I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the latest novel by Sarah Vaughan, Little Disasters on my blog today.
A mother in crisis
A doctor’s duty
What is the truth about that night?
Liz and Jess have been friends for ten years, ever since they both started a family. But how well do they really know each other?
When Jess arrives at A&E with her baby girl and a story that doesn’t add up, Liz is the doctor on call.
Jess has devoted her life to family and home. But she is hiding so many secrets.
As the truth begins to emerge, Liz is forced to question everything she thought she knew: about Jess, and about herself…
Sarah Vaughan tackles a tough topic in her emotive and blindingly good thriller, Little Disasters. Sarah’s protagonist, Liz, is faced with a tough decision when her good friend, Jess, arrives at the hospital, where Liz works as a nurse, with her young daughter. Jess’s daughter, Betsey, has suffered head trauma, but what is even more perplexing to Liz, is Jess’s lack of empathy or concern about the situation. Why didn’t Jess rush her daughter to the hospital when the accident first happened? Why won’t Jess open up to her about Betsey’s accident? Liz has to reach an uncomfortable decision then when she has to decide if Betsey is safe in Jess’s care.
Sarah Vaughan’s writing has a really addictive pull to it, and I was immediately sucked into the story. I really felt for Liz when she was put in the situation right at the beginning. I could see that she wanted to help her friend in the best possible way, but I could also see that she had to think professionally about the situation and that she had to think of Betsey as her patient and not as her friend’s daughter. You can see here that the next steps Liz chooses to take will have a huge impact on their friendship for the rest of their lives.
We hear from both Jess and Liz’s point of view. I really struggled to stay on Jess’s side right at the beginning of the book, and I thought that Sarah Vaughan built her story and Liz’s well as the book progressed. There is tension on every page. As I struggled to see Jess’s side of the story, after Liz first interrogated her, I could never be sure if she could actually be dangerous, especially to other members of her family, while Betsey was being treated in hospital. It was the questions about Jess which I still had in my mind which kept me turning the pages and the tension turning up a notch.
This is also a multi-layered story. Liz’s personal story is complex, as well. Sarah Vaughan gradually reveals details about Liz’s past and the devastating events in her childhood which continue to have an effect on her in the future. You can begin to see why she makes some decisions that she does in the present.
I thought both Liz and Jess were two, very well rounded characters whose stories kept me gripped.
Little Disasters is a cleverly constructed page-turner, with the theme of motherhood at its heart that will keep you invested the entire way through. A solid five stars from me!
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 2nd April 2020
Print length: 432 pages
Little Disasters is available to buy: