Our Little Cruelties is a character-driven novel about three brothers — Will, Brian and Luke Drumm — and the rivalries of their family life.
The story begins at a funeral. One of the brothers is dead but we don’t find out which one until the end of the novel.
Timelines move back and forth from the brothers’ childhood through into their adult lives. The story unfolds slowly, switching between individual points of view and revealing key events that help us understand how each brother became the man he is.
Different but alike, each life story is both influenced by and impacts the brothers’ wider family, work and social relationships. Individual actions have consequences in this novel, often lasting and terrible.
As in her earlier novels, Unravelling Oliver and Skin Deep, Liz Nugent manages to make us feel sympathy for unlikeable characters in a tightly-woven story with unexpected twists, nicely wrapped up in a satisfying ending.
[Disclosure: Review copy from the publisher, Penguin received via Netgalley.]