When ‘Sweet Little Lies’ dropped through my door from our friendly neighbourhood postman I immediately wanted to do some research; having not read Alison Bond’s first novel I was excited by the opportunity to discover a new writer with a new writing style. Repeating the phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover” over and over in my head due to the slightly dodgy looking artwork, I settled down to read.
‘Sweet Little Lies’ is essentially a story of friendship. We all have them and at some point we’ve all had them go wrong and as a reader I was intrigued by Chrissie and Anna’s friendship - they are polar opposites. At the beginning of the book the girls are at school, Chrissie is the spoilt one and Anna has always worked hard and has never had anything handed to her on a plate. An interesting, if a little recycled, way to introduce some drama to our two main characters stories. Throw in the fact that Chrissie is desperate for attention from her money obsessed father and the fact that Anna is much loved by and close to her parents and you’ve got all of the ingredients for envy and commotion…now we’re talking!
Chrissie ends up ruining the friendship by doing something unthinkable and the two friends go their separate ways. Years later they drift back into each other’s lives but the friends aren’t being entirely honest with each other and what exactly was it that Chrissie did that was so awful…?
Alison Bond has a wonderful way of writing friendships and relationships. Chrissie made me furious, but I also felt huge sympathy for her. It takes a talented writer to make you both love and loath a character all at once. The descriptions in the book, especially of Japan where Chrissie’s father is based during some of the book, are excellent, and although Japan isn’t a country I’ve ever considered visiting it was clear a lot of research had gone into writing about it. Having two such contrasting characters made for a great, fast paced read and I was excited by how the differences in their personalities lead them to react to situations in particular ways
The wonderful thing about ‘Sweet Little Lie’s was the way it made me think about my own friendships. I think it will reach other readers on this level too; even if we have friends that we shouldn’t, in theory, get along with, sometimes we are drawn towards one another for reasons we cannot fathom.
If I had one criticism it was that I felt like I had read the story before, but overall I found the book well written, intriguing and wonderful at detailing a friendship that has faced its fair share of troubles. With a satisfied smile at the end, Sweet Little Lies made me realise how great my own friends are.