Publication Date: 7th March from Grove (US) and Transworld (UK)
Source: Netgalley (Grove)
A doting mother or a pushy parent?
Karen Bloom expects perfection. Her son, Ewan, has been something of a disappointment and she won’t be making the same mistake again with her beloved, talented child, Bronte.
Bronte’s every waking hour will be spent at music lessons and dance classes, doing extra schoolwork and whatever it takes to excel.
But as Karen pushes Bronte to the brink, the rest of the family crumbles. Karen’s husband, Noel, is losing himself in work, and his teenage daughter from his first marriage, Verity, is becoming ever more volatile. The family is dangerously near breaking point.
Karen would know when to stop . . . wouldn’t she?
Another brilliantly insightful psychological thriller here from Paula Daly – a one sitting read for me, with more of her trademark divisive characters and a genuinely enjoyable and thought provoking storyline.
Karen is a tiger mother – her daughter Bronte is dragged around from one activity to another, pushed to her limits and despite many people trying to tone down Karen’s incredibly forceful nature things are reaching breaking point as the rest of the family crumbles…
Of course things could not keep up that level without something giving and that is what the author explores here, this is utterly character driven and yes we have a murder and a mystery but also a sharp and intelligent look at family dynamics and loyalties. Many layers are at play here and it all makes for terribly addictive reading.
I couldn’t feel even vaguely sorry for Karen, she was just horrible, but I loved that her nature was fully explored, through meeting her parents and seeing how she treats the rest of her family, you just wanted to yell FOR GODS SAKE STOP WOMAN at her for the most part, as a reader I was totally engaged with this first page to last.
Also I want to move to the Lake District now which happens every time I read a Paula Daly novel – as yet I have not but maybe in the future. The sense of place she brings to the setting is gorgeous and despite horrible things happening to people in her tales of ordinary people caught up in ordinary lives that shatter, you still see the beauty of it.
Overall fantastic yet again. Brilliantly written with a cutting edge and a dark heart.
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