From Sarah Vaughan, the bestselling author of Anatomy of a Scandal – a new, thought-provoking novel exploring the complexity of motherhood and all that connects and disconnects us.
You think you have the perfect family.
But everything can be broken.
Liz and Jess have been friends for ten years, ever since they both started a family. Jess is a stay-at-home mother-of-three with boundless reserves of patience, energy, and love. At least, this is how Liz sees Jess. Along with Charlotte and Mel, they met at antenatal class and a tightknit friendship group was born. But how well do they really know each other?
Jess’s youngest, 10-month-old Betsey is way more difficult than her older two boys were. While Jess’ husband Ed is supportive, he leaves most of the parenting to her. Prior to having Betsey, Jess had it all together – the perfect mum. But since Betsey’s birth, she’s been struggling.
When Jess arrives at hospital with Betsey and a story that doesn’t add up, Liz is the doctor on call. Betsey was vomiting and it turns out she has a fractured skull, and when questioned Jess is cagey and evasive. Due to their personal connection, Betsey’s care is transferred to another doctor and the authorities are called and Jess’s parenting is suddenly under scrutiny.
This event and Liz’s involvement completely changes the dynamic of their friendship group, and a decade of easy friendship makes way for blame, secrets and distrust. Jess has devoted her life to family and home. But dark thoughts and carefully guarded secrets surface—and Liz is left questioning everything she thought she knew about her friend, and about herself. The truth can’t come soon enough. And when something feels so personal, how do you stay professional?
Told through multiple points of view, Sarah Vaughan expertly builds the tension throughout this tightly plotted story. While presented as a psychological thriller, this exceptionally well written book is much more than that – it’s an uncomfortable and thought-provoking look at modern motherhood.
Every single character is multilayered, compelling, complex… people who could be me, you, our friends or family. Vaughan weaves important themes such as parenting, perfectionism, postnatal depression and friendship through a perfectly crafted page turner. It kept me on edge, and kept me up well after I should’ve turned the light out. I couldn’t put Little Disasters down, and since finishing it, I haven’t been able to let it go. I’m now going to read Anatomy of a Scandal, Sarah Vaughan’s last international bestseller… because I’m a sucker for excellent books, and judging by Little Disasters, that’s exactly what Sarah Vaughan writes.