This is a book I knew very little about and bought it on a whim in Tesco, I am so glad I did! Within a few pages I knew this was something special…
The book is split into three parts, telling three different perspectives – the father’s, the mother’s and the daughter’s. Each part casts suspicion in different ways and makes you view the other characters in a completely different light. Edvardsson explores family dynamics in an extreme situation and masterfully draws out the complexities in each relationship.
I loved how each part felt like a refresh button in my head, all the feelings I had built up in the previous part had to be queried and re-evaluated, nothing was quite what it seemed.
The plot follows the shocking revelations of the daughter – Stella – being accused of murdering a 32 year old man. To the parents, this man is a stranger but the more you read on, the more secrets begin to unravel.
Did Stella do it?
That’s the question rolling around in your mind throughout and as soon as you think you have the answer, Edvardsson changes direction and has you questioning your thoughts.
I thought Part 1 was pacy, until I started Part 2 and realised we’d changed gear again… gripping doesn’t even begin to cover the cleverly increasing momentum throughout this book – the short chapters only amplified this and made even the “background build up” fly by.
Two thirds of the way through and I still hadn’t formulated a solid opinion in my head of if Stella had done it!!!
The careful and thorough way that Edvardsson probes through the characters’ feelings and dives into the past, really made me connect with the family; and with every chapter I finished, I felt I had a greater understanding of them all. Masterfully done.
This has been one of the easiest reviews I’ve written in a while, my enthusiasm for this book was instant and I’m SO HAPPY I grabbed it. It’s a cracking read throughout and has the most exceptional twist on the final page!
A Nearly Normal Family is out now in hardback and eBook versions from Macmillan – go get yourself a copy!
Until next time, Chloé x