What is this about?: Four friends are off on a holiday together, when they decide to play a game that results in five secrets being written in an effort for them to recapture their past and the strengths of their friendship. Then, one discovers the fifth secret, the one someone tried to burn.
What else is this about?: Pettiness. An inability to grow up.
Stars: Nope. DNF.
Blurb: A fun vacation game turns destructive, exposing dark secrets, deeply buried grudges, and a shocking betrayal in Nicola Moriarity’s intriguing debut.
Four friends . . .
Joni, Deb, Eden, and Trina have been best friends since high school, sharing a bond that has seen them through their teenage years and into adulthood. But now, time and circumstance is starting to pull them apart as careers, husbands, and babies get in the way. As their yearly vacation becomes less of a priority—at least for three of the women—how can Joni find a way to draw the four of them back together?
Four secrets . . .
During a laughter and wine-filled night, the women dare one another to write anonymous letters, spilling their deepest, darkest secrets. But the fun game turns devastating, exposing cracks in their lives and the friendships they share. Each letter is a dark confession revealing shocking information. A troubled marriage? A substance abuse problem? A secret pregnancy? A heartbreaking diagnosis?
Five letters . . .
Late on one of their last nights together, after the other three have gone to bed, Joni notices something in the fireplace—a burnt, crumpled, nearly destroyed, sheet of paper that holds the most shattering revelation of all. It is a fifth letter—a hate-filled rant that exposes a vicious, deeply hidden grudge that has festered for decades. But who wrote it? Which one of them has seethed with resentment all these years? What should Joni do?
Best friends are supposed to keep your darkest secrets. But the revelations Joni, Deb, Eden and Trina have shared will ripple through their lives with unforeseen consequences . . . and things will never be the same.
I had high hopes for this one, even before I realised the author was Liane Moriarty’s younger sister. I might just skip Liane Moriarty’s writing after this to be honest, or just take a breather and forget this author is her sister.
Yes, this book is bad. Full disclosure, I got so irritated with how bad this book was, I stopped reading at chapter 12 (out of 24 chapters, so I made it halfway), skipped to ahead to chapter 20, got the answer I wanted and that was it. I didn’t care about anything else, that’s why there’s no rating on this.
It starts off promisingly enough, with the four friends at the holiday house, enjoying themselves and letting us get to know them. Slowly but surely, rifts and truths start to come out between the four of them, or rather between pairs of them, leaving the others in the dark in some cases. I thought it was great portrayal of female friendships, until well, Joni.
My god is this character obsessed with her glory days of high school when it was just the four of them without pesky husbands, including her own, and kids. Joni is juvenile and stuck in the past and to be honest the constant whining and jealousy just turned me off this book. Given how much of a presence she has in the first 12 chapters, it’s hard to escape her special brand of whiny. I hoped there’s a reason for it at the end of the book, but to be honest, I don’t care what it is because Joni is just so exhaustingly bad.
The other women are infinitely more interesting and I would have liked chapters in their POVs, without Joni’s filter driving me crazy and her presence running the first 12 chapters. Which brings up another point — it takes that long for the fifth letter to come up, possibly the 12 chapters I just mentioned.
But, I need not have worried – the reason behind the fifth letter drove me crazy even more because it was just so… bad. It’s about bullying, about the effects of bullying on someone years later, which is an important topic. But, it was just so terribly executed. And also, just sad in the way you wonder what other brilliant book might’ve got shelved for this one to get published.
Man, what a waste. When I reced it, I thought it had all the elements of an e xcellent story. I fully admit all of this could have made sense by the end, but I did not care enough to keep reading.
Now I just have to get to the point where I forget this author is Liane Moriarty’s sister.