Tag Archives: Fave Reads

Review: The Perfect Family

The Perfect Family

The Perfect Family
By Robyn Harding
Gallery Books, 9781982169398, August 10, 2021, 352pp.

The Short of It:

An addictive read that you will read straight through.

The Rest of It:

Thomas and Viv Adler have a beautiful home. Manicured lawns and beautiful interiors. On the whole, a perfect family. It’s a comfortable way to live with their two nearly adult children, but then one morning they wake to their house being egged by pranksters.

But what starts off a juvenile prank quickly becomes something else. Tires are slashed and their home is set on fire. Security cameras show dark figures in hoodies. Why would someone target them? Why won’t it stop?

As Thomas and Viv begin to evaluate recent events of their own, ones which might cause someone to act out, they each keep their thoughts to themselves while turning to their son and daughter for answers. Could something have happened at school? Could they have enemies of their own? Their son returned from college, adamant that he is not going back. Could that have something to do with it?

I don’t know if there is an actual term for this type of fiction but I call it Domestic Suspense. I am obsessed with suburbia anything. I live in a suburb that is literally referred to as Awesometown and when the cracks appear in the facades we so carefully put up around us, things get real, fast. That is how this story is. This family is far from perfect. Everyone has a secret and as things escalate, I found myself returning to my Kindle over and over again to find out what happens next.

Each  member of this family has a story to tell and it all comes together in a very satisfying way. This is THE perfect summer book. Toss it in your beach bag, be done with it by the afternoon. It will have you flipping through the pages and ignoring everything around you. Plus, as a suburban mom, I get nervous regularly about things going on in the neighborhood and Harding really zeros in on that subtle paranoia that surfaces when things at home are a little off. Ask me about the lady who keeps letting her pup use my lawn as her toilet.

I am a Harding fan. I find that she really nails the family dynamic, especially when it comes to teens or young adults. The Perfect Family will be on my fave list for the year.

The Perfect Family comes out tomorrow, August 10, 2021. Order yourself a copy.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Count The Ways

Count The Ways

Count The Ways
By Joyce Maynard
William Morrow, 9780062398277, July 13, 2021, 464pp.

The Short of It:

An amazingly heartfelt story about a family.

The Rest of It:

The easiest way to describe Maynard’s newest story is to say that it’s a story about life. The life that you and I know,  have lived or are currently living. As I was reading it, I could relate to different parts of the story as well as different characters as they were walking through it.

At a young age, Eleanor scrimped and saved to buy a farm and the small but lovely house that came along with it. Having some success writing children’s books, she built a small, humble home for herself and when she falls in love with Cam, he immediately becomes her future. The talk of kids and family and raising them on the farm is all that matters to them and so they waste no time. Three children later, Eleanor’s writing career is somewhat on pause due to raising her young children, Eleanor and Cam struggle to make ends meet. Cam? Not concerned. He has what he wants. He’s creating his burl bowls in his workshop and he’s surrounded by his family.

Although the bowls he creates are beautiful, they don’t sell and with Eleanor’s writing career on hold, she slowly begins to resent Cam’s easy going attitude about making, or not making a living. He is the fun parent. Always stepping in to whisk the kids away to the waterfall, or play with them all day long while Eleanor sits in the house trying to come up with new story ideas. During these times, the cracks begin to show. The cracks in their marriage. All is not gold. Is it ever?

This is such a reflective type of read. Eleanor feels every bit of her age as her children grow. The hours spent feeding them, changing their diapers, tending to their every need. It all leaves a mark. At the same time though, it’s exactly what she wanted from life. A home. A family. A loving man to call her husband. As the home life she creates begins to unravel around her, she wonders why she never wanted more for herself.

I loved this story. There is so much to ponder. Especially for me, as my own kids leave this nest we’ve created. I’d turn a page and read something that I’d have to sit with for a little while before moving forward. I’d go to bed thinking about this family, about missed opportunities and about friends and the idea of home and what it means to each of us. This family will stay with  me for a very long time.

Simply put, get yourself a copy. It doesn’t matter if you are married, single, have had kids or not. There is something here for everyone. Highly recommend.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.