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Release date: June 19, 2018
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
PNombre de pages: 341
Doting wife, devoted husband, cherished child. Merry, Sam, and Conor are the perfect family in the perfect place. Merry adores the domestic life: baking, gardening, caring for her infant son. Sam, formerly an academic, is pursuing a new career as a filmmaker. Sometimes they can hardly believe how lucky they are. What perfect new lives they’ve built.
When Merry’s childhood friend Frank visits their Swedish paradise, she immediately becomes part of the family. She bonds with Conor. And with Sam. She befriends the neighbors, and even finds herself embracing the domesticity she’s always seemed to scorn.
All their lives, Frank and Merry have been more like sisters than best friends. And that’s why Frank soon sees the things others might miss. Treacherous things, which are almost impossible to believe when looking at this perfect family. But Frank, of all people, knows that the truth is rarely what you want the world to see.
I received this copy in exchange for an honest review.
I wanted to read this book for a while. First, the cover is particularly gorgeous and fits the story perfectly. Then, of course, the description is really intriguing and makes you want to know more.
I want to thank the publisher for sending me the final copy of the book because I’m not going to make you wait any longer: I loved it!
The writer’s style is special, I have seen a lot of negative comments on this particular aspect, but I personally liked it a lot.
The story is told according to three points of view: Merry (mother of Conor and housewife), Sam (the husband and father of Conor) and Franck (the best friend of Merry). They are all three hateful persons, it is impossible to like any of them I assure you.
We first meet Merry, who initially describes an idyllic life, a perfect marriage, a perfect family, a perfect life, … No one is fooled, perfection does not exist and often hides things that are a little darker. This is the case in this book. Merry is a stay-at-home mom so she is just taking care of the house and her baby since her delivery and moving to Sweden from the USA. We discover a cold character, hard to define, focusing on the appearance and hiding really dark things. (If you are currently expecting a baby or are a young mother a little sensitive, I do not advise this novel). His relationship with his son Conor seems different from what a mom/baby relationship is supposed to be. Too cold, inexistent.
Sam, Merry’s husband and Conor’s dad, is also a terrible character. He considers that the woman has to take care of the domestic tasks and the children. The husband is too busy working, he has other things to do of course (and yes, this kind of old-school relationship still exists, even in 2018…). Sam also hides some things that I let you discover.
Then we’ll meet Franck, Merry’s best friend since their tenderest childhoods. A special friendship that is only about competition, rivalry, jealousy, in short, a very unhealthy friendship.
The story is particularly sordid, the atmosphere is heavy, we know that something horrible will happen, we just don’t know when and what?!
I enjoyed reading this book, even if some scenes are difficult, they are sometimes real in some families… This novel addresses a subject that I am not used to read, and I must admit that I love this atmosphere in a novel. I like stories that make you react, disturb you, that make you think, and with this book I was pleased.
I can only recommend this novel, which is one of my favorite of 2018 so far! The only reason for my rating of 4/5: the end! It did not satisfy me… and this last sentence…
My rating /5 :