I liked this, but except for two elements that set it apart, this is kind of just a Big Little Lies clone.
So, this three stars is a more positive three stars. I really did like the experience of reading this book. The writing is very playful, and the characters have depth to them. There’s also a satirical edge to some of the goings-on, like the neighborhood book club meetings the novel revolves around, which each feature, excepting Lolita, what I’m pretty sure is a made-up book that pokes fun at different genres.
The most interesting part of the book had to do with the family who have a twelve year old boy with conduct disorder, and the parents’ struggles to help their son fit in and be healthy and not turn into a violent sociopath. It was actually very sweet, and part of me wonders what the book would have been like had it focused entirely on that family instead of spreading POVs over the entire neighborhood.
The central mystery for most of the novel is that there is a vandal in the neighborhood, but you are also aware due to the presence of a framing device, that by the end someone will end up dead, and you don’t know who it will be, just like in <i>Big Little Lies</i>. It also all culminates at a big party. Part of me was frustrated with the pace of secrets being revealed. What happened in the past wasn’t a huge deal, but clues are dealt out slower than molasses in January, as my mom would say, and that was frustrating, and not in a good way.
So, this was a nice read and I liked it while I was reading it, but not much except the little pre-sociopath boy and his family will stick with me.