By Shalini Boland
The title reminds me so much of the famous ABBA song ‘One of us.’
ABBA were such a great band, you could spot an ABBA tune on the radio, even if you’ve never heard it before, melodramatic, haunting harmonies, the clear nigh on innocent voices of the two female vocalists, angelic incantations that almost always made it into the top ten. You could associate so much with what the lyrics were about, on a sad day you’d be crying away joining in with ‘Fernando’, or joyfully tapping the steering wheel of your Volvo to ‘Take a chance on me.’
Even though it was the same but different every time, it never got boring, even after forty years they still sound great, even though all their songs can sound rather the same, just a different backstory in the lyrics.
Well, you know what I am going to say next? Yes, just like the last two Shalini Boland novels I read. They were very similar in structure, each chapter has a narration from a number of different female characters (in the two I have read anyway) in an onion type of fashion, it is rather bold and provocative in what it is saying, but gradually peeling away bit by bit, until you reach the core, you can kind of get a gist of what it’s going to end up like, but then it’s probably a number of possible endings while you’re reading through the book. coming to a dramatic climax, where you are happy you read it.
The story itself follows the misfortunes of three middle-class ladies who went to school together somewhere in England and the misfortunes that seem to be happening to the three of them. The people around them, their struggles, their children. It is quickly realised that it is all a growing storm which will end in a crescendo that brings them together.
Shalini has a great quality of keeping the reader interested in what’s on the page, she spoke to me anyway. My partner also read the other book that I read; ‘Perfect Family.’ and was suitably impressed too.
I did feel as I read into ‘One of us is lying.’ That I would get bored very quickly when I realised that it was using the same formulaic structure as ‘Perfect family.’ But no, I was kept right there, riveted to my Kindle, which just shows what a great writer Shalini is. Highly recommended, I’m definitely going to delve into a few more volumes for my holidays, hopefully somewhere warm, but with this virus in the news lately, it looks rather doubtful, so rainy beach in Ireland maybe? Doesn’t matter, Shalini will be telling me a story, so it doesn’t really matter, does it? Nothing like a good book etc!
Well done Shalini, * from Dublin, and just like ABBA on that fateful Eurovision night, Shalini you get an ‘Irlande douze points!’
Thanks to Netgalley and Bookoutre for letting take a sneak peek for an honest review.