For each of the 3 families attending the BBQ hosted by Tiffany and Vin, life was permanently altered. Clementine and Sam were unsure if their marriage would survive, Tiffany and Vin were not sure what was going on with their daughter, Dakota, and Erika could not remember a slice of time during the BBQ and was obsessively trying to recover that memory. Life seemed so simple before the BBQ. Things were taken for granted…
The beauty of this book is in the skillful crafting of the narrative, which circles around the BBQ and only very gradually divulges exactly what happened and how. By rotating around the characters’ perspectives and by weaving in and out of time frames, Moriarty builds up the suspense and enriches the impact of the crescendo of the story. And on the way down, she continues to add smaller punches which ultimately tie in each of the pieces of the puzzle.
I also love the message in this book, which is, essentially, that issues that are difficult or painful should be talked through. Keeping secrets and holding things inside only lead to repression and misperceptions, usually resulting in unfounded guilt or other sources of misery. Especially with children.
I am a big fan of Liane Moriarty – and this is yet another engaging, well-spun tale by her!