Strange Sally Diamond

Gallery/Scout. Jul. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781501189715. $27.99. SUSPENSE
Nugent (Little Cruelties) weaves a master tale of depravity, trauma, and mental health. Sally Diamond’s father, Thomas, has often joked that when he dies, Sally should just put him in the rubbish bin. When Thomas does die, Sally follows his wishes: puts him in the trash incinerator and attempts to burn his body. The police and media attention around her actions upend Sally’s quiet solitary life. Subsequent letters Thomas left her to open after his death unveil a traumatic secret about Sally and her life before her parents adopted her at seven. This past trauma and Sally’s untreated PTSD explain a lot about her “social deficiencies”—how Thomas referred to Sally’s behavior—and why Sally, at 42, is so isolated. Angela, a friend of her adopted mother, helps Sally cope with all these changes and helps guide her to a path of healing, which Sally finds hard to stay on. Intercut with Sally’s story is that of Peter, a young boy living in unusual circumstances.
VERDICT How Peter and Sally interconnect is one of the disturbing twists in this deeply unsettling psychological novel. While it’s not a thriller, those who like thrillers and true-crime readers would enjoy this book.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing