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Little Disasters Reviews

Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan

Little Disasters

Sarah Vaughan

3.78 out of 5

4 reviews

Imprint: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Publication date: 2 Apr 2020
ISBN: 9781471165030

From 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.

  • The BooksellerEditor's Choice
4 stars out of 5
Alice O'Keeffe
10 Jan 2020

"The overwhelming anxieties of early motherhood are chillingly evoked"

Vaughan's last psychological thriller, Anatomy of a Scandal, did very well. This opens in a busy A&E ward on a Saturday night where senior registrar Liz has been called down from the children's ward to examine a 10-month- old baby with a suspicious head injury-the daughter, it turns out, of Jess, a friend Liz has known for 10 years, ever since their first babies were born. The overwhelming anxieties of early motherhood are chillingly evoked, and Liz is left agonising about how well she really knows her friend.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
Laura Wilson
26 Apr 2020

" this raw and painfully real portrayal of insecurities, guilt, shame and postnatal anxiety is complex, nuanced and moving."

When Jess turns up at A&E with her youngest child, 10-month-old Betsey, by a considerable coincidence Liz is on duty, and unable to ascertain the cause of the little girl’s injuries. Jess, guarded and on edge, refuses to open up to her, and Liz’s decision to involve the authorities causes friction in the group of friends. Told from multiple points of view, this raw and painfully real portrayal of insecurities, guilt, shame and postnatal anxiety is complex, nuanced and moving.

4 stars out of 5
Alison Flood
14 Apr 2020

"...the shocking, impossible-to-look-away Little Disasters"

Sarah Vaughan, who hit the bestseller lists with Anatomy of a Scandal, is back with her fourth novel, the shocking, impossible-to-look-away Little Disasters. Opening as a mother becomes increasingly desperate in her attempts to quieten her screaming baby – “doesn’t it make sense to hold her tight, to please, to bargain, perhaps to shout? To try to shake a little sense into her?” – it follows a paediatric doctor, Liz, as she deals with the fallout when her friend Jess brings her baby, Betsey, into A&E. Jess says Betsey “isn’t herself”; Liz discovers Betsey actually has a fractured skull and that Jess’s story doesn’t really make sense. 

3 stars out of 5
10 Apr 2020

"Vaughan combines a convincing plot with a perceptive handling of difficult issues "

The story revolves around a young mothers’ friendship group and what happens after one of them, Jess, turns up at A&E with her baby, Betsey, who is vomiting. One of the group, Liz, is a doctor there, and when Betsey is diagnosed with a fractured skull, Liz becomes suspicious.

Distrust and secrets invade the previously easy intimacy of the friends. Buried traumas and blame games threaten to destroy everything they have. Vaughan combines a convincing plot with a perceptive handling of difficult issues around modern female friendships and postnatal depression.