I loved this book! It’s clever, tightly structured and I couldn’t put it down.
The story starts with a tragedy at a primary school social event but then goes back to the events leading up to this climax and introduces us to the parents and children in the wealthy Australian suburb. The reader knows something horrific has happened but you have to be patient whilst the story unwinds.
Jane is the young single mum of Ziggy; new to the area and slightly out of her depth she is quickly adopted by the feisty and loyal Madeline who is an established mum at the school and her friend, the beautiful but rather insular Celeste. However, the first day of school goes badly wrong for Ziggy and the consequences impacts across the whole school community.
More than a whodunit, it looks at relationships, friendships and loyalties. I thought it was brilliantly written, switching between a gossipy style where the dialogue is sparklingly witty but also at times heartbreakingly sad. The “mommy mafia” are truly horrific, as a teacher I would hate to come across any of them! I had every sympathy for the inexperienced teacher Miss Barnes, who finally gets to be herself at the Audrey and Elvis event when she lets her hair down! I particularly loved Madeline who is well aware of her own shallowness but she is the perfect foil for the reclusive Jane.
I haven’t read anything else by this author but will certainly looking at her earlier books.
All I can say is read it now, it’s brilliant.
Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin UK for my review copy.