Dirty Laundry by Disha Bose

Published: April 4, 2023

Ballantine Books

Genre: Domestic Thriller

Pages: 304

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Disha Bose received a master’s in creative writing at University College Dublin, where she was mentored by Booker Prize winner Anne Enright. She has been shortlisted for the DNA Short Story Prize, and her poetry and short stories have appeared in The Incubator Journal, The Galway Review, Cultured Vultures, and Headstuff. Her travel pieces have appeared in The Economic Times of India and Coldnoon. Bose was born and raised in India and now lives in Ireland with her husband and daughter.

She was the perfect wife, with the perfect life. You would kill to have it.

Ciara Dunphy has it all—a loving husband, well-behaved children, and a beautiful home. Her circle of friends in their small Irish village go to her for tips about mothering, style, and influencer success—a picture-perfect life is easy money on Instagram. But behind the filters, reality is less polished.

Enter Mishti Guha: Ciara’s best friend. Ciara welcomed Mishti into her inner circle for being . . . unlike the other mothers in the group. Discontent in a marriage arranged for her by her parents back in Calcutta, Mishti now raises her young daughter in a country that is too cold, among children who look nothing like her. She wants what Ciara has—the ease with which she moves through the world—and, in that sense, Mishti might be exactly like the other mothers.

And there’s earth mother Lauren Doyle: born, bred, and the butt of jokes in their village. With her disheveled partner and children who run naked in the yard, they’re mostly a happy lot, though ostracized for being the singular dysfunction in Ciara’s immaculate world. When Lauren finds an unlikely ally in Mishti, she decides that her days of ridicule are over.

Then Ciara is found murdered in her own pristine home, and the house of cards she’d worked so hard to build comes crumbling down. Everyone seems to have something to gain from Ciara’s death, so if they don’t want the blame, it may be the perfect time to air their enemies’ dirty laundry.

In this dazzling debut novel, Disha Bose revolutionizes age-old ideas of love and deceit. What ensues is the delicious unspooling of a group of women desperate to preserve themselves.

“Something did feel different.”

Ciara is considered a “super mom” and an Instagram influencer. She is the queen bee. Lauren is the mom on the outside, the pariah. Mishti is an arranged bride trying to find happiness far from home with a successful but distant husband.

Well, this was quite the ride. Thematically, this was an excellent book. The things that were explored were relevant and trendy. The Instagram vs. reality of it all was well represented.

This had some undertones of Murder on the Orient Express; the plots are vastly different, but if you read the book, you’ll get it, and the characters all had things that made them likable, unlikable, and all too human.

I enjoyed how this story was told, the way the perspective rotated, and how the timeline shifted around to fill out the gaps. The writing was strong, and nothing in this book was “too unrealistic.” Everything between these pages could happen in real life.

I think we all know Ciara, Lauren, and Mishti. I found the way the leading women were written realities, vulnerable and raw. Their internal struggles were often just as relevant to one another, though they would never admit that.

There was a heavy undertone of adult mean girls within this storyline and a hierarchy of mothers (and motherhood) that I think many mothers would say is accurate.

The twists in the novel were great, and when I felt like I had predicted the ending- one last twist left me speechless. This was an engaging read from page one.

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