Review: Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan

Review: Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan

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Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan is a dramatic story that will surprise you. Almost entirely told in dual perspective, the book explores the themes of child neglect and female friendship. While there is some element of mystery to the narrative, this book reads more like a contemporary than a thriller.

Review: Little Disasters by Sarah VaughanTitle: Little Disasters
Author: Sarah Vaughan
Publisher: Atria Books
Genres: Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
Publication Date: August 18, 2020
Rating: four-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

In this new novel from the internationally bestselling author of the “cool, sharp, and beautifully written” (Lisa Jewell, New York Times bestselling author) Anatomy of a Scandal, a doctor is faced with an ethical dilemma when her friend’s child lands in the emergency room.

Liz Trenchard is an experienced pediatrician with a duty to protect all children admitted to her busy emergency room When Jess Curtis, an affluent, stay-at-home mother, turns up at the ER one night with her baby girl, she immediately prompts suspicion. The ten-month-old has a blow to the head her mother doesn’t seem to have noticed, and Jess has a story that doesn’t stack up.

Meanwhile, Liz is riddled with doubt as she confronts secrets held by her mother, whose neglect not only led to a childhood tragedy involving her brother but raises questions about another baby Liz half-remembers from thirty-five years ago.

With Sarah Vaughan’s signature “clever and compelling” (Claire Douglas, bestselling author) prose, this is a tightly-wound and evocative page-turner that will haunt you long after you finish the final page.

Amazon “iBooks”

❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review: Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan

Most of the book focuses on the perspectives of two friends, Jess and Liz. Jess is a stay at home mom who is struggling with keeping her perfect household together after the birth of her third child. The author shows how Jess is desperate to appear like she has it all together despite the fact that she is doing most of the parenting and household work alone. Jess’ baby is very fussy and it seems to be affecting her mental health, although Jess has kept this to herself. Her friend Liz is a doctor in the local hospital that attended to Jess’ baby in the ER after a “fall.” The incident opens up a whole can of worms for both women and sets the story in motion.

❀ A Strained Friendship

Liz is put in a hard position, as the injury to Jess’ baby is one that raises all sorts of red flags. An investigation is launched and this puts a strain on their friendship as well as Jess’ marriage. It is interesting to read about both women and their experiences growing up. Their past histories have helped shape who they are and the choices they have made in life.

❀ Character-Driven Plot

Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan is one book to pick up if you enjoy a character-driven plot that has lots of drama. There is definitely a whodunit aspect to the story, but it reads more like an intense drama in my opinion. The characters are interesting and the story is one that will keep the reader engaged. It is a great addition to a fall TBR.

About Sarah Vaughan

Sarah Vaughan

Sarah Vaughan read English at Oxford and went on to be a journalist. After training with the Press Association, she worked for The Guardian for 11 years as a news reporter, health correspondent and political correspondent before leaving to freelance and write fiction. Her 3rd novel, Anatomy of a Scandal, was an instant international bestseller, a Sunday Times top five bestseller, a kindle number 1 bestseller, a Richard & Judy pick, and was longlisted for the Theakson's Old Peculier Crime Novel and shortlisted for awards in France, Sweden and the UK. It has been translated into 22 languages and is being adapted for TV. Her 4th novel, Little Disasters, will be published in France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, the UK on April 2 and the US on August 18. She lives in Cambridge with her husband and two young children.


About Lori

Avid reader. Contributor to The Candid Cover. Educator.

20 thoughts on “Review: Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan

  1. Christa L Sloan says:

    I dont like reading books with heavy topics in them such as child abuse. I know that it happens in real life all the time, but it’s not a healthy place to be in your headspace all the time worrying about something you can’t control. I’m not against these books being published (in fact I think it’s great) I just can’t put hours of my time into reading about something that makes me so emotional…

  2. Piroska Blanchette says:

    Thanks for the great review! I’m now putting this book on my reading list. I love complex, character-driven books. The more emotional I get, the better!

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