Book Notes: Laura Lippmann’s Hush Hush

I’ve been reading this book at the same time as Sophie Hannah’s recent novel (because I have to grab whatever lies closest to me whenever I have a spare 10 minutes). The books belong to the same genre, the plots have clear similarities, yet it’s beyond clear that while Hannah is a profound, thinking individual and a great reader, Lippmann is so superficial that I feel vicarious shame for her. 

Compared to Lippmann’s two previous novels, Hush Hush is actually pretty great. But the plot fails, as always with this writer, because her insight into human psychology is at the level of a 9-year-old Snapchatter. 


A woman killed her daughter and her husband and tried to frame another daughter for her dad’s death. But she clearly loves her kids, concludes the protagonist who shares much of her life story with the author. Because moms always do. And anyway, it’s not ok to judge. Anybody can make mistakes.

And it’s all like this. There are also scenes of parenting by supposedly normal (i.e. non-murderous parents) that left me very baffled. I’ll keep reading this author because she writes about Baltimore, and I love Baltimore. But I keep hoping she reads a book or something, just to mix things up and gain a sliver of insight into something.


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