Lonsdale.
What Did I Think?
I don’t remember final year at senior school being quite as dramatic as that of Clem, Marlee and Emma. We definitely didn’t have rumours of student/teacher affairs or a death at school.
Good Little Liars has a myriad of personalities in its cast, each with their own part to play both in the present and in the retelling of what happened that fateful day. The day that changed everything, when Tessa was found dead at school. And this day defines what happens to all the characters that I met throughout this story. Tessa’s death has an effect on all, the full extent not known until the end.
I loved the reconnection between the trio of Marlee, Emma and Clem. They were obviously tight at school but after so long, brought back together was like they’d never really been away. But growing up changes us all, life makes sure we aren’t the same people we are at 18 and Ms Clutton shows that as the women get reacquainted.
The tension Ms Clutton builds is subtle throughout but as the story climaxes, the question that has been bubbling in the background causing the tension suddenly breaks through and smashes out to shock. What happened to Tessa?! I kept trying to guess as the story developed. Was it just a tragic accident or was there something more sinister to this young woman’s demise?! I can’t possibly say whether I was right or wrong….
I wholeheartedly agree with the likening to Liane Moriarty; I’ve read a number of her books and Good Little Liars has the same feel to it for me. One hell of an achievement for this debut author!
Who Is Sarah Clutton?
Sarah Clutton is an Australian author and former lawyer whose debut novel, Good Little Liars, mixes suspense and domestic drama with nuanced characters. Having majored in psychology in her original degree, Sarah is fascinated by people. How does the past shape us? Can we can learn empathy? What determines the outcomes when moral and legal boundaries collide?
Sarah’s work earned her the Dymocks/Fiona McIntosh Commercial Fiction Scholarship in 2018, a coveted national award run by one of Australia’s most successful commercial fiction authors and sponsored by Australia’s largest book chain. An alumna of the Australian Writers’ Centre novel writing course, and with a mostly-finished Master of Arts (Writing) that she has no interest in finishing because she prefers making stuff up, Sarah lives with her family in the very pretty tourist town of Bowral, near Sydney. She has lived all over Australia, and if she didn’t live in Bowral, she would live in Hobart, the most beautiful city she knows.
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