Publish Date: 6/25/19
Author: M.T. Eddvardsson
A huge thank you to Celadon books for sending me a copy to read and review!
M.T. Edvardsson’s A Nearly Normal Family is a gripping legal thriller that forces the reader to consider: How far would you go to protect the ones you love? In this twisted narrative of love and murder, a horrific crime makes a seemingly normal family question everything they thought they knew about their life—and one another.
Eighteen-year-old Stella Sandell stands accused of the brutal murder of a man almost fifteen years her senior. She is an ordinary teenager from an upstanding local family. What reason could she have to know a shady businessman, let alone to kill him?
Stella’s father, a pastor, and mother, a criminal defense attorney, find their moral compasses tested as they defend their daughter, while struggling to understand why she is a suspect. Told in an unusual three-part structure, A Nearly Normal Familyasks the questions: How well do you know your own children? How far would you go to protect them?
Well, if you’ve been following ANY books lately, it is impossible for you to have not seen this one popping up everywhere. Everyone is loving it and it’s not hard to understand why! I really enjoyed it and loved that the book was told in three sections from Stella and a section for each of her parents. This is a pretty quick read and interesting but I had my own issues with it.
Morally, I did not quite understand the outcome and it’s acceptance from all parties involved. A good friend of mine and I both felt this why while discussing it. I felt like all of the characters were unlikable besides the father whereas my good fiend abhored the father as well (to each their own, right?). But the true reason why it did not get four stars for me is because the buildup was slow and I just felt a little underwhelmed after finishing it. I wanted more crazy and although it was indeed crazy, I was just wanting something bigger. I felt like I saw most of all of it coming and that’s a let down for me. This read as a drama in most places more than a courtroom thriller and that was my issue. I wanted more courtroom and murder suspense.
HOWEVER, so many people are loving it and I can see why! I would definitely recommend the book and may even like to reread it to catch things I did not catch on to before. I’d also like to reread it and be more open to reading it as a family drama than just a courtroom thriller that I wanted. I feel like the way you anticipate a book could seriously make or break a book and that happened to me here. I’m happy to have read it and will definitely recommend it in the future to friends! Just be weary that there are quite a few triggers such as sexual assault in this one.