What causes a woman to just murder her husband and kids? How could someone just snap like that? Pretty Ugly Lies is a psychological thriller that explores just this situation, but the twist is that it could be one of four different women. There are four women’s stories that weave together in this dark novel and it will leave you guessing, “Is she the one?!” at the end of each chapter. Pamela Crane brings new meaning to the genre of domestic noir.
This is a thought-provoking read that scares me more because of the reality of it being true. I have seen many of my friends display signs of marital and maternal unhappiness from time to time. And how they just feel trapped. But that’s all it is, right? Everyone succumbs to those pressures and picture-perfect expectations, don’t they? Surely THEY will never snap and murder their family… right? But that’s what gets me with this book. I would have never fully suspected anything to happen here that elevated more than the “woe is me” moments, tawdry affairs to numb the pain, writing dark and honest thoughts in a diary, etc.
Pamela Crane creates a “Desperate Housewives meets Kate Chopin’s The Awakening.” All the bourgie suburban fun of the hit TV show mixed with the pressures of motherhood and what a women should be and how she should act. It throws matrimony, motherhood, ambition, and disdain in a giant blender for the reader.
My main issue with the book was I thought there was a little too much whining and self-deprecation going on. These women and moms are all caught up in themselves and being some fake, better, cookie-cutter version of themselves or having affairs and they wonder why things come crashing down? Honesty, y’all! And if your kids are weighing you down, there’s certainly no reason to have 4+ of them! We all know how these things happen… lock it up!
In the end I will give this a 3.5 out of 5 star rating. I thought the book was fast-paced enough and kept me wondering what was going to happen. I got a little lost at times with all the names that seemed to start with ‘J’ but that could just be on me (woopsy!) Thank you to NetGalley and Bloodhound Books for this free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!