Review of Little Black Lies by Sandra Block

Amazon/Barnes & Nobles/Kobo/Goodreads

Review Written By: Jessica C.

The nightmare is always the same. Bloodstains on my hands, red as finger paint.

So begin the nightmares that introduce the reader to Zoe Goldman. The story of Zoe Goldman is one of a heroine working in a psychiatric ward who deals with the problems of her patients as much as she deals with problems of her own. Zoe’s past has been one that constantly haunts her nights as she strives to recall her past. All Zoe can recall of tragic events that killed her birth mother is the blood on her hands, her beloved stuffed teddy bear Po Po, and a fire. Memories that Zoe had suppressed for so long have now returned to her dreams and eventually lead her on the quest to find out who her birth mother really was, and what happened to her.

As the plot develops and grows, the reader discovers that the past may not have been exactly as Zoe remembers it and that her adopted mother has been withholding the truth from her all this time. It leaves the reader engrossed as they follow along with Zoe’s story. Was there even a fire? Who is Zoe’s mother really? What secrets has her mother failed to tell her?

The story is a fast paced read with characters that are as multifaceted as a diamond and just a beautiful, even with their flaws. Block has a skill in developing character interactions and flaws that are appreciated. I especially enjoyed the fact that her heroine was a character as emotionally and mentally scarred as her patients.

While Little Black Lies has a peppering of love that fades and love that blooms, the platonic and familial relationships are what help seal and lace the story together. From Zoe’s mother that lives in a nursing home after being diagnosed with dementia to the enigmatic Sofia Vallano Little Black Lies provides the reader with a hodge podge collection of unique characters that are all dealing with their own levels of madness and mental illness.

With its dark twists and unexpected turns Little Black Lies was a book I was happy to review. The ending and revelations in the book at some times seemed too loosely presented, but otherwise the story is great. My only desire was that Block developed the ending a bit  more and expanded on the stories of the characters. Perhaps a what happened next is something which I quietly anticipate, or even a prequel told from another point of view. Once you read Little Black Lies maybe you’ll agree that while it is a wonderful story it leaves you wanting more.

Still… I cannot help but appreciate and silently applaud Dr. Sandra Block for giving the reader a small window to peek into the world of mental illness and for that, we thank you. That being said, I leave you with this thought so poignantly placed in Little Black Lies.

The truth is, we are all a little crazy.

Perhaps this is why Little Black Lies can resonate within the spirit and hearts of so many of us. The truth is that we all in our own way wave our own banner of madness. Just words for thought. Until next time!

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