ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – Who We Were by B.M. Carroll

Today I’m sharing my review for what turned out to be a completely brilliant and addictive read. My thanks to Viper Books for sending a proof copy of the book for review purposes. You can get your very own copy in paperback and ebook when it’s published on Thursday.


Twenty years after they went their separate ways, friends and enemies are coming together for their school reunion. Katy, who is desperate to show that she’s no longer the shy wallflower. Annabel, who ruled the school until a spectacular fall from grace. Zach, popular and cruel, but who says he’s a changed man. And Robbie, always the victim, who never stood a chance.

As the reunion nears, a terrible event that binds the group together will resurface. Because someone is still holding a grudge, and will stop at nothing to reveal their darkest secrets…

Wow, this is exactly my kind of read. What I thought might be a thriller is actually far more of a domestic noir. It’s billed as being similar to Liane Moriarty’s books, amongst others, and I think that’s really accurate.

It’s set in Australia but the setting is not the focus and at times I had to think about whether it was Australia or not. This is very much a character driven story. The class of 2000 are gearing up for a reunion, 20 years after they left school. Generally these things probably appeal most to the very popular members of the year, rather than those who were bullied, ridiculed or just didn’t fit in. Annabel, Grace, Jarrod and Zach were the popular gang, Katy and Robbie the ones made fun of. Yet Katy is the one driving the reunion.

Things start to take a rather sinister turn and it’s clear someone is out for revenge for what happened all those years ago. I really liked the fact that the author didn’t feel the need to show the past in annoying flashbacks, detracting from the main story. She displayed, with real skill, how people behaved back then and the consequences of their actions through the years, concentrating completely on present day events.

Several times, when it came time to put the book down for a while, I thought to myself how much I was loving it. I couldn’t wait to get back to it and raced through what is a fairly large book. I think what I loved most about it was the human element, the everyday lives that were being played out before my eyes, and the highs and lows they experienced.

Who We Were is a deliciously addictive read. It’s a fabulous idea for a book with more than one twisty surprise. It has it all going on: shocks, family dramas, love difficulties, and I might have found my eyes welling up with tears too. Absolutely brilliant!

B.M. Carroll was born in Ireland, and spent her early career working in finance. She is the author of eight novels, her most recent being The Missing Pieces of Sophie McCarthy. She lives in Sydney.


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