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Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent

(3 customer reviews)

$24.59

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Book Summary 

Hailed by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell as “a force to be reckoned with,” Liz Nugent is back with a powerful and unsettling new novel that will invite comparison to the bitter relationships in HBO’s blockbuster series Succession, as it follows three brothers, bound by blood but split by fate, and delves into the many ways families can wreak emotional havoc across generations.

All three of the Drumm brothers were at the funeral.

But only one of them was in the coffin.

William, Brian, and Luke: three boys, born a year apart, trained from birth by their wily mother to compete for her attention. They play games, as brothers do…yet even after the Drumms escape into the world beyond their windows, those games—those little cruelties—grow more sinister, more merciless, and more dangerous. And with their lives entwined like the strands of a noose, only two of the brothers will survive.

Crisply written and quickly paced, perfect for fans of breathtaking suspense, Little Cruelties gazes unflinchingly into the darkness: the darkness collecting in the corners of childhood homes, hiding beneath marriage beds, clasped in the palms of two brothers shaking hands. And it confirms Liz Nugent—whose work has invited comparisons to Patricia Highsmith and Barbara Vine and has been celebrated as “captivating” (People) and “highly entertaining” (The Washington Post)—as one of the most exciting, perceptive voices in contemporary fiction.

 

Condition: New

Hardcover, Published November 10, 2020 by Gallery/Scout Press

ISBN: 1501189689

 

3 reviews for Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent

  1. Kaylie

    Liz Nugent’s latest novel, Little Cruelties follows the lives of the Irish Drumm brothers from their collective childhood to the untimely death of a brother. The reader gets to know film producer William, agent to the stars Brian, and pop-star Luke through sections narrated by each of them, as well as through the eyes of each brother. Nugent writes about significant things that happened in each of the brothers lives and while she does not do this chronological, the story still flows well. At times there is some slight overlap in content, but Nugent makes sure to write about what was important to the narrating brother and because of that, she doesn’t necessarily repeat what she’s already written. Nugent has created such distinct voices for each of the Drumm brothers that even though the reader will learn about each sibling through their own narration and each brother’s narration, the reader will still know who is who.

    Little Cruelties can feel slow in parts leaving the reader to think there is redundancy, however, Nugent does an excellent job at connecting little and big things in Little Cruelties, so that the reader can feel satisfied in the end. While Nugent’s writing is superb, there is little to suggest that Little Cruelties is a thriller and instead, the novel reads as an excellent piece of literary fiction with elements of mystery. Nugget brings up an array of themes in Little Cruelties such as: mental illness, power, substance abuse, family dysfunction, intergenerational trauma, sexual assault and rape, and sibling rivalry. On top of these important themes, Nugent also incorporates elements of deceit, revenge, and heartache to her novel. Little Cruelties is a melancholy tale about sibling dynamics and how growing up in the same household can still yield different outcomes for those siblings.

    As a Thriller Book Lover Reviewer, I receive a small compensation for the time it takes me to provide my honest reviews on the Thriller Book Lover website. Although I receive compensation for this role, my reviews are my 100% honest opinion. My ratings have not been influenced in any way by the compensation that I receive. The book review I have provided here is the same rating I would provide if I were to rate it on other book reviewing sites.

  2. Tali Leonard

    You think your family is dysfunctional?! Wait until you read dark family drama “Little Cruelties”. Who needs enemies when you have a family like that. 🤭

    Meet the Drumms, a family of talented celebrities. Melissa was a cold, self-absorbed mother who was a band singer. Dad was devoted to Melissa even though she had several affairs. The brothers also went into show business. Brian was an agent, Will was a filmmaker and Luke had a successful singing career. Each of the brothers have their own issues. Will was a womanizer. Luke, the most likable, is damaged. Lastly, Brian is stingy with money. All three brothers were cruel to each other and would not hesitate to stab each other in the back. Sometimes, the little cruelties were not so little.

    “Little Cruelties” opens up with with two of the brothers attending the funeral of their brother. The book continues with little snippets and memories from their lives. The book, told in multiple points of view, jumps around between timelines. Normally, I would find that completely confusing. Once I stopped keeping track of the time lines, the story took a shape all its own. Liz Nugent, the author, was able to juggle these timelines and character perspectives flawlessly.

    The character development was impeccable. Nugent was able to build throat grabbing tension that kept me reading even though I was constantly trying to piece together all of the snippits of memories. I was enthralled throughout the book by all of these despicable characters. Luke was the only one that I felt complete sympathy for.

    The ending made it a 5 star for me. I was really not shocked, but it made complete sense with everything that occurred in the book.

    As a Thriller Book Lover Reviewer, I receive a small compensation for the time it takes me to provide my honest reviews on the Thriller Book Lover website. Although I receive compensation for this role, my reviews are my 100% honest opinion. My ratings have not been influenced in any way by the compensation that I receive. The book review I have provided here is the same rating I would provide if I were to rate it on other book reviewing sites.

  3. Chandra

    Nugent, I am a FAN! I’m STILL thinking about LYING IN WAIT and now…. OUR LITTLE CRUELTIES. Thriller fans may be a bit put off as this (will feel) less thriller and more family drama but fear not, it does still hold quite an impact.

    Three brothers. Though growing up in the same house, had vastly different childhoods. They dealt with their growing pains in their own ways while either being ignored or not cared for as properly as they could have been by their parents – a mother who was a performer and trying to hold on to all her glory and an older father who was just doing his best to endure it all. We get the full POVs of each brother in their own sections. Admittedly, sometimes this can seem quite repetitive and can get a little hazy eyed for the reader. However, Nugent brilliantly showcases how while we may be in the same place with another, our experiences and memories of that particular point in time can be vastly different.

    Deceit, lies, betrayal, back stabbing… we’ve got it all readers. As I continued to read each point of view something new would click in place. CLICK. Like a puzzle piece that made other scenarios much more clear. It made me imagine how others perceived the same scenarios I was in with them. But I digress…..

    I despised all of these characters. Except maybe Daisy. It wasn’t until one part happened that my mouth dropped and I knew this was a 5 star read for me. HOLY FUCK. I think this is going to be a very divisive read and for that, I thank you Nugent. These are my favorite as the fine line drawn really makes for the BEST conversations. Personally, I appreciate everything that was happening and how it all played out.

    #DrummFamilyFreakShow indeed!
    ________
    As a Thriller Book Lover Reviewer, I receive a small
    compensation for the time it takes me to provide my honest reviews on the Thriller Book Lover website. Although I receive compensation for this role, my reviews are my 100% honest opinion. My ratings have not been influenced in any way by the compensation that I receive. The book review I have provided here is the same rating I would provide if I were to rate it on other book reviewing sites.
    ______
    You can find me via my blog at http://www.wherethereadergrows.com or on Bookstagram at https://www.instagram.com/wherethereadergrows/.

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