Coal Diggers is one of the most watched reality shows on TV. Five women in their twenties and early thirties show to the world how they succeed in their businesses. It’s on its fourth season and only three of the original cast are still in the show, Brett, Jen, and Stephanie. Lauren came in the second season, while Kelly, Brett’s sister, started on the fourth, to her sister’s disappointment. It’s on this fourth season that things go really wrong because, as we learn from the first page, Brett was murdered. But what happened? How did these five women get to this point? Jessica Knoll takes us back in time and shows us how allegiances switch, jealousies rise, lies are told, and secrets are hidden.
I loved this book. I didn’t like any of the characters, but I really loved and enjoyed the book and its twisty and juicy plot. The story is told from different points of views: Kelly, Brett, and Stephanie, but you can’t trust these characters. I liked that these characters are unreliable because you never know who is telling the truth and there are many unexpected moments and revelations that took me by surprise. Since the story is told from different points of views, I found myself siding with Brett and then, after reading Stephanie’s side of the story, siding with her, and then switching over and over again. As I said I didn’t really like any of these characters because I found them selfish and self-centered, but I liked that they were strong, determined and driven and I was entertained by their machinations and lies.
At the center of the novel are women competing with each other to make it out alive of that jungle that is the reality show. I was surprised, and sometimes shocked, at the lengths these women would go to win the reality show. Even Brett and Kelly, sisters, business partners, and really close (at least at the beginning) grow apart and keep secrets from each other after Kelly becomes one of the protagonists of the show.
Liane Moriarty (of whom I am a big fan) meets Real Housewives in this compelling and vibrant novel and I would like to thank Pan Macmillan for providing me with an early copy of the book.