Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Little Disasters

Rate this book
A new thought-provoking novel exploring the complexity of motherhood and all that connects and disconnects us.

You think you know her…but look a little closer.

She is a stay-at-home mother-of-three with boundless reserves of patience, energy, and love. After being friends for a decade, this is how Liz sees Jess.

Then one moment changes everything.

Dark thoughts and carefully guarded secrets surface—and Liz is left questioning everything she thought she knew about her friend, and about herself. The truth can’t come soon enough.

400 pages, Kindle Edition

First published April 2, 2020

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Sarah Vaughan

13 books1,151 followers
Sarah Vaughan read English at Oxford and went on to be a journalist. After training with the Press Association, she worked for The Guardian for 11 years as a news reporter, health correspondent and political correspondent before leaving to freelance and write fiction. Her 3rd novel, Anatomy of a Scandal, was an instant international bestseller, a Sunday Times top five bestseller, a kindle number 1 bestseller, a Richard & Judy pick, and was longlisted for the Theakson's Old Peculier Crime Novel and shortlisted for awards in France, Sweden and the UK. It has been translated into 22 languages and is being adapted for TV. Her 4th novel, Little Disasters, will be published in France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, the UK on April 2 and the US on August 18. She lives in Cambridge with her husband and two young children.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
1,964 (16%)
4 stars
4,932 (40%)
3 stars
4,068 (33%)
2 stars
980 (8%)
1 star
194 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,619 reviews
Profile Image for Melissa ~ Bantering Books.
164 reviews693 followers
February 19, 2021
Be sure to visit Bantering Books to read all my latest reviews.

3.5 stars

I’m not gonna lie.

Motherhood is hard. It’s stressful. It’s chaotic. It gives no rest to the weary.

It. Is. The. Most. Trying. Challenge. Of. My. Life.

But never would I wish to change a single thing about it.

And when I think back to the “baby years” with my two boys, I smile with love and fondness at the memories. But I also shudder. For I remember --

The never-ending sleepless nights and debilitating fatigue.
The irrational fear and anxiety.
The feelings of isolation and sadness.
The uncontrollable tears.
The overwhelming, crushing sense of responsibility.

For some women like me, motherhood has a lot of bad mixed in with the good. And Sarah Vaughan brings the dichotomous complexities of the experience into sharp focus in her newest novel, Little Disasters.

Liz, a hospital pediatrician, is surprised to find her close friend, Jess, in her ER one evening, asking for her ten-month-old daughter, Betsey, to be examined. Jess claims that Betsey had not been feeling well after taking a minor tumble at home and that her husband had asked her to bring the baby in out of an abundance of caution. To Jess’ horror, Liz quickly diagnoses Betsey with a severe skull fracture.

Questions immediately arise as to the nature of Betsey’s injury. And when pressed by Liz, Jess is oddly vague, evasive, and unable to provide a satisfactory explanation. Liz has no choice but to bring Betsey’s injury to the attention of the authorities – and Liz and Jess are soon caught up in an unimaginable nightmare from which they hope all those involved will survive unscathed.

Settling on a rating for Little Disasters has been a bit of a struggle. Because on the whole, it’s a compelling and compulsively page-turning domestic drama/mystery. (Readers should note it is not a thriller, as it has been mistakenly labeled.) The pace is steady, if not swift. The narrative is never boring, and the novel reads quickly. The characterization may not be fantastic, but it is solid enough that great empathy is felt for Liz, Jess, and the cast of supporting characters.

And to be fair, the novel does provide a fairly realistic depiction of postpartum depression and anxiety. As I alluded earlier, I suffered a mild touch of it, myself, after giving birth to my first son. From personal experience, I can vouch that the postpartum emotions and behavior of the ill women in the novel ring true, along with the narrative examples of the disastrous potential outcomes that can arise if the disorder is severe and left untreated.

But despite all its positive attributes, it is extremely difficult to ever stay fully immersed and connected to Little Disasters. The reason for this is twofold. Firstly, Vaughan’s prose is sometimes clunky and does not always flow smoothly. Secondly, the narrative feels cluttered with an overabundance of repetitive thoughts and unnecessary observations of the characters. Too often, my concentration would break, and I would suddenly be dropped out of the narrative simply because I encountered an awkward patch of writing or a section that I felt I had read before. Another round of editing to pare the novel down would have served it well, I think.

Moreover, Vaughan inadvertently lessens the overall impact of the novel by unwisely making a last-ditch effort to drive the narrative into thriller territory. Instead of wrapping the story up at what is an obvious and natural stopping point, she blows right by it and throws in an unneeded twist that, while startling and surprising, ultimately weakens and cheapens the story.

But at the same time, I feel I should also mention that the last section of the novel – the shocking twist – is significantly and substantially better written. Vaughan’s prose is noticeably more fluid, and the narrative isn’t so crammed with extraneous filler. She writes with a leaner touch, thereby breathing new life and excitement into the conclusion.

It’s a shame that Vaughan’s best writing is only displayed during the last ten percent of Little Disasters. Had she written the entirety of the novel in the same deft manner, I believe I would be awarding it a much higher rating.

Nevertheless, I do still recommend the novel, caveats and all. I cannot deny the fact that I did enjoy it. And I genuinely appreciate Vaughan’s efforts to increase awareness and understanding of postpartum depression.


I received an Advanced Readers Copy from Atria/Emily Bestler Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions included herein are my own.

Bantering Books
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,064 reviews38k followers
November 5, 2021
How far you may go to make your children safe and give the care, comfort they need? A mother’s job is looking after them, feeding them, keeping them healthy, happy, fulfilling all their mental and psychical needs but what happens to all those caring and sacrificing mothers when they get exhausted, all alone to achieve their best and when the time comes, they find out their best is not a great option for their kids!

This book is not a thriller or mystery, this is though-provoking, questioning and quite perfect analyze of how compelling, serious, life-changing job, title: the motherhood is. It’s an amazing women’s fiction/family drama. It questions women’s maternal instincts, endurance under humanly impossible conditions like sleep deprivation, 24/7 being there for their child, gathering wits together not to suffer from poor judgment and fail from critical choices they make about their children’s lives.

I’m not a mother. I wish I could be but you know the old Yiddish proverb: “We plan, God laughs” But I think this book truly affected me more than I expected with different mothers’ stories, their unique kind of approaches about raising children and sometimes losing your control, patience may result with so many unexpected and life changing consequences. I felt like somebody dropped down cold ice bucket on me! I’m still shivering, numb, shocked, flabbergasted and shaken. This is POWER OF GREAT STORYTELLING.

Let’s give a quick summary about the plot:

Liz, brilliant pediatrician having another crazy train ride of day during her shift and she meets one of her friend Jess brought her baby to the emergency room.

They just estranged a little bit because of Liz’s over demanding profession, kids, husband and other activities fills her life and Jess also didn’t make any effort to connect with her either. And now she looks skeptical. Till Liz asks her about the bump at her baby’s head that she didn’t mention it before, she gets in panic and gives indecisive answers. And after checking the baby with their procedural tests, X-rays, they find out Liz’s story doesn’t add up. There are big holes about the explanation how her little girl hit her head.

Could she hurt her little girl? Or anyone at their house could do that? Could she suffer from some postpartum depression? Do she and her husband have ill-fated relationship affected the way they treated to their own children?

Liz deals with too many questions and also worries about her mother’s mentally unbalanced state who suffers from terminal disease and for making things for worse she drinks herself to death. Is there anything crucial she doesn’t share with her?

Conclusion of the story is foreseeable but it’s still satisfying and well-done. The characters are well-built, slow-burn story-telling and multi POVED narration worked well with the progression but I still feel there are some parts could be emitted because you already understand what’s gonna come next and you don’t want to read more pages till the obvious things start to come out.

Overall: Even though the story’s pace would be better with some edited parts, I enjoyed the writing, character building and realistic, genuine, argumentative approach of the author. So I stick with my shiny, thrilling four stars for the love of motherhood!

Special thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books/Emily Bestler Books for sharing this fantastic ARC in exchange my honest review. This is my first Sarah Vaughan book and I’m looking forward to read more works of her as soon as I start trimming my frightening Mount TBR!

blog
instagram
facebook
twitter
Profile Image for Dorie  - Cats&Books :) .
958 reviews2,558 followers
February 11, 2020
This is a fast paced drama/mystery which I tore through pretty quickly. Ms. Vaughn writes a heartbreaking story with humanity, realism and characters that I grew to understand and care for.

Jess is a mother of three, her youngest Betsey, 10 months old, is not at all like her two older boys. She is a baby who is often inconsolable and requires a lot of holding, nursing and attention and Jess has felt overwhelmed pretty much since her birth. She felt as though she had things under control and organized until Betsey was born. Her husband Ed is supportive but often absent, he works long hours and pretty much leaves the parenting to Jess. As a mother of four daughters, I could relate to some of the isolation and feelings of helplessness when a newborn continues to cry and cry despite all of your efforts. I can even remember putting my baby in her crib, closing the door and going away for 15 minutes or so to collect myself. It happens to most mothers at some point I think if we are all being honest.

Jess has a group of friends including Charlotte, Mel and Liz who formed a friendship during prenatal classes for their first born children. Since Betsy was born Jess has felt isolated and yet she is so unsure of herself, scared of some of her inner thoughts that she fails to reach out for help, even from her closest friends.

The drama begins when Betsy is brought into the ER by Jess with a head injury. Liz, a pediatrician, on call in the hospital, is called to the ER when Betsy is brought in. Because of their friendship and hospital protocol, the child’s care is quickly shifted to another pediatrician. When they perform a scan they discover an injury that doesn’t fit with the admission statement that Jess made. Quickly Social Services is called in, the police get involved and Jess’s care of her children is brought into question.

Her husband Ed begins to question Jess’s explanation also and wonders why she didn’t share his sense of urgency until “he had shouted at her in frustration and threatened to call a cab to take the baby himself? . . . .Jess had taken quite some persuading, had insisted that Bets must just have a virus and initially accused him of overreacting.”

Slowly as we work backwards through the story, told mostly in the voices of Jess and Liz, we find that Jess had an unhappy childhood which is one reason why she has tried to be “perfect”. We can feel her self distrust when some of her “visions” of causing harm to her child are revealed; she has been struggling and very unhappy for a long time.

Her friend Liz has a large part in the story, she also had a difficult childhood. She has a lot of empathy for Jess and tries to do what she can to help her and her family. She will be the one who ultimately finds out what truly happened to this little girl.

There are several twists to the story and just when I thought the novel was wrapping up, another layer was exposed which explained everything.

There is much to think about in this book and very pertinent to our times. Mothers are often meant to be everything, a mother, a career woman, a wife and taking care to get exercise to keep her figure in pre baby shape. I think this quote says a lot:“Perfectionism is a dangerous state of mind in an imperfect world” -- Robert HIllyer

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well written, character driven drama.

I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss.

The novel is set to publish in August of 2020.
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,423 reviews8,953 followers
October 28, 2022
**3.5-stars rounded up**

Liz, a pediatric doctor, is surprised when one of her closest friends, Jess, brings her baby, Betsey, to Emergency Services.

Liz is even more surprised once she discovers baby Betsey has suffered severe head trauma, to the point of cranial fracture.



Making matters worse, when Liz questions Jess about it, she is quite dodgy with her story. She tells Liz she wasn't even aware Betsey had a head injury.

She claims after Betsey vomited in her crib, her husband insisted she bring the little one in to be checked over.



Jess insists Betsey has suffered no trauma. Perhaps she just fell over as she was trying to pull herself upright, certainly not out of the realm of possibility for a baby whose mobility is increasing.

The severity of the injury seems to negate this explanation, however, and Liz cannot understand why her friend, who always seems the most attentive mother, could suddenly be so obtuse about her child's severe condition.



Consulting with a senior doctor, Liz understands that the hospital must contact Social Services regarding Jess and Betsey. They have a duty to report if there is even a chance that a child is being harmed.

Jess's weak explanation, paired with the skull fracture, is more than enough to bring in outside intervention.



Following multiple perspectives, over multiple timelines, Little Disasters is a thoughtful examination of modern motherhood.

The main bulk of the story is made up of Liz, Jess and Jess's husband, Ed's, perspectives, but there are a few others sprinkled in.



The Reader learns what Jess's life as a stay-at-home mom to three busy children is really like.

While she may stay buttoned up outside of the home, amongst her friends and at the children's activities, inside the home, things are far from perfect.



We also get a glimpse into Liz's life and what her childhood was like; the events that pushed her into a career in pediatrics.

Finally, we get an examination of friendship, that of Liz and Jess, as well as the other women in their circle.



I definitely enjoyed my time reading this. My one concern is that people will go into it expecting a tense Thriller, and it's really not.

I would classify this novel as a thought-provoking Domestic Drama, with a hint of suspense. I think if you go into it expecting that, you will not be disappointed.



As far as content, I think this novel is poignant and important. I mentioned recently in my review for Megan Goldin's, The Night Swim, that I love when this type of novel has something to say about hard-hitting real world issues.

This one definitely does. I think this would make an incredible book club read, as it could lead to a lot of great discussions involving motherhood, mental health and the societal expectations placed on women.



The writing is highly compelling and I flew through it. The short chapters and alternating perspectives kept me glued to the pages.

Overall, I think this will be enjoyed and appreciated by a lot of Readers. One of them should be you. Available now!!!



Thank you so much to the publisher, Atria Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I appreciate the opportunity!

Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,003 reviews3,516 followers
October 2, 2020
When Jess Curtis brings her crying baby girl to the emergency room, she’s confident everything will be alright. And why wouldn’t she? Her friend Liz is the pediatrician on duty. Of course she’s in good hands. So how did everything spin so horribly out of control, even requiring the involvement of Police?

Could Jess have possibly harmed her own baby? After all, she’s been having those dark thoughts about doing exactly that. But did she actually take the next step and act them out? She’s just been so exhausted. And the baby wouldn’t stop crying...

This is a truly unique and clever domestic thriller. Sarah Vaughan focuses the spotlight on exploring new motherhood and post-partum depression.

But don’t think you’ll be getting off that easy! The storyline is not as straightforward as you might think! Major curve up ahead! Even in super-sleuth mode and detective cap on, I was so sure of the direction that I started getting annoyed that I had figured it out so quickly!

Ummm..... let me be the first to humbly say how wrong I was!🙋🏻‍♀️My detective’s cap now hangs in shame. 😞🕵🏻‍♀️

Stay on your toes and don’t get lulled in as I did.

Toggling back and forth between the written and audio version, I enjoyed both equally. There were multiple narrators for the audio which I always think adds so much more depth.

My second read/audio from Sarah Vaughan and looking forward to more in the future.

Thank you to NetGalley, Atria Books for an ARC to read and review.
Audio provided by Simon and Schuster Audio
May 4, 2020
EXCERPT: She risks glancing down. Two eyes stare back. Please don't cry, please don't cry, the plea is automatic. The baby's bottom lip quivers and the uneasy quiet is broken with a bleat. Great gulps of rage soon drown out the heavy lullaby. Please be quiet. Just be quiet. Be quiet, won't you? Just be quiet, for God's sake!'

It's no good. The walls push in; the heat bears down and the noise - the terrible crying that has been going on for three hours - engulfs her. Her eyes burn and she feels like joining in. She cannot cope with this: she cannot cope. She does not know how much more she can bear.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: You think you know her…but look a little closer.

She is a stay-at-home mother-of-three with boundless reserves of patience, energy, and love. After being friends for a decade, this is how Liz sees Jess.

Then one moment changes everything.

Dark thoughts and carefully guarded secrets surface—and Liz is left questioning everything she thought she knew about her friend, and about herself. The truth can’t come soon enough.

MY THOUGHTS: Sarah Vaughan has written a heartwrenching and honest novel about a mother suffering from postnatal depression and anxiety.

Motherhood is the most complex and difficult job in the world. There are no absolutes. What works for one child doesn't work for another. Every child has different needs. Husbands have needs. Thank God for friends, right? Those other women who are going through what you are going through. The women you can sit and laugh about the disasters with. The women who can put everything back into the proper perspective. But what happens when these women have gone back to work, have lives outside the home, and you are at home with a colicky, unsettled, unhappy baby and all your coping mechanisms are failing?

Meet Jess. Jess, who always has everything under control, who runs everything with almost military precision, whom all the other mums envy. She has always been careful to hide her anxieties, but one ill advised decision has opened her Pandora's Box, and now there's no shutting the lid again. The calm, capable Jess has been replaced by a Jess incapable of making a rational decision, a Jess who knows that she is a bad mother. A very bad mother.

I felt for Jess. I cried for and with her. I had a baby like Betsey. I would be up all night, walking around the lounge, baby on my shoulder, trying to quiet him so that my husband could get some sleep and be able to function at work. I would try to get an hour or two of sleep if, and if is the operative word, he went down during the day. But often the only way he would sleep was if he was in motion. I would put him in his pram and walk for miles. Then when I got home there was still washing to do - no disposable nappies then - and meals to prepare. I was a new mum in a new town, where I knew no one and had no support network other than an absolutely wonderful plunket nurse who was a mother of five children. She kept me sane. She was my lifeline.

I read a great deal of this book with my heart in my mouth, my body tensed. Sarah Vaughan has captured the desperation of the sleep deprived mother perfectly. 'There is little that's more lonely than being at home with a distraught baby and an unraveling mind.' And behind this main thread lie historical tales of parental neglect, and sometimes abuse, and the determination of those who suffered not to repeat those mistakes.

This was, strangely enough, an enjoyable read. I let out a huge sigh of satisfaction at the end. It's a story of friendship, and its limits, of the love of parents for their children, of trying to provide them with a better life, a more stable life, with more love than their parents had.

And as icing on top of the cake, there was a trip down memory lane when Liz is transported, via a dog-eared postcard of Hastings Pier, to the cafe her mother had run when she was a child. The sort that aren't around any more, that served white bread and butter standard with every meal, tea in little metal teapots, glass bottles of vinegar and brown sauce on the tables. Ours, where us girls would meet on a Friday lunchtime for the roast of the day and apple pie with cream and ice cream for $1.50, was the Regent. The five of us were thick as thieves back then, and this has made me realise that I know where only one of them is currently, and she is dead, felled by an aneurysm many years ago.

A wonderful read. A realistic read. A thought provoking read. I will be reading more from this author.

❤❤❤❤.5

#LittleDisasters #NetGalley

'The truth is hidden in things (left) unsaid.'

THE AUTHOR: Sarah Vaughan read English at Oxford and went on to be a journalist. After training with the Press Association, she worked for The Guardian for 11 years as a news reporter, health correspondent and political correspondent before leaving to freelance and write fiction. She lives in Cambridge with her husband and two young children. (Goodreads.com- abridged)

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia via NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,296 reviews4,827 followers
January 19, 2022


Mothers have a biological imperative to nurture their offspring. In humans, this generally amounts to providing food, clothing, shelter, and a safe and loving home. On occasion, however, things go wrong, and mothers think of harming their children. In this book we meet an array of mothers, some more capable than others.

Liz, Jess, Charlotte, and Mel met in prenatal group ten years ago, when each woman was expecting her first child.



The mothers remained friends ever since, though life's responsibilities - and growing families - limited their social interactions.

Liz is now a senior registrar (doctor) in pediatrics at St. Joseph's Hospital in West London.



One Friday night Liz is called down to the ER when a ten-month-old baby is brought in. According to the intake notes the infant is nonmobile, irritable, drowsy, tearful, and has vomited.



A glance at the child's name, Betsey Curtis, shocks Liz. This is her friend Jess's baby!

Jess, in turn, is relieved to see Liz. She exclaims, "Oh, thank god it's you. I didn't think we should come, but Ed was adamant. It's so unlike him to worry, it panicked me into bringing her in."



It turns out baby Betsey has a fractured skull, and Jess's only explanation is that Betsey was trying to pull herself up on the refrigerator and fell. Jess suggests this must have caused the injury, which she hadn't noticed before bringing the baby to the ER. Moreover Jess is acting squirrely, and seems to be holding something back.

Liz can't allow herself to think her friend Jess purposely harmed Betsey, but knows she has to report the incident to her superior, Dr. Neil Cockerill. Cockerill INSISTS Liz call social services and then removes Liz from the case, as hospital protocol dictates.

A brouhaha ensues. Little Betsey is admitted to the hospital; the police question Liz and her husband Ed;



Forensic experts examine the couple's home; a social worker speaks to the couple's two older sons; neighbors and local shop owners are interviewed; and so on.

The upshot is that Jess is suspected of harming her child, and a social worker, Lucy Stone, is assigned to oversee Jess's interactions with Betsey.



Moreover, Jess's sister Martha is asked to stay at the Curtis home, to watch over Jess and Ed's boys, until the case is resolved one way or another.

Liz KNOWS she did the right thing calling social services, but still feels guilty about ensnaring Jess in this predicament. Jess always seemed to be the perfect mother. She took excellent care of her children; kept an immaculate home; prepared delicious meals; and kept up her appearance. On top of that, Jess did all this with minimal help from her hard-working husband Ed, who was strictly a 'take kids to sports' dad.



Though Liz has faith in Jess, she knows from experience that some women aren't good mothers. Liz has memories of her own troubled, hard-drinking mother, whose neglect caused a terrible injury to her brother.



Liz also has vague memories of seeing something happen to a baby when she was a toddler.



The story, which is told from the alternating points of view of Liz and Jess (and occasionally other people), jumps around all over the place: from Liz having memories of her childhood; to the prenatal class where Liz, Jess, Charlotte, and Mel met; to a recent barbecue for the women and their families; to the police questioning Jess and Ed; to Jess giving birth to Betsey; to Liz dealing with her mother's ongoing drunken bouts; to things that happened in Jess and Ed's house; to Ed being concerned about his wife; to Jess worrying about her baby; and more. This type of disjointed narrative seems to be very popular these days, and it's a bit hard to follow in this book.

The novel is too long, with sections that don't move the story forward. That said, it's a compelling narrative about motherhood - a hard job made easier with support from the father, family, and friends. Even so, some women aren't up to the task - temporarily or permanently - because of stress, anxiety, fatigue, frustration, post-partum depression, mental illness, or other nebulous factors.



The novel is billed as a psychological thriller, but it's more of a domestic drama with a suspenseful thread. Several characters are keeping secrets, and I was curious to find out what these were. The astute reader will probably guess some, while others will be more elusive. One part of the book stretches suspension of disbelief to the breaking point, and should have been left out (in my opinion).

Overall I thought this was an average suspense novel with a good message about giving mothers the assistance they require.

Thanks to Netgalley, the author (Sarah Vaughn), and the publisher (Atria/Emily Bestler Books) for a copy of the book.

You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....
Profile Image for Liz.
1,914 reviews2,350 followers
July 3, 2020
I was a fan of The Anatomy of a Scandal, so I was curious to see what Vaughn would write this time around. Liz is a pediatric doctor, who has drawn the short straw and is working Friday night when a friend, Jess, brings in her ten month old baby to the ER. The mother’s story isn't consistent with the head injury. As much as Liz doesn’t want to, she’s forced to get social services involved.
We hear from both women, in a nonlinear fashion. The women have vastly different lives. Jess is a stay at home mom in a “traditional” marriage. She’s an anti-vaccine, perfectionist, organic food kind of mom as well. I can’t say I liked either Jess or Ed, probably because I just couldn’t identify with them. But I could sympathize with the way their lives are overrun once the ball starts rolling on the investigation. And as the book went on, I definitely felt sorry for Jess, as she has some serious issues.
Liz was someone I totally related to. She’s blessed with a good marriage but has an alcoholic mother. She's the kind of gal that suffers insomnia because of everything she worries about.
The book shows how little we sometimes know or understand our friends. And how one instance can make us call all our assumptions into question. It is a well paced book, with an underlying tension. We know from early on that Jess is lying. But why? Kudos to Vaughn as I was sure I knew what had happened but she threw in a great twist I didn’t see coming. I loved this ending as it reminds us of the importance of our friendships.
Now, I’m not maternal at all, unless there are four legs and a tail involved (another reason I didn’t bond with Jess). But parts of the book disturbed me!
My thanks to netgalley and Atria Books for an advance copy of this book.
Profile Image for Ceecee.
1,854 reviews1,367 followers
November 16, 2019
Sarah Vaughn has done it again! This is another book that is impossible to tear yourself away from. This is a very emotionally charged psychological drama that is beautifully written. The central premise being the difficulties of parenting especially the early months when your baby may not settle and nothing you do stops the crying or even worse, the screams. Liz is a paediatric doctor and is called to A and E when baby Betsey, daughter and third child of her friend Jess, is brought in with a suspicious head injury theta does match with her story. At the behest of her unpleasant boss Neil, the police and social services are called and what unfolds is movingly told from several points of view but principally Jess and Liz. The story goes backwards and forwards from the incident to their meeting at ante natal classes to the incident and beyond.

As you read you feel a range of emotions including sadness and empathy. Liz and Jess are united in that they both had very difficult childhoods but the incident with Betsey tests their friendship. It forces Liz in particular to focus on suppressed memories from her own childhood and on several terrible events and the difficult relationship with her mother. Liz is lucky that she has a rock in Nick, her steady and kind husband. The characters are well portrayed and most are likeable because like all of us they have frailties although Charlotte is not at all easy to like. She is sharp and cold and as the story progresses you realise there is good reason to distrust and dislike her. I especially like the portrayal of the children especially Jess and Ed’s boys. Jess’s mental breakdown is distressing and you feel her pain as she tries to wipe away her problems with antibacterial spray. Her husband Ed is good at earning the beans (and plenty beans) but is content to leave parenting to Jess with disastrous consequences. He does thankfully emerge a better person. I like the exploration of the dynamics of friendship and family as things shift and change and this is sharply observed. There is tension and emotion as the novel builds to a twisty and unexpected climax and thankfully there is reconciliation, forgiveness and professional help for Jess. The end is optimistic which I like.

Overall, a fantastic book that shines a spotlight on how hard and unrelenting parenting can be, that sometimes it is drudgery and very exhausting and at others, great joy. It captures the moments when even the best of parents can find themselves trapped in an endless cycle and it can be overwhelming without support. It’s an excellent psychological drama which I recommend.

With special thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for the ARC.
Profile Image for Denise.
509 reviews350 followers
June 23, 2020
I've been on such a great run of amazing reads - unfortunately, this book ended that run. It's not that it is an awful book, but it is touted as a psychological thriller, but it is NOT in any way a thriller - it is more of women's fiction/domestic drama. If I had known that going into it, I may have had different feelings about the book, but I kept waiting for things to happen that just didn't.

The book begins with Liz, a pediatrician, who is suddenly faced with an ethical and personally difficult decision when her good friend, Jess, comes into the emergency room with her 10 month old daughter, Betsey. Betsey has suffered a head trauma, yet Jess took over 6 hours to bring her to hospital and is vague about how the injury happened. Liz has no alternative but to report the injury, bringing social services and the police in to investigate. The investigation takes on a life of its own and secrets abound. I'm trying to come up with positives - it's an interesting insight into postpartum, but frankly, it's been done before and much better, in my opinion.

The book is told through the POV of both Liz and Jess, but it jumps around from the present, where there are different perspectives given from multiple secondary characters, to the past when the women met in a childbirth class, but then also way back to when Liz's childhood. I didn't enjoy Liz's chapters at all, and found her childhood "backstory" distracting and unnecessary [Slight spoiler alert: I felt like it was thrown in for the author to show, 'see, here is what a really bad mom looks like - Jess is fabulous compared to her']. I found both Liz and Jess to be a bit lean in regard to characterization - Jess is the seemingly perfect stay-at-home mom, Liz is the guilt-obsessed working mom, etc. There are also too many secondary characters who just cluttered the plot.

Almost from the beginning, the plot is obvious - there are so many clues along the way that you can't help but catch on. There is a twist near the end that I didn't totally see coming (but that being said, it was unpleasant and unbelievable, at best). The ending also just did not work for me - while I do enjoy a book that ties things up in the end, I do not like when a serious, life-altering plot suddenly flashes six months in the future and everything is now coming up roses. That is just not true to life.

The best thing I can say about Little Disasters is that it did present some thought-provoking insights into postpartum, but in the end, I couldn't get over the fact that the book just wasn't what I expected. I think I'm in the minority here, but for me, it was only a 3 star read.
Profile Image for Deanna .
647 reviews12.4k followers
April 28, 2021


My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

3.5 Stars

A gripping and thought-provoking read!

Liz is a pediatrician who is on call one evening when her friend, Jess brings her ten-month-old daughter, Betsey to the emergency room. Jess tells Liz that Betsey had fallen at home. She didn’t think it was serious but thought she should bring her in to be examined just in case.

After examining Betsey, Liz has some questions but Jess is being very vague with her answers. Liz has known Jess for some time. She is a fantastic mother of three who has also been a terrific friend to Liz. But now, Liz wonders if she ever really knew Jess at all.

Jess is shocked by what happens at the hospital. Things quickly go from bad to worse…

Who can be trusted?

Secrets, lies, and deception.

The majority of this story is told from Jess and Liz’s point of view. I read it quickly as I was anxious about how things were going to play out. It was gripping but some parts were uncomfortable to read. At times, I definitely had to suspend disbelief, but there were also parts that felt very real and honest.

I really thought I had things figured out but I did not see that ending coming!!

Overall, this was a well-written character-driven domestic suspense novel. It was an interesting story about motherhood and relationships that also deals with important issues like postpartum depression, anxiety, parenting, and more.

I look forward to reading more from Sarah Vaughan.


I'd like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,111 reviews1,975 followers
August 26, 2020
I was misled by all the claims that this is a mystery or a thriller. Okay so we do have to find out who dropped the baby and part of the book works around this, but a far greater part is spent on social issues surrounding post natal depression, relationships, and the need for more support for vulnerable new mothers. This is not a bad thing but it is not my thing and I was not the best audience for this book.

Nevertheless I can see it is a good book, well written and dealing with important social issues. I guessed early on who was the most likely culprit but then the author added a twist at the end. It was interesting to have an epilogue to inform readers of what happens in the future, but it did seem a little bit too saccharine after the main content of the book.

To anyone planning to read Little Disasters please do not be put off by my opinions! It is a good book - just not my cup of tea:)
Profile Image for Carolyn Walsh .
1,418 reviews531 followers
March 30, 2020
I wish to express my sincere thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the advanced copy of Little Disasters in return for an honest review.

The book was well written and the characters well developed. I regret to say that this book was just not for me through no fault of the author’s literary abilities. I mistakingly thought from its description it would be a medical mystery, but instead found a grim, gut-wrenching tale of family dysfunction, mainly emphasizing postpartum anxiety and depression. On a personal note, being childless, and at the time finding doctors and counsellors dismissive of my feelings, it was difficult for me to connect with the four mothers and they did not resonate with me. Individual characters were experiencing anxiety, holding feelings of inferiority and guilt, and keeping secrets.

I feel that the book will appeal to many readers and would raise interesting book club discussions. I will never look at postpartum depression and SIDS the same way again.

The focus is on a mother of three who takes her eleven-month-old girl to the hospital, concerned that she threw up. The attending female doctor is her good friend so another doctor takes charge. It is discovered the little girl has a fractured skull. The mother denies she knew about any injury, but admits that the girl fell while trying to pull herself up from a crawling position when her back was turned. She appears suspicious and evasive when questioned and says she was never aware of the injury from the fall six hours earlier. The baby girl is kept in hospital, begins having seizures, and put into an induced coma.

Child Welfare and the police question the mother. They are suspicious of the timeline, and the fact that the injury in no way coincides with the mother’s description of the fall. Her friends noticed changes in her personality around the time of her child’s birth. Her irrational behaviour leads her to snatch the sick child from the hospital room before stopped by security.

There is much suspicion and speculation regarding what really happened on the day the toddler was injured. I failed to anticipate the shocking reveal near the end of the story.
Profile Image for Katie B.
1,226 reviews2,932 followers
May 28, 2020
This is the second book I have read by this author and once again she has incorporated a tough subject into the story. It was an uncomfortable read but I say that as a positive thing. The way she handled the material made me appreciate this more as a straight fiction read rather than one in the mystery or thriller genre. For me it was a compelling story without the twists or turns.

Liz first met Jess years ago while they were both pregnant and attending birthing classes. Liz is a doctor at a hospital and one day Jess brings in her daughter. After the examination of the child, Liz has more questions than answers. And that's all you are getting from me as this is a story that you just have to let it unfold without knowing too much ahead of time. The story alternates between different characters, mostly Liz and Jess, and also goes back in time quite a bit so you get the full picture.

I'm not a parent but I challenge anyone to read this book without feeling some type of uneasiness regarding the storyline. There are just certain things that are hard to read about but it's also why it was easy to feel invested in the story. I had this need to find out what happened that led to the child being brought to the hospital.

The ending for me was the weak spot of the book. Up until that point it felt like fictional story with substance but then it veered into messy territory. A good word to describe it would be uninspiring. I was really impressed with the story up until that point. However, I might be completely in the minority with that opinion. Regardless, this is still a worthwhile read just based on well the author covered an important topic.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with an advance reader's copy in exchange for an honest review!




Profile Image for Patcee .
296 reviews108 followers
May 28, 2022
Pumped up ratings, honest reviews and cover testimonials led me to choose this novel. The thesis was good, focusing on the aftermath of when mother, Jess, presented her infant Betsey at Emergency with a suspicious fracture in the back of her skull. Author Vaughn is thorough and researched her topic very well, exploring hospital staff obligations, social services intervention, subsequent familial turmoil, reputation among peers, physical health and mental health. This book is a well-written genre bender, equally domestic tension and psychological suspense.

From the beginning, I was unsure just how many pages I would read about this compelling social issue presented in fiction form. I tend to be child-sensitive and the descriptions of poor Betsey’s crying and her condition were relentless.

The narrative through character interviews and dialogue is padded with anecdotes of the abnormal, abusive or questionable incidents seemingly occurring with this vulnerable child. There is a major conflict going down as friends of Jess realize it’s their duty to report some doubts to authorities.
I believe the interplay between the five birth mothers and families was perhaps over-emphasized in an attempt to emphasize close friendships, albeit in distressing circumstances.

It was easy to separate the story from takeaway thoughts worth remembering, such as the three main influences in the behaviour of the child’s mother: postnatal depression, maternal OCD, and the influence of a psychosis in child-raising.
The reader is also drawn into a sequence of thought-provoking, character-driven plot developments that focus judgmentally on parent-child relationships, spousal communication, sibling rivalry, kids’ competitiveness, guarding secrets, ethical challenges, and an unrequited love affair.

For me, the topic was addressed well but surrounded with excess. There were too many characters, five mothers, their spouses, their collective children, a mother, a brother, a supervising doctor, a few police investigators plus peripheral supporters. It contained about 100 pages of too much information. The paragraphs are a bit crowded. It still remains a very good read.

Ironically, new parents can pick up a lot of talking points from this book, but it’s not one that’s going to fall into their hands at a birth. Any time is a good time for this one.
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,051 reviews30k followers
August 20, 2020
Liz thinks she knows Jess all too well. They’ve been friends for years, and she can’t imagine anyone more patient and loving with her kids. In one split moment, everything Liz thinks is blown apart.

The pacing here is strong, and I read Little Disasters quickly. I have to say this story did a number on my heart because it’s so emotional. I love the twists, and my favorite aspect was the characterization. Overall, I think Little Disasters is an intriguing, character-driven mystery that’s also thought-provoking and timely.

(Instagram review)

I received a gifted copy. All opinions are my own.

Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader
Profile Image for Sharon.
946 reviews182 followers
August 5, 2020
Liz Trenchard works long and tiring hours as a pediatrician. When she is called into the ER to attend to a ten month old baby, Liz wasn’t expecting to discover her friend Jess waiting in the room with her daughter Betsey.

After examining Betsey, Liz is concerned that Betsey has suffered some sort of head trauma. Liz speaks with Jess about what happened, but what Jess is telling her is not adding up and Liz has no choice other than to contact family services.

Little Disasters is a fast paced, heart wrenching book that covers many topics such as parenting, friendship and postnatal depression. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone who is looking for their next read.
With thanks to the publishers for my ARC copy of this book to read and review.



Profile Image for Carolyn.
2,091 reviews588 followers
July 1, 2020
When pediatrician, Liz Trenchard is called into ER by a junior doctor she is surprised to see that the baby daughter of her friend Jess is the patient. Jess says the baby has been crying all night and then started vomiting but when Liz examines her she finds a head injury that Jess can't adequately explain. However, Liz knows that Jess, stay at home mother of three, is the perfect mother all other mothers are jealous of, so what happened for baby Betsey to have a head injury?

This tale of mothers and parenting will resonate with many mothers who have experienced the long and often lonely hours of dealing with an unsettled baby who won't stop crying and hardly sleeps. It's no wonder that some exhausted, sleep deprived mothers will suffer from postnatal depression and even anxiety about accidently harming their babies. In trying to work out what has happened to Betsey, Liz is also forced to look at her own relationship with her mother and events that happened in her childhood. Although not a thriller, this is an engaging character-driven mystery, delving into what happened to baby Betsey, the events that led up to it and the importance of society and friends in supporting new mothers and recognising when they need help.

With many thanks to Atria and Netgalley for a copy of the book to read
Profile Image for Erin.
2,815 reviews494 followers
July 25, 2020
Thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for an egalley in exchange for an honest review.

For Dr. Liz Trenchard, it's supposed to be a typical January night in the ER, but when her friend Jessica Curtis arrives with her youngest child, Betsey, Liz can immediately see that something is not right. Betsey has severe injuries that don't match up with Jess's narrative. Why won't Jess just tell Liz or anyone else at the hospital what happened? As the police and the social workers get involved, so do Jess and Liz's friends and the truth just might be a lot scarier than anyone imagined.

I have to hand it to Sarah Vaughan, I was so fixated on a certain vein of the storyline that I was thinking this was pretty much a 3 star. A classic domestic contemporary and it would all just boil down to a very simple reason. However, a reader should never underestimate the lengths that an author will go to keep you muttering " Oh my!" over and over again. Although both Liz and Jess share narrating power with the other characters thrown in from time to time, I must confess that Jess was by the far the most fascinating character. I felt a lot of empathy for and I really enjoyed the way Vaughan writes this stay at home mother character. This is the type of book that will certainly keep you up at night.


Goodreads review published 24/07/20
Expected Publication 18/08/20

Profile Image for Christina.
542 reviews186 followers
July 5, 2020
This is a sad and engrossing tale of motherhood.

First thing to know is that this is not really a mystery or a “domestic thriller” - I went in expecting that, and found more of a Big Little Lies type story of a group of friends with a focus on one particular family. If you are expecting a more traditional thriller just know that this is not that book.

Despite that, the book was engrossing. There is a mystery of sorts in the book - how did mother Jess’ child get seriously injured? Jess’ friend, a doctor, is the first to identify the injury and also one of the first to wonder if her friend was responsible for hurting her child. I found this story very involving and the sensitive subject matter was handled with frankness and honesty as well as not a little sadness.

I think it’s always useful to read a book that explores the darker sides of motherhood, and does not rest on so many of the stereotypes of “perfect mothers” common in women’s fiction.

As with many books that try to be thrillers or quasi-thrillers nowadays, I felt like this book had one twist too many. The original ending, before the unpredictable twist, was a good one and made for a consistent and highly readable story. The twist itself was somewhat out of left field, but managed to work anyway, even though I think I would have preferred the ending without it.

This is a really well-written piece of women’s fiction and I recommend it, even though it will break your heart a little.

Thanks to NetGalley, Simon and Schuster and Sarah Vaughn for the advance copy of this book, which was at times a tough read, but a good one.
Profile Image for Ceecee.
1,854 reviews1,367 followers
November 16, 2019
Sarah Vaughn has done it again! This is another book that is impossible to tear yourself away from. This is a very emotionally charged psychological drama that is beautifully written. The central premise being the difficulties of parenting especially the early months when your baby may not settle and nothing you do stops the crying or even worse, the screams. Liz is a paediatric doctor and is called to A and E when baby Betsey, daughter and third child of her friend Jess, is brought in with a suspicious head injury theta does match with her story. At the behest of her unpleasant boss Neil, the police and social services are called and what unfolds is movingly told from several points of view but principally Jess and Liz. The story goes backwards and forwards from the incident to their meeting at ante natal classes to the incident and beyond.

As you read you feel a range of emotions including sadness and empathy. Liz and Jess are united in that they both had very difficult childhoods but the incident with Betsey tests their friendship. It forces Liz in particular to focus on suppressed memories from her own childhood and on several terrible events and the difficult relationship with her mother. Liz is lucky that she has a rock in Nick, her steady and kind husband. The characters are well portrayed and most are likeable because like all of us they have frailties although Charlotte is not at all easy to like. She is sharp and cold and as the story progresses you realise there is good reason to distrust and dislike her. I especially like the portrayal of the children especially Jess and Ed’s boys. Jess’s mental breakdown is distressing and you feel her pain as she tries to wipe away her problems with antibacterial spray. Her husband Ed is good at earning the beans (and plenty beans) but is content to leave parenting to Jess with disastrous consequences. He does thankfully emerge a better person. I like the exploration of the dynamics of friendship and family as things shift and change and this is sharply observed. There is tension and emotion as the novel builds to a twisty and unexpected climax and thankfully there is reconciliation, forgiveness and professional help for Jess. The end is optimistic which I like.

Overall, a fantastic book that shines a spotlight on how hard and unrelenting parenting can be, that sometimes it is drudgery and very exhausting and at others, great joy. It captures the moments when even the best of parents can find themselves trapped in an endless cycle and it can be overwhelming without support. It’s an excellent psychological drama which I recommend.

With special thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for the ARC.
Profile Image for Erin Clemence.
1,004 reviews297 followers
July 10, 2020
Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review.

Expected publication date: August 18, 2020

Liz is a pediatrician and has spent the last few years working long hours in the ER, seeing horrible tragedies befall children and their families. Her friend, Jess, is a stay-at-home mom of three children, who, on the surface, seems to be a loving, caring mother. When Jess brings her infant daughter Betsey into the hospital one evening, Liz is astonished. Betsey has a skull fracture, and it is so violent it couldn’t possibly be caused by bumping her head on a table, like Jess claims. Due to Liz’s professional responsibility, soon the authorities are called in and Jess is kept away from her ailing daughter. Now, young Betsey keeps getting worse and Jess’ answers only lead to more questions. Jess is the perfect mother- is it possible she harmed her baby?

Sarah Vaughan’s “Little Disasters” is a horrifying tale of the struggles of motherhood, family secrets, and the stigma attached to mental illness. Hot on the trail of “Anatomy of a Scandal”, “Disasters” is one heck of a gripping thrill ride.

The story is told in alternating viewpoints; both Jess and Liz, varying across timelines, so that the suspense pulls you in, and brings you along from start to finish. We learn how Liz and Jess became friends, and how their relied on each other during tough times as parents, and this is juxtaposed with Liz having to report Jess to the authorities and the suspected abuse. Each chapter is clearly identified, so we knew who is speaking and when.

The novel is well-told, and the characters are likable and honest. Even Jess, who is suspected of abusing her daughter, still has her charming and endearing qualities. This novel is full of suspense, leading up to a surprising conclusion. Vaughan’s “Disasters” checks every box in the “familial suspense” genre.

Although a new author to me, I’m definitely going back to check out Vaughan’s other works, and am keeping an eye out for anything she releases in the future!
Profile Image for Julie (JuJu).
554 reviews185 followers
August 10, 2020
An honest, raw and tragic portrayal of motherhood and post-partum depression.

On the surface, Jess is one of those perfectly-organized mom's that can do it all....and make the rest of us feel inadequat. Her house is spotless, her children are always clean and fed. Her family life is structure...serving dinner on time to her working husband, who is seldom home to offer assistance.

But underneath, Jess is an overwhelmed and sleep-deprived mother, trying to do everything perfectly and hold it together. Bets is her 6-month old daughter who is more needy, or grizzly as she calls it, than her two older boys were.

This wasn't the thriller I expected, with an exciting plot to keep me engaged. Although realistic, well written and implemented, this book wasn't for me. I’m sure it's timing and my mindset at this time, and no fault of the author.

Thank you to NetGalley, Sarah Vaughan and Atria, for this free digital ARC in exchange for my honest opinion!

Another incredible group read with No Rules - Just Thrills!

My Rating: 3.5 ⭐️’s (rounding up)
Published: August 18th 2020 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Pages: 432
Recommend: Yes, if you're in the mood for an honest and tragic read.

@SVaughanAuthor @AtriaBooks @NetGalley
#NoRulesJustThrills #Realistic #PostPartumDepression
#LittleDisasters

After publication, my reviews can be found:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/profile/amz...
Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/takemeaway21
BN.com, BookBub

More on the author:

http://www.sarahvaughanauthor.com/
Profile Image for Theresa Alan.
Author 10 books979 followers
April 18, 2020
This is a book about the complexities of motherhood. Four women meet at a birthing class, so at least their firstborns are all about the same ages. There is Liz, a doctor, who’s slightly less successful because her superior doesn’t appreciate her taking maternity leave for two kiddoes. There is Jess, who seems to be the perfect stay-at-home mom with a wealthy husband. Mel has two kids and when the novel starts, her husband has just left her for a much younger assistant. And there is Charlotte, who is a successful lawyer.

Told primarily from the points of view of Liz and Jess, Liz is working at the hospital when Jess comes in with her third child, a baby girl. Jess’s story is a little muddled, and the problem with the baby could be indicative of child abuse. Liz doesn’t want to be part of the team that reports this to Britain’s equivalent of social services because she knows what a conscientious, if high-strung, mother Jess was with her older two children. But police do investigate possible child abuse.

Both Liz and Jess did not have easy childhoods. Because of celebrities telling their stories, we all know that even women who seem to have it all can suffer postpartum depression and can want to lose their mind when a baby is crying and crying, particularly when that mom also has two older sons, one of whom is not an easy child at all. Did Jess hurt her own baby?

That is the mystery. Some twists I liked, others I thought were a little less successful. The novel did a good job of looking at motherhood from various perspectives. Moms need support, from other women and, ideally, their husband, and not all women should become mothers. I liked this book, but I didn’t love it.

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book, which RELEASES AUGUST 18, 2020.
Profile Image for Gloria (Ms. G's Bookshelf).
541 reviews113 followers
April 11, 2020
Little Disasters is a thought provoking read into the dark side of motherhood

Here we have a group of mothers who bond at their local prenatal classes for their first-borns and become long time friends.

Old friendships are stretched to breaking point when one of the mothers, Liz a paediatrician doctor finds herself attending to one of her friends injured baby at the Hospital Accident and Emergency Department where she works and is given a story that just doesn’t add up. Suspicions arise and Liz is put into a difficult position.

This story has an air of mystery and is somewhat emotional as it deals with the stresses of motherhood, family, mental illness and trauma. It is well written and I enjoyed the characters and their friendships.

I found once the story got going it became gripping with some unexpected twists that left me thinking long afterwards.



I wish to thank Simon & Schuster for generously providing me with an advanced copy of the book in return for an honest review
Profile Image for Tooter.
391 reviews160 followers
April 30, 2020
3 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️
I loved Sarah Vaughan's first book, Anatomy of a Scandal. This book was good, but a little slow and tedious.
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 8 books305 followers
July 8, 2021
A twisty and wonderfully written medical drama involving two friends, one of whom is a pediatrician at an A&E (I think that’s right—UK emergency department), and the other, a mother of three whose baby has come into the A&E under highly suspicious circumstances. Liz doesn’t want to believe the worst about Jess. As we delve deeper into Jess’s world, also getting the perspective of her husband, Ed, the novel takes a look at how sometimes the early months of motherhood aren’t as joyous and easy as anticipated.

Please excuse typos/name misspellings. Entered on screen reader.
Profile Image for Mª Carmen.
539 reviews
October 1, 2022
3,5⭐

Una novela que versa sobre ese otro lado de la maternidad, el del agotamiento, los miedos, el peso de la responsabilidad y la sensación de soledad. También el de la depresión posparto e incluso, en casos extremos, el TOC maternal. No es un tema original y tampoco lo es el desarrollo del mismo.

Una niña de diez meses ingresa en el hospital con fractura de cráneo. La versión del accidente que cuenta su madre no concuerda con las heridas de su hija. A partir de aquí la trama está servida.

El libro se estructura en capítulos cortos, en distintos planos temporales, antes, durante y después del incidente, con algún salto a años anteriores a los hechos. El ritmo, en general lento, con partes que suscitan más interés y otras que se hacen pesadas y aportan poco. Los personajes correctos sin más.

La trama, al principio me pareció muy previsible. Se veía venir lo que había ocurrido y el porqué de la forma de actuar de la madre. Sin embargo, cuando llegué al final, comprendí que la autora me había llevado por los caminos marcados por ella, hasta un desenlace distinto del que esperaba.

Mención especial para el capítulo final que me ha gustado bastante.

¿Recomendable? No es un thriller trepidante ni lo mejor que se ha publicado este año, pero en general entretiene y se lee bien.
Profile Image for Mandy White (mandylovestoread).
1,931 reviews480 followers
April 19, 2020
Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan is an emotional and traumatic look at motherhood. It is not always the easiest story to read with some parts coming rather close to home. Once you pick it up you will want to keep reading so be warned. The author looks at mental health and anxiety in mothers from all angles and treats the subject respectfully. This book made me cry, imagining how these poor women were feeling and what they went through.

The women in this book have been friends since their first antenatal class with their first children. 10 years later and Jess has her third child Betsy who is 10 months old. One night she brings her into the emergency department where her friend Liz is a pediactric doctor. Betsy has been sick and is very unsettled. When Liz find some that the child has a head injury and Jess’ story doesn’t add up she’s has no choice but to report it to social services. What follows is a heart breaking story of what happened to poor Betsy and why. Lies are told and emotions are high.

Thanks to Simon and Schuster UK for my advanced copy of this book to read. All opinions are my own and are in no way biased
Profile Image for Dana.
650 reviews9 followers
August 22, 2020
Sometimes what you see on the outside isn't the true picture of what's happening on the inside ...

An extremely thought provoking and authentically raw look at motherhood. Well written, great character development and a plot that will have you feeling ALL the emotions.

Liz and Jess have been friends for years, and she thinks she knows her friend well but a trip to emergency after a blow to Jess's daughters head has Liz questioning if she really knows Jess at all.

Huge thank you to Simon and Schuster Canada/Atria for my review copy!





Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,619 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.