TITLE: This Little Family
AUTHOR: Ines Bayard
PUBLISHER: Other Press
PUB. YEAR: 2020
Rating - 4.5/5
Did you ever read a book that gets darker and horrific with each new page yet, for some reason you just can't stop yourself from turning reading more? This is that kind of book.
The reader knows from that very first paragraph that this is not going to be a pleasant read:
Yet, what drives a woman to this level of despair that she felt she had no choice but to poison herself, her husband and her young son? Will any survive?"Little Thomas didn't have time to finish his stewed apple. His mother hadn't given him the slightest chance. The speed at which the poison circulated through his blood simply meant he didn't suffer when he died. Only Marie's body was still upright, securely wedged against the back of her chair, her head tipped back. She must have struggled to ensure this was noticed. Laurent had been served first. Few people stumbling across these three ashen bodies could have imagined the warm laughter filling the room just moments before the tragedy occurred."
As the story unfolds, you learn what has happened to Marie. I can't say much more without giving spoilers, but, Marie has suffered in silence pretending all was well until she just couldn't go on another day.
I read this book, fewer than 275 pages, in just one sitting, I couldn't look away. The translation from the French was excellent. The story drew me in and was such a compulsive read, however, it was so graphic that even someone like me who is not easily shocked found myself cringing at times. This is definitely not a book for everyone.
BEWARE: Dark, graphic, shocking and potential triggers for some readers.