Our Little Cruelties is the story of three brothers, Will, Brian and Luke. We know from the start of the book that one of them is dead - but which one, and who killed him?
We're delighted to welcome bestselling author Liz Nugent to tell us more about her eagerly awaited gripping new bestseller, which is published on 26 March.
Since my last two books were primarily about monstrous women (Cordelia in Skin Deep and Lydia in Lying in Wait), I decided to go back to writing about flawed men as I did in my debut novel Unravelling Oliver. All of my central characters before have been isolated and are estranged from their siblings in one way or another, so I decided to write about three brothers. (I have four brothers. Thankfully none of my characters bear any resemblance to my siblings!).
I don’t write nice people, so I had to find a way to make these brothers who grew up in the same house very distinct from one another. I needed them all to be bad or damaged, but in different ways.
I wrote the first character in the regular way on my laptop, and then with the second and third brother, I used voice recognition software and ‘acted’ the parts so that the second brother would read as more fragile and insecure, and the third brother would read as uptight and victimised. Obviously, I had to do this when nobody was home, as my husband might have worried that I’d gone stark raving mad, and the walls of my house are thick enough so that the neighbours didn’t call the guards when I was ‘acting’ out a loud argument between characters.
Inevitably, there is a mother character and I promise I tried really hard to make her nice and normal, but eventually, as I edited the book, she took over the keyboard and emerged as another damaged failure of a parent (again, I must emphasise that I have two great parents). One day, I’ll write a good parent without killing them. At least, I’ll try my hardest. If only my characters would listen to me…
- Liz Nugent
Three brothers are at the funeral. One lies in the coffin. Will, Brian and Luke grow up competing for their mother's unequal love. As men, the competition continues - for status, money, fame, women... They each betray each other, over and over, until one of them is dead. But which brother killed him?