Thursday, February 4, 2021

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 and Book Beginnings


It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an eBook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.


Today I'm featuring a recent read, Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent.  The excerpts shared are from an eBook borrowed from the library.


Beginning: All three of the Drumm brothers were at the funeral, although one of us was in a coffin.


Page 56: It's just more PC bulls**t. I know women.


My thoughts: This is a devastating story about the effects of sibling rivalry, jealousy, and ongoing betrayals. The miserable circumstances that created the Drumm family of Dublin and pervades the lives of the three brothers from childhood through adulthood is astounding, and is fueled by the many cruelties they visit on each other beginning in their formative years.

Nugent has captured the appalling tragedy of family dysfunction in the pages of Little Cruelties. Her insight into the complexities that motivate the behavior of the characters and their interactions with each other is powerful and palpable. This is a story that lays bare the influence family members wield on each other for better or worse and the destructive consequences that ensue.

From GoodReads: This story begins with a funeral. One of three brothers is dead, mourned by his siblings. But which one? And how? And, most importantly: why?

William, Brian, and Luke are each born a year apart in a lower middle class Catholic family in 1960s Dublin. William, the eldest, rises to the top of the heap in the film industry as a successful movie producer. Luke, the baby of the family, surprises everyone by morphing into a worldwide pop star. Brian, the compliant middle son, is the eternal adult in the room: the helpful, steady one, the manager of finances and careers.

But none of them is actually quite what he seems. Wounded by childhood, they have betrayed one another in myriad ways, hiding behind little lies that have developed into full blown treachery. With an unnerving eye for the complexities of families, Nugent delves into the secret life of a deeply troubled household and provides stunning insights into the many forces that shape us from childhood.

Liz Nugent’s new work of fiction follows three working class Irish brothers, and delves into the many ways families can wreak emotional havoc across generations.


This Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog,  It cannot be republished without attribution.



  1. That first line is probably one of the most interesting ways I've seen a story start. It makes me want to know the context behind that statement. Enjoy your current read!

  2. That first line is really intriguing!

  3. Love the sound of this one! I've been eyeing it, and now it is going on my list. Here's mine: “THE SHADOW BOX”

  4. The first line really pulled me in. And the page 56 tidbit really made me curious about the relationship between the brothers. This is the type of book that I usually enjoy so I'll definitely have to add this one to my TBR.

  5. Clever opening line. Now we need to learn why the one brother died. My quotes this week

  6. Great opening!!
    My post is here

  7. The opening line particularly grabbed my attention, and then reading your thoughts, Catherine, I am even more interested. Sibling dynamics at play--the darkest version of them, at least. I will have to look for this one. I hope you have a great weekend!