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Casual Cruelties by Alison Irving

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

In "Casual Cruelties" it took a while for me to get into it, but the mundane activities of Laura's everyday life were unbearable. But the more I read, the more I realised the author introduced us to Laura's boring, everyday life. James, who is married to Laura, commands respect and holds considerable power in his professional life. Given their long-term relationship, Laura would find it challenging to assert herself against him - particularly due to his typical behavior and the newly emerging hormonal imbalance.

It may have been slow, but the read is incredibly tense and unsettling. The author has perfectly depicted the small yet destructive aspects of living with someone who shatters your confidence, yet feeling trapped in the relationship. I can really picture how scary that must be.


About the Author

I live in a village outside Belfast, Northern Ireland, with my husband, two children, and a spoilt cat called Hamish. I am a physiotherapist in a hospice in Belfast, and Casual Cruelties is my first novel. I wanted to write about middle-aged women who discover that menopause, while challenging, has some benefits.

As I wrote about Laura and her husband, James, the story became more about their deteriorating relationship. A few weeks after I signed the contract with Bloodhound Books, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, so writing has become a good distraction.

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