I loved Grace After Henry, Eithne Shortall’s last book. I think Three Little Truths feels quite different in style. It’s described as Maeve Binchy meets Liane Moriarty which is fairly accurate, although I’d probably compare with Emma Hannigan for a more contemporary feel.

Anyway, three women are at the heart of the story. We have Martha, Edie and Robin. Martha has just moved from Limerick to Pine Road, Dublin. She’s the focus of all the residents of Pine Road as they vie for the first chance to catch sight of her. But there’s a very unfortunate reason why Martha and her family have moved house.

Edie is full of life, a bit hyper actually, and very eager to please. She’s desperate for a baby but why is her husband, Daniel, suddenly not so sure?

And then there’s Robin, back living with her parents for the first time in years. She’s trying to escape her dodgy ex and might just have met somebody who makes her heart sing again.

I really liked all three women, and their stories make for quite a complex web, especially as the story progresses. I think Robin was my particular favourite though, with her prickly nature and her underlying vulnerability. I have to be honest and say I was highly irritated by the other women on the road and their WhatsApp group all about their petty little concerns, but I’m pretty sure that was the author’s intention.

The friendships are lovely when they work and I enjoyed the dynamics between the various women, particularly the three main characters. There were some unexpected developments that I didn’t see coming as the end approached and I thought the author did a great job with the plotting, especially when bringing it all to a satisfying conclusion.

I didn’t love this book quite as much as I loved Grace After Henry but I did think it was a great read. It has a easy to read style to it and will appeal to readers who enjoy an engaging story of family and friendship.

Nicola Smith, Short Book and Scribes, 4/4

Three Little Truths by Eithne Shortall
Corvus 9781786496195 pbk Oct 2019