This was one of those jewels that has you laughing even as you’re reading about a subject that is profoundly serious. On the surface, the story reads almost like a comical documentary, with the narrative intermixed with comments given by each of the characters who were peripherally involved in the death of a character (this is not a spoiler — this comes out in the beginning, but through the whole story it is unclear who is killed by whom). On a deeper level, though, the story deals extremely sensitively and honestly with the frightening issue of relationship violence.
Jane is about to move to a new area in Australia near the ocean with her son, Ziggy. During the kindergarten orientation, an incident occurs with sweet, little Ziggy that initiates a huge divide among the mothers of the class. As alliances form, each of the characters shows her true colors and the friendships begin. Jane is initially secretive about her own past, but as she warms to her new friends, she sees that revealing her own story can actually free her of the burden of it. She also learns that she is not the only one with secrets.
The characters in this story are remarkably real and 3-dimentional. The story also has a number of different corollaries, which keeps it moving both sideways and forward and also works to add to the suspense of who is killed and by whom. And while the underlying message is clear and strong, there is a warm humor threaded through which kept me loving this book.
Can’t wait to read more by this author!