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  • Mandy McHugh

The Perfect Family, Robyn Harding: A Review

I've read a few other titles by Robyn Harding and enjoy the writing very much, so I was thrilled to see a new release with this amazing cover available for request. I quickly dove in. From all outward appearances, Viv and Thomas have a wonderful life: beautiful home, two beautiful children, successful careers, and a happy marriage. But when they wake up one morning to find their house has been egged, the facade begins to crack. Each person in the family holds a secret, and as the attacks become increasingly more severe, the question of who is to blame inevitably arises. Who is tormenting the Adlers? Why? I really enjoyed this book. First, Harding's writing is taut and effortless. Even though there are four separate voices dictating the chapters, you can dive into them without confusion. They are distinct and engrossing in their secrets, and I thoroughly enjoyed the character development. I also loved the conflict, the subtle escalation and the growing tension. Some storylines I found a little more endearing than others. I was particularly drawn in by Tarryn's arc, and I wanted to see more from her as the story progressed. Thomas and Viv's world felt, at times, chaotic and unbalanced, but the overall strength of their relationship was a nice focal point. While there is a lot going on here, it never felt overwhelming. In fact, I'd go so far as to say the conflict mainly happens off screen. We don't see the "pranks" unfolding; we get the fallout. Because of this, the action felt passive, told in flashback or dialogue, and I think this will hit the mark for many readers who aren't as keen on violence or direct confrontation. Harding also highlights several key themes that harbor important discussions: illicit drug use, sexuality, consent, among them, and I could see this finding a nice home in several book clubs. Overall, The Perfect Family is a fast-paced, suspenseful read you won't want to put down. Out in August, add this to your TBR now. Thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.


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