My thanks to Flatiron Books for my advance copy of this book to read and review.
This is only my second run-in with Moriarty and Big Little Lies blew me away, even though I was really skeptical of it. I am one of those people who tend to shy away from those books that everyone is trying to get you to read. I tend to roll my eyes a bit, thinking, it's just a fad, it can't possibly be that good. But dang it if BLL wasn't everything and more that I wanted from a good book.
So I went into this one with my expectations raised.
I definitely loved the way it started. Moriarty is talented at juggling a large cast of characters, getting you inside each of their heads, and creating a bunch of personalities that you are just itching to see interact with each other. She knows how to set up a story, and I really didn't know where it was going to go.
Once all the characters got to the health resort and settled in, I waited for everything to start going down. And I waited. And waited some more.
Yep. That's where it went downhill for me. I really felt that nothing was happening to move the plot forward in a meaningful way. Everything that was taking place felt very rote, and Masha, the owner of the spa who is supposed to be so mysterious and charismatic felt the most transparent to me—and the most flat.
I was so surprised at how the characters really went nowhere, just letting the machinations of the plot drag them along aimlessly, for such a loooooonnnngg time. This isn't a short book y'all!
I was really disappointed by the whole last third. The ending sequence didn't feel appropriate based on the build-up of the story and I was not surprised at all by the final reveals. If I'd read this book before BLL I might not have tried another of her books because it really is just such a mediocre book, which is such a shame because she obviously has a lot of skill as an intricate plotter and great character writer.
I'll definitely be on the lookout for more of her books, but I won't be recommending this one.
Associate editor, amateur photdographer, bibliophile, and occasional sleuth.