J recommends Little Cruelties

Hi Scramblers.

The party’s over. I’m going back to work tomorrow after more than a week of purposefully ignoring all work-related tasks and emails.   … Sigh

I filled time taking winter walks, cooking, binge watching TV, sleeping in, and reading. If there is a job that requires loafing, I am over-qualified.  I have found that slacking is my strength. I’ve also learned that time not only flies when you’re having fun, it also flies when you are purposefully doing nothing.

With just a day left of 2020, I finished a great book called Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent. It didn’t make my year end book review, which had already gone out, still and all,  it’s a book worth your attention.

Little Cruelties is about the Drumm brothers who grew up in the 1970s and 80s in Dublin.  There are three of them: William, Brian, and Luke.  The book begins with this line, “All three of the Drumm brothers were at the funeral, although one of us was in a coffin.” And the mystery begins. You see, such is their relationship that there are always two brothers against one, but not always the same two.  So, in true Irish tragicomedy, Nugent winds the story of the three brothers, from the perspective of each, in asynchronous order.  Sometimes we get the same account (but different) from two brothers. Sometimes, we know details that are unknown to the brother reporting, or we learn the details later.  It’s a device, when used well (think Gone Girl), creates a captivating read.

I enjoyed this book. It has themes of sibling rivalry, jealousy, and sometimes love that ring true.  It has humor (Irish humor, so you know, humor tinged with misery).  It has mystery and a bit of suspense. The pop references of the 70s, 80s, 90s, and into the 2000s and beyond, are familiar and fun.

If you have some free time coming up, a snow day or something, I recommend some slippers, a couch, and Little Cruelties.

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