When it comes to really great book recommendations, there’s no such thing as too many.
Whether you’re a one-book-a-week kind of reader or only find the time to pick one up when you’re on holiday, we’re all looking for the next page-turner to lose ourselves in.
Well, good news, because I found it.
It’s Just an Ordinary Family by award-winning Aussie author Fiona Lowe and I literally devoured it on a recent interstate trip.
Part-Liane Moriarty, part-Jodi Picoult, Just an Ordinary Family is a compelling drama about a seemingly ‘ordinary’ family that implodes after a domino effect of lies, betrayals, disappointments and regrets.
Oh, and it’s set to be the next Big Little Lies.
Set in the small Aussie vacation town of Kurnai Bay, Just an Ordinary Family tells the story of how a series of betrayals rips a tight-knit family apart.
And it starts with twin sisters Alice and Libby Hunter, who despite sharing DNA, couldn’t be further apart.
When we meet Alice, she’s far from where she thought she’d be as a 33-year-old woman. Instead of living in her beautiful Victorian-style Melbourne apartment with the love of her life Lawrence and working at Lawrence’s family’s high-end auction house, she’s back living with her parents in her childhood home,”abhorrently single” (in her words) and working four minimum wage jobs to stay afloat.
She’s also secretly harbouring a 20-year grudge against her older sister Libby, who has always been smarter, more successful and better liked than her. But Alice is used to it. She’s always played second fiddle to Libby. Even in the womb, Alice drew the short straw, coming into the world smaller and weaker, 20 minutes after her typical ‘first-born’, overachieving sister.
Most of us can also relate to having a ‘Libby’ in our lives, the one person who we love, but can’t help but begrudge because it feels like they’re simply better at everything than us. And Libby really is good at everything.
A prominent small-town doctor with a gorgeous husband Nick and two young daughters, Libby has all of life’s boxes ticked. She also has her best friend Jess Dekic, who’s been around the Hunter family for as long as she can remember.
The day Jess arrived at their small town school all those years ago, wearing foundation and eyeliner and a dress far too short, Libby was drawn to her ‘cool girl’ demeanour and unrivalled self-confidence. She knew that’s the kind of person she wanted to be around. To be best friends with. And so Alice went from being a twin to just a sister.