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Little Disasters is a propulsive read that pulled me in from the very beginning and didn’t let me go until the very last page. In my opinion, this book is so much more than your average domestic/psychological thriller. It had all of the elements that make for a wonderful edge-of-your-seat reading experience, but it had an emotional, raw, heartbreaking story that I felt right in the pit of my stomach.
Liz, Jess, Mel, and Charlotte met ten years ago at their first prenatal class. As first-time mothers to be they became friends and confidants. While each of them had different personalities, their pregnancies were the commonality that tethered them together. Ten years later, they’re still friends, but careers, family life, and other factors have distanced them a bit. Jess is the only one out of their group that had a third baby. She is the mother that they all wish they could be. As a stay-at-home mum, she excels at making sure that her house is always spotless, prepares delicious meals, is a vigilant and protective mother, and can entertain guests as if it is effortless. But Jess isn’t only a wonderful homemaker, she’s also adept at keeping her dark feelings to herself, letting them fester and eat away at her.
When Jess’s baby is brought to the hospital where Liz is a pediatric physician, concerns and questions are raised as to how Betsey sustained a fracture to her skull. Liz doesn’t want to believe that Jess could be responsible, but her primary concern is for the care and safeguarding of her ten-month-old patient and involving the police and child protective services is imperative to such injuries.
The subject matter was very well written; however, it was difficult to digest. I could feel the characters’ anguish and grief as I was reading this book. As a mother, my heart broke. We all want the blessed joys of motherhood, but for some mothers it is overshadowed by a dark, painful reality that breeds feelings of insecurities, inadequacy, and the fear of failure in regard to the care of their children.
Little Disasters is told in alternating chapters from the perspectives of several characters. I loved getting the different points of view and the inside scoop from the characters. The different perspectives kept the book flowing at such a quick pace and kept me guessing. I wanted to know what happened to Betsey. I was formulating different scenarios as I was reading, but to be honest, I didn’t have it all figured out.
Little Disasters is a thought-provoking, dark, gritty tale of motherhood and friendship. Sarah Vaughan had my heart pounding and breaking in equal measure. I’m curious to find out where she will take her readers next.