Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One small dog. It’s just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong?
Once again, Liane Moriarty weaves a tale of suburban couples and what goes on below a seemingly serene surface. In this book, there was an incident at a barbeque that has three couples dealing with the fall out. The tale is told the same way as in Big Little Lies in that the we see events from different perspectives and it jumps back and forth between the event and the aftermath. This requires some patience, as you don’t know what the hell happened until about midway through the book.
Besides the incident, there are a lot of things going on in this book. Each couple has other issues to deal with including preparing for an audition with the orchestra, a hoarding parent, infertility, the seemingly random death of an elderly neighbor, past lovers and strained friendships. Clementine and Erica in particular are in focus, as they have known each other since grade school. They know each other too well, but aren’t exactly “best” friends.
As the story unfolds, you get all the little snippets of what happened but I really didn’t know what to think about the big reveal. Not to say this wouldn’t be a traumatic event, just not what I was expecting. After all, some of the couples were getting flirty and talk of strippers and lap dancing was making the tone suggestive. Was there some sort of swinging lifestyle going on here or what? Did someone catch someone else in bed with someone not their spouse? Spoiler alert – it’s nothing sexual!
After the reveal, it all starts to come together and everyone’s secrets are brought out. Everyone has something they feel guilty about, and wonder if things had been different if only they had chosen a different action. “Everyone had another sort of life up their sleeve that might have made them happy.”
I liked it well enough, though it didn’t have the same feel as Big Little Lies and I wasn’t taken with the characters as much. It dragged for me in spots, and the ending seemed a little too perfect after all the trauma everyone went through.