A Nearly Normal Family

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

This book does not end with its last page... this story stays with you. It goes on under your eyelids even when you put it down. Excellently created characters and the entire psychological layer of the family and human nature. I highly recommend it!
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One word to describe this novel: fascinating. I'm a big true crime nerd so I was immediately interested to read a story from the perspective of the accused. It's natural for crime stories to follow the victim or their family so the idea of seeing it from the side of the accused's family was something new. And it didn't disappoint! The reader encounters the same narrative from three viewpoints: the father (a well-respect pastor), the mother (an ambitious lawyer), and their rebellious teenager daughter. 

The story builds in such an interesting way from these three perspectives as each one gets us closer to the infamous, long-sought truth of what actually happened that life changing night. Each character is incredibly human, flawed and full of mistakes, but that really resonates with a story that asks the question of how well do you know the people around you and how far would you go to protect them. This story builds slower than the typical blockbuster thriller but I think that really suited the thought-provoking tone and narrative of it. There's a lot of layers to the story so I think the pacing was perfect for that. 

But, it still was so hard to put down! As you get closer to the honesty of each character, their thought patterns are intoxicating and the reader feels compelled to find out how the character took that specific mental leap to end them up where they are in the present day. And the ending! I really thought the ending was perfectly suited for not just the narrative but how the story was told throughout. Shadows obscure but if the reader is honest with themselves, the true murderer can't be denied. Most times I hate obscure endings but this one was just too perfect for such a novel. I really enjoyed it and will definitely be recommending it to fellow thriller fans. 


Note: I received a free Kindle edition of this book via NetGalley in exchange for the honest review above. I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher Celadon Books, and the author M.T. Edvardsson for the opportunity to do so.
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I read this one in less than 24 hours. Such a great courtroom drama plus a backstory told from three perspectives. Loved loved loved.
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I love Nordic Noir and this book did not disappoint me. The viewpoints told from the Father, Mother and Daughter’s perspective of this legal drama added incredible depth to the story.
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Thank you so much for this ARC!

I am a huge Scandinavian thriller fan so getting this book was so exciting. Fabulous plot with very intense characters. Really enjoyed reading the three point of views. This book did feel incredibly long, slow burning but great!
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When the teenage daughter of a seemingly normal family is arrested for murder, who do you believe? Stella is the only child of a father who is a pastor and mother who is a lawyer. Their world is turned upside down as they try to make sense of how their daughter could be accused of such a horrific crime. 

Told through each family member's perspective, A Nearly Normal Family takes you on a twisty ride. Secrets are uncovered and things are not always what they seem. This book is hard to put down once you get started. It's one of the best I've read this year.
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A Nearly Normal Family was fast-paced and enjoyable. I did really struggle with the first section and I was happy when the narrator switched from Pastor Adam in the beginning to the teenage voice of Stella. I became increasingly annoyed by Adam’s perspective and rationalization of his actions. Stella’s narration was probably my favorite and held the most tension and suspense for me.By the time we started to hear from her mother, Ulrika, towards the end of the book, I had already guessed the ending. Even so, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it if you like a good legal thriller or family drama. You may like this one if you enjoyed House on Fire.
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A Nearly Normal Family is a legal thriller that makes you ask how well do you know your family? And what would you do to protect them? 18-year-old Stella is accused of murdering an older businessman. Why would she know him? Would she kill him? How far will her parents go to protect her? This is a page turner for sure. It has short chapters which for whatever reason keeps me reading. Just a few more pages. Just a few more. I really enjoyed it!
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An extremely engaging family drama about the Sandell family and their eighteen year old daughter who stands accused of murder. This story is told in three parts, one part for each membernof the Sandell family. Definitely worth the read.
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Wow!!  What a book!!  I enjoyed every minute of my reading journey with this slow-burning legal thriller.  Swedish author, M. T. Edvardsson, makes his debut in the United States with “A Nearly Normal Family”, and he does not disappoint!!  As it unfolds, The story reveals that this could happen to you too.

This book is the story of a traditional family that asks the reader, “What lengths would you go to protect the one you love?”  Moreover, how much do particular circumstances affect one’s moral compass:  Does that moral compass abandon the hard, fast rules of right and wrong in order to welcome a more clouded definition?  

Eighteen year old Stella Sandell is accused of the murder of a former lover.  She is a typical teenager raised in a stereotypical nuclear family.  Her father, Adam, is a pastor of the Church of Sweden, and her mother, Ulrika, is a defense attorney.  She could be your own daughter or that of any neighbor, yet she is fighting for her life and her future because of the choices she has made.  

Told in a three-part, first-person narrative that alternates between flashbacks and present day thoughts, feelings and fears, the reader discovers how this trial will affect and is affecting Adam, Ulrika, and Stella alike, and a mind-blowing ending that will stay with the reader long after the final page is turned.  Wish I could say more about it, but I do not want to spoil your journey.

I loved the way this story was written.  Not only was it super fast-paced, but it was intriguing to step inside the minds of the three main characters, as I witnessed the story unfold.  I had a hard time putting it down because I needed to learn how the series of events transpired.  Excellent Character development.  I found myself alternating among a myriad of emotions as I loved these characters, was greatly disappointed in them, and felt sorrow for the circumstances they were in.  

Thank you to Netgalley, M.T. Edvardsson, and Celadon Books for providing me a copy of this ARC in exchange for honest review.  Published/Released on June 25, 2019
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A Nearly Normal Family is an intense murder mystery. Stella is arrested so she must be guilty. But is she?  This story had me convinced that it could have been so many other people- her dad, her mom, the ex girlfriend, her best friend. My heart would be racing, convinced the truth was coming out and then the story would bend and go in another direction.  Great writing style.  I loved all of the characters, even the person who really was guilty. A great read!
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A Nearly Normal Family is a well-written, character-driven legal thriller set in Sweden. Uniquely told from the POV’s of each member of the Sandell family as the eighteen-year-old daughter awaits trial for murder, the reader is privy to all the flaws, secrets and strengths of the individual family members, their relationships with each other, and of the family unit as a whole. Stella’s best friend Amina also plays a key role in the story.

Things are never as they seem from the outside looking in, and in this case, they are not what they seem from within as well. Edvardsson does a fine job of making all three members of this seemingly perfect yet very troubled family relatable. Through the course of the book, each family member must decide how far they are willing to go to protect one another, which moral and ethical values they will hold true to, and which they are willing to forego. 

Stella is accused of murdering a man fifteen years older than she. Always headstrong and unable to control her temper, it appears she has gotten herself into a situation that cannot be brushed aside. 

Adam, a well-respected pastor, finds himself at a loss with regards to Stella, the daughter he has always been close to, but who now seemingly prefers to hold him at a distance. He will learn anguishing facts about his daughter, his wife and himself throughout the book.

Ulrika, a lawyer, has never been a very present mother; she just never felt that immediate maternal bond other women seem to come by naturally. While she envies the bond that Adam and Stella share, she is seemingly unable to bridge the gap that her choice of career over motherhood has created. This unexpected situation will test her in ways she never imagined.

A Nearly Normal family is a very intriguing read. I love that the reader gets to see three entirely different takes on the family and the events leading up to and surrounding Stella being held for murder. I highly recommend this book and hope you put it on your TBR list. It’s one of this summer’s not-to-be-missed!!

Many thanks to NetGalley and Celadon Books for allowing me to read an ARC of this novel in exchange for an unbiased review. All opinions expressed here are my own.
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An absolutely great Scandinavian thriller about rape/murder and how much you will do for your children. 
     The family is an almost normal family in southern Sweden consisting of a father who is a pastor in the Church of Sweden, his defense lawyer wife and their daughter Stella who has just turned 18 and has been a handful of a child so far. 
     Stella is accused of the murder of a boyfriend who is 32 years old and she is then kept in jail under severe restrictions with no contact with anyone but her lawyer. 
     The book is written through 3 points of view:  first from the father, then Stella and finally her mother.   It is very well written and is one of those books that you don’t want to finish but to keep it going.  
     This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time and I highly recommend it.  Thanks to NetGalley for letting me read this advance copy in exchange for my unbiased review.
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I enjoyed this legal thriller that explores family dynamics of truth, secrets, and how a parent responds when their only child is accused of murder.  As the truth starts to emerge, you question who knows what, and whether justice will prevail. Definitely keeps you guessing-I was sure I knew by 2/3 through the story, but wasn’t right!  Thanks NetGalley & Celadon Books for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I expected a thriller, when it was really more family drama. I kept waiting for a twist, for some secret to be revealed, but instead it was all as anticipated. Interesting read, but not my cup of tea. 
Thanks to Netgalley for the pre release ebook.
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How far would you go to protect your child? That's the question that is central to this amazing book. 

Set in Sweden, the book revolves around an 18-year-old girl accused of murder of an older businessman. The story is told from the perspective of 3 people: the father, the mother, and the daughter accused of murder. The different perspectives of the same events made the plot even more interesting. And like many Swedish novels, this one is more of a slow burn rather than a fast-paced thriller, but it still engages you and keeps you hooked until the very end.
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A Nearly Normal Family is a slow-burning mystery involving a family whose 18 year old daughter is accused of murder.  It is a family/courtroom drama that explores their actions and reactions when their daughter is in jail and on trial. Will they be torn apart or will they stick together?    It makes one wonder what you would do if you were in that situation and how far would a parent go to protect one's child.  The story is told in three different perspectives -Stella's father - who is a pastor, Stella herself, and Stella's mother who is an attorney.   The first section, told from Stella's father Adam's perspective was rather slow for me to get into.  The story picked up for me when I got to the second section that is told from Stella's perspective.  I was really excited to read this book because I have seen so many rave reviews.  While I liked the story, I feel like this is actually about a 3 1/2 star read for me but I typically don't enjoy legal/courtroom type thrillers.  As a parent, I did find it thought provoking though.  I will look forward to reading something else in the future by this author. Thank you Celadon Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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This book was a roller coaster ride.  I don’t mean that in a good way.  In the beginning, I loved, in the middle, I hated it and only kept reading to do my review.  Towards the end, I  loved it again.  It got so good in the end it was almost gone girl good.  

The story was told from alternating views.  The middle section of the book was predominately told by the father.  That might have been what I disliked.  It seemed like a different writing style completely. The father view made me not like the daughter until I heard things from her perspective.  

I received this galley from NetGalley.
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M.T. Edvardsson kept me reading far into the night with this riveting, devastating, character driven novel. The premise highlights a parent's dilemma, "How well do you really know your child?"  The story of A Nearly Normal Family is related by three distinct voices, and as a reader, I was never sure how reliable any of the narrator's were at any given time.  Family dynamics are under a microscope in this fast paced, tightly woven, domestic thriller.  I appreciated M.T. Edvardsson's ability to make me interested in such unlikable characters, and to become invested in the outcome of the book.  This book reminded me of Bryan Reardpn's Finding Jake. I was highly entertained and would read more from M.T. Edvardsson.
I received my copy through NetGalley under no obligation.
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I'm always on the lookout for the next great psychological thriller (think Gone Girl or The Silent Patient). The more twisted, the better! A Nearly Normal Family quenched my thirst for a good thriller! The story was fast paced and kept me on the edge of my seat. I consider myself good at picking up on clues and guessing the ending, but I completely missed the mark with this one. I also really enjoyed the format, broken up into the perspective of multiple characters. I would definitely recommend this one to anyone on the hunt for a gripping thriller, A Nearly Normal Family will not disappoint!
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