Cover Image: A Nearly Normal Family

A Nearly Normal Family

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Member Reviews

It's a pretty accomplished thriller, with complicated characters and dynamics. The twists and turns actually fooled me several times, bravo for that!

Overall, this reminds me a lot of the TV show Broadchurch, the vibes mostly. But the actual plot resembles the US version of that show, Gracepoint. I'm not saying there are plot points identical to those shows, just the intricate setup. I loved both shows, so that's a great thing.

Back to the book itself. I read the English translation, and it was done quite well. I could see the translator put in a lot of effort. There were only a handful of phrases that showed signs of translation. Other that that, it reads like an original work.

Apart from the suspense in the story, the examination of family dynamics plays a big role in the book as well. It evokes questions about parenting, about belief, and about the justice system. Those subjects all demand more discussion in both the society and families. I was glad to see them incorporated into a highly readable novel.

I'm pretty sure this is going to be big in the US and maybe other countries, too. The last time I read a book that raised so many important questions, it was Big Little Lies. I would like to see this do as well as BLL.
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If you like murders and trials- and let’s face it, don’t we all? Then this is a book for you! A Nearly Normal Family by M.T. Edvardson is a complicated and dramatic story, one that will have you asking lots of questions. Just think about this- how well do you REALLY know the people in  your family?

Here’s the synopsis:

Eighteen-year-old Stella stands accused of the brutal murder of a man almost fifteen years her senior. She is an ordinary teenager from an upstanding local family. What reason could she have to know a shady businessman, let alone to kill him?

Stella’s father, a pastor, and mother, a criminal defense attorney, find their moral compasses tested as they defend their daughter, while struggling to understand why she is a suspect. Told in an unusual three-part structure, A Nearly Normal Family asks the questions: How well do you know your own children? How far would you go to protect them?

This story takes place in Sweden so immediately I conjured up a chilling atmosphere of darkness and snow.  Told from multiple points of view, it seems everyone is an unreliable narrator. Who to trust?

You are going to love this compelling novel. Pre-Order here.
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A legal thriller told as a three-part story told from family members involved in a murder trial. The book asks the question: would you be willing to alter your moral code for the love of your child?  As a mother I don't know what I wouldn't do for my own daughter and this book inspires some interesting conversations about how far is too far.
Thoroughly enjoyed.
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I was really impressed with this book! It was full of domestic drama and kept me flipping pages. There were many twists and turns. I think this will be a book that my patrons will enjoy this summer!
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A family that seems normal and close knit, but there are many cracks in the relationships. Adam is a gentle man, a pastor who loves  his family more than anything, and will do anything to protect them. Even lie. The mother is a successful defense attorney, struggling to maintain her career and the needs of her family. Would she lie and sacrifice it all?
Stella is a high strung 17 yo, troublesome and defiant. How far will she go, to get what she wants, would she kill for it?
A very suspenseful, emotional read, full of twists, turns and “what if’s”. It is told from three perspectives, and the reader is left trying to grasp the truth, but they all lie! It comes down to the conclusion and you’ll never figure it out! 
My thanks to Net Galley, M T Edvardsson and Celadon for the ARC of this entertaining book! It was riveting!
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Teenaged Stella ends up in jail, accused of murdering a wealthy man she'd slept with. This carefully crafted thriller teases open from three utterly different perspectives. We hear first from Stella's judgmental preacher father, then Stella herself, then her lawyer mother. With each new point of view, more details of the fateful day emerge. Not only is Stella's character revealed, but also her parents. Nearly normal indeed. I was kept on my toes to the very last page. Loved the nuances.
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An excellent story told by three members of a family. The father who is a pastor in the church of Sweden, Stella their 18 year old child, and the mother who is a defence attorney. Stella is a bit of a wild child and drives her parents, especially her Dad a little mad with her antics.  However, it’s all just staying out late and partying with her friend Amina until she gets mixed up with a man fifteen years older than her. Then one night she comes home with a bloodstained blouse and she arrested for the murder of this older man. And of course the question is how far would we go to defend our children. 
I loved this book. A great whodunnit that kept me guessing to the very end.
Thanks to NetGalley for this arc in exchange for an honest review
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I thought this was a pretty remarkable book!  It is a legal drama with mystery of whodunnit. It portrays what a family does for a child and how they go about protecting them.  Good storyline and characterization.  Had me guessing until the end. Well done!  Would definitely recommend. Thank you netgalley for letting me give an honest review of this book.
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A thriller but with a good murder mystery included that is fast paced and twisty. 
It is a good read worth your time 
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for letting me review
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WoW! This book has everything I want in a thriller. It's unputdownable. Be prepared to be glued to this story! I won't give anything away so just read it!!

Fast paced and lots of twists. One of the best I've read.
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This is a thriller, but a thriller with a difference. It has murder, mystery and lots of domestic drama. I felt it was very sensitively written, the feelings that came out were strong and honest.  Adam is a pastor, Ulrika, his wife, is a defense attorney and their seventeen year old daughter, Stella, has behavioral problems and maybe anger managment problems too. She seems to possess no remorse, no conscience and wants to lead her life however she wants. Then she is arrested for murder and her parents are horrified. Adam in particular is having difficulty dealing with it. He is a pastor, should be honest and moral, but this is his daughter who he wants to save. Beautifully written, sensitive and gripping.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley.

Are there any families who are perfectly or, even, nearly normal? This family certainly is not!

We have a father who is a pastor; a mother who is a defense attorney; and an 18 year-old daughter who is in jail for murder. The book is told in three parts. The first is the father's point of view; the middle from the daughter; and finally, we hear from the mother. Is the daughter guilty? Is her best friend really the murderer? Did they work together? How are the parents involved? Do they really know each other or their daughter?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to others by this author.
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A Nearly Normal Family is told in 3 sections. First we hear the father's story. When I learned the father was a pastor, I was unconsciously thinking I should give his story more weight as to truthfulness due to his profession. Hmmm. maybe not a good idea to do that. Next was Stella,  the daughter who is on trial for murder. Funny how there was lots more to Stella than we learned through the eyes of her father. She had quite an active life outside the family home. Then we learn her mom's story, her mom the attorney that is. Once again, given the occupation, I expected to give her more weight as this was a criminal trial. Hmmm... 
Good stories always make me want to have to figure out something, in this case we know from the beginning that Stella is in jail, so did she do it? I like the not knowing until the end as it makes my brain work and this book did make mine work. Good job!
Thank you NetGalley and Celadon Books for an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Oh wow. Wow, wow wow.  When I first saw the blurb for this book, it reminded me of Defending Jacob.  How far would a parent go for their child? 
Stella just turns 18 and forms some sort of relationship with 32 year old Chris Olsen. She met him out one night with her best friend Amina.  Stella feels it’s only a fling.  However she is constantly seeked out by Chris’s ex girlfriend who is trying to warn her. 
Chris is discovered stabbed to death one morning and shortly after, Stella is arrested. 
The story is told from 3 different view points:  Her father, Adam, who is a Pastor.   Her mother Ulrika, who is a criminal defense attorney and Stella.  
While the book wasn’t perfect and at times Chris seemed way over the top (and flat out creepy), it still demands to be read.  I read this book over two days which is pretty fast even for me, simply because I needed to find out what happened. 
Thank you to NetGalley, Celadon books and Bookish first for the ARC!
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I voluntarily read and review an advanced copy of A Nearly Normal Family.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Oh boy!  This one was a rollercoaster ride--fantastic suspense writing!  I was on the edge of my seat for the entire novel.  I thought I had the mystery figured out several times, but was fooled and misled clear up until the last page!  The three character perspectives were extremely well written--every emotion and motive was 100% authentic.  I will eagerly look forward to reading from this author again.

Thank you to NetGalley and M.T. Edvardsson for the ARC!!!
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3.5 stars....
Adam and his wife Ulrika find themselves facing the unthinkable when their daughter Stella is accused of murder.  Adam is a pastor, well liked and respected in the community.  Ulrika is a renowned and successful attorney.  You would think that as parents practicing in these types of professions they would be upstanding citizens with unwavering morals and ethics.  Teaching their children right from wrong.  NOT!   The story revolves around deceit and lies from every angle. 

Not a single character in the book is likable.  Stella is a loose canon. I kept wondering 
where are her parents?   She is under 18 years old, repeatedly out at bars drinking, spending nights and weekends with a 30 year old man that she is having a sexual relationship with.  Really?... with both parents working in careers that see dysfunction every day, Stella's behavior should have given them flashing red signs their daughter was troubled.  

For me, the story was just okay.  I read a book in between while I was waiting for some action to take place.  There was just enough suspense to keep me hanging in there, I had to find out how it all ended.  The ending was disappointment as well.
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A super compelling psychological thriller that takes place in Sweden and is filled with lies, tension and family dynamics! The book is divided into three parts/points of view. 17-year-old Stella, has  just been arrested and charged with murder. Her dad, who is a local pastor, and her mom who is a defense attorney. Each one tells their view of the story and each one is lying at some point! Definitely kept me guessing up until the very last pages. Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for this ARC!
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Whose truth is nothing but the truth?

M.T. Edvardsson presents a heavy domestic drama wrapped around the Sandell family. From all indications this is a small, compact family of Adam, Ulricka, and Stella. As the layers are peeled back, there's quite a bit beneath the surface.

Edvardsson sets his story down within the town of Lund in Sweden. There's a definite pendulum that swings back and forth in regard to their ever changing indentities. Adam, a pastor in the Church of Sweden, was once an avowed atheist until his pulled up collar was replaced with the collar of a minister. Ulrika, a dedicated defense attorney, regrets the time spent pursuing her career at the expense of her home life. Stella, intensely complicated, has just turned eighteen and wishes to flee to Asia in a long planned caravan of a trip. All the while, the secrets begin to brew.

Stella and her best friend, Amina, are inseparable. They meet up with what they believe is the typical young man in a typical bar. But Chris Olsen is far from typical. We find out that he's thirty-two years old and has a stalker of a girlfriend. Stella carries on with a summer fling with Chris. But Chris' flinging days will be over soon when he's found dead of stab wounds. Stella is immediately arrested and accused of murder. But did Stella do it?

A Nearly Normal Family has some good moments. Edvardsson takes us in the midst of courtroom scenes with tense questioning. The story is split into three perspectives of the Sandell family with short rapid chapters. But here's where I had issues. Since this was a translation, I'm not sure if some of the momentum was lost within the word transfer. There seemed to be quite a bit of repetition because of it and constant replaying of incidents. I also didn't feel overly invested in any of these characters. But what drew me in was the strong need to know who was actually responsible. Edvardsson keeps you guessing with the gameboard arrow pointing in all directions.

I received a copy of A Nearly Normal Family through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to M.T. Edvardsson and to Celadon Books for the opportunity.
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Ok, this was a good story! The translation was not perfect but that aside it wasn’t hard to be submerged in this. 

I liked the multiple point of views - they really rounded out the characters and their motives... These weren’t great people, but they were real (unfortunately). 

This was more of a character driven story than a legal thriller although you do get a glimpse of their legal system which was interesting.  I would read more by this author. 

Thanks to NetGalley, the author and Celadon Books for a copy in exchange for a review.
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Ekkkkkk! This one will definitely capture your attention and then make you freaked out at the same time! Wow... I could not stop reading it and I am so glad that it hooked you in right from the start. Go ahead and read this one you will not regret it!
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