Cover Image: A Nearly Normal Family

A Nearly Normal Family

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Member Reviews

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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"We were a perfectly ordinary family, and then everything changed." 

With a crisp writing style and a very unique structure, 'A Nearly Normal Family' was perfectly gripping from start to finish. Told from the perspective of three different family members, the author asks the question, what would you do to protect your family?

Eighteen-year-old Stella has been arrested and charged with the murder of thirty-two-year-old Christopher Olson. Her father is a pastor and her mother is a well-respected attorney. She comes from a good family but the police seem to have a fairly strong case against her. But what really happened that night? This book, translated from Swedish, was incredibly fast-paced and tightly written. 

Stella's father Adam blames himself for Stella's terrible predicament. He is wracked with guilt over her upbringing and the signs he seems to have missed along the way. A patient and intelligent man, Adam now believes he must do whatever it takes to save his little girl. 

"It takes a long time to build a life, but only an instant for it to crumble." 

Adam and his daughter haven an unusual relationship but nothing that is out of the ordinary for teenagers and their fathers. Much of the family's history is told through Adam's viewpoint and I felt distraught right along with him over Stella's arrest. Adam tries to rationalize his actions and the reader is forced to confront the question of how far is justified in protecting your own family. 

"Is it not right to protect your child? Your family? Can it ever be wrong?"

I loved Stella's portion of the book. Her viewpoint is perfectly written! She is filled with hopes and dreams and is so much more than a young girl accused of a brutal crime. She gives a different perspective on the events told in Adam's portion of the book and I found her section to be the most compelling. 

The author is brilliant at writing different points of view. Each character's motivation is slowly revealed and each character has a very unique perspective. I could not put this book down! This seemingly picture-perfect family's downfall absolutely riveted me. Everyone played a crucial role in the story, and the ending completely surprised me. This is an intelligent, passionate and thoughtful courtroom thriller with twists and turns you will not see coming. My one minor complaint is that the Swedish translation was not as seamless as it could have been, but the story is brilliant nonetheless. I raced through this book and highly recommend it! The unique structure and the rich characters make 'A Nearly Normal Family' a must-read.
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A Nearly Normal Family by M.T. Edvardsson

Wow Edvardsson did it with this one! I was totally engrossed with this novel from start to finish. Amazing read. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for other novels by Edvardsson.

Told from 3 perspectives, the father, the daughter and then the mother. Each lying to eachother and themselves to protect someone they love. The plot moves back and forth in time but is easy to follow along. The character development and relationships were well thought out and you discovered a little more about everyone through the different prospectives. Murder, lies, betrayal, a trail, twists and turns. This novel has it all and i would highly recommend you read it. 

Adam a pastor and Ulrika a defense attorney seem like a normal family trying to raise their teenage daughter Stella. Stella seems like a normal teenager rebelling against her parents. Until Stella is arrested on suspicion of murdering Chris. Which comes as a shock to both parents. What lengths are they willing to go to protect one another. What really happened that night? 

"It takes a long time to build a life, but only an instant for it to crumble."

I would like to thank Celadon books and netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

You can also find my review on goodreads and my Instagram
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This book was amazing. It was a thriller, a mystery and so much more. The book is told in the point of view of a family; the father, who is a pastor, the mother who is a lawyer and their daughter Stella, who has just had her eighteenth birthday.
This book takes place in Sweden and tells the story of this nearly normal family, which is really not normal. The book is also told in flashbacks of when they were all younger and what has led them to this point. 
This plot is packed with twists and turns and will have you guessing until the end, and I have to say the end did surprise me! The build up of angst is very present in all of the characters and their interactions with each other, as well as their community.
I gave this book 5 stars because it was so good and I enjoyed it very much.
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We all portray a different person to someone and this book delves into that idea.  Edvardsson also delves into the idea of how well do you really know anyone.
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How far would you go to protect the ones you love? The Sandell family is facing a situation that they never in their wildest imaginations thought would happen to them. Eighteen-year-old Stella has been charged with brutally murdering a man almost fifteen years older than her. Stella claims not to know what happened, but her parents don’t know what to believe.

Stella’s father, a pastor, embarks in his own investigative process by following every move the lead detective takes and even going so far as to reach out to a few persons of interest himself. Stella’s mother, a criminal defense attorney is working to get Stella the best representation available, while struggling with a moral compass that leads her to question Stella’s innocence. How well do you know your children? What would you do if they were charged with murder?

M.T. Edvardsson has blown me away with A NEARLY NORMAL FAMILY! I walked into this book expecting a legal thriller, which for all genre picking purposes, it certainly fits. What I found was so much more! This book is broken down into three parts: the father, the daughter, and the mother. The reader walks through the current situation with the father, the events of the night in question and those days leading up to it with the daughter, and ends with the mother leading us through the court case. I absolutely adored this breakdown! I was able to sympathize with each member of the Sandell family, while piecing together the events of what was happening present day, as well as the night of the murder.

The Sandell family serves as not only the narrators, but also the basis to the story, so the reader is able to intimately bond with all three of the family members and see the situation from all sides. I really enjoyed the order in which Edvardsson chose to introduce us to the family and the perspectives we were told from each. I would easily pick Stella as my favorite character and section of the story, simply for how real she seemed as a person. There was nothing hidden about Stella. Did she hide herself from her parents? Yes, but once the reader was inside her mind, you truly got to understand what made her tick.

The plot to this book as a whole is filled with suspenseful moments. There are tense situations from each family member, where the reader is put in a place of not only wanting to know what will happen, but also wondering what they would have done in that person’s shoes. I can’t imagine being any member of the Sandell family and having to go through this situation. There is also an overwhelming element of distrust to the story. The reader can’t fully believe what the narrators are telling them, but there is truth to everyone’s story, it just needs to be drawn out. To make matters more complicated, it seems that everyone surrounding the Sandell family is hiding something as well.

A NEARLY NORMAL FAMILY is a book focused on a realistic scenario that will make the reader think about their morals and compare themselves to those involved. Would you have done what the Sandell family did? You’ll have to read this one to find out!
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