Cover Image: Twisted Family Values

Twisted Family Values

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Member Reviews

By the end of this book I absolutely fell in love with this family. I would give this 5 stars but I wish that there would have been some kind of warning on the kissing cousins plot. But, I found I really wanted them together. This whole family is very near and dear to my heart and I think we can all see our families in them. I can’t wait to read more from this author. Impressive.
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A view of a family spanning over generations that shows how families help, protect, hate, and love one another.  Fun, messy family!
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Cat and Claire are sisters and mothers to a total of 5 children.  They live next door to one another and share a very large back yard complete with pool, and other amenities for family entertainment.  Even though they are sisters, they are not alike and harbor some animosity toward one another.  Their parents are wealthy and dinners and holidays at their home are formal and everyone is expected to attend.

It is the 1970’s and while Cat and Claire entertain quite a lot, the children amuse themselves in the basement.  Biz, short for Elizabeth, and Choo, short for Charlie, are first cousins and best friends.  They are constantly in one another’s company and even have a secret language.  The children all sneak alcohol and smoke cigarettes behind their parents back. 

As they grow up, Biz and Choo head off to college and we learn about the friends they meet.  They secretly love one another but know it is wrong and cannot be because they are cousins.

The story follows the family members as they age and the secrets they keep,  The time periods covered are well depicted and the fashion, food, music and customs are spot-on.  There is lots and lots of drinking and some family members share their anger with one another.

No matter what your age, prepare to laugh and cringe as you read this book.  I laughed out loud as it brought back many memories of my days in the 1970s and on up.  There are secrets galore and you, dear reader, are in on all of them.  Sit back and have a great time as you read this book.  I’m betting your best laugh will be awarded to Carl.  Who’s Carl?  He is not to be missed so grab a copy and have fun!

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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This was an absolutely fabulous read which was just what I needed after the emotional roller coaster ride I was on after the last binge. This one was not only entertaining and outlandish but fun and captivating and fast-paced and witty. This dysfunctional family had me laughing my way through their lives.  I definitely recommend this one and deem this the perfect beach read.  Why didn't I tell you more about it? There is a perfect blurb that tells you about this book and I'm tired and not going to repeat :)  READ THIS ONE!  You will not regret it. 

**Received this ARC for review from the publisher via NetGalley**
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3 stars
Good read but not really my thing. 
What a family.
I have my own family drama, but theirs seemed to top everything!
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I was given access to Twisted Family Values by my one true love, NetGalley.  This novel by V.C. Chickering was released 06/25/19 by St. Martin's Press.

The book is a little difficult to explain, so I'll let Goodreads take it away...

In WASPy Larkspur, New Jersey, social expectations and decorum rule, and Marjorie and Dunsfield Thornden are the envy of their neighbors. Their daughters Claire and Cat set the small town’s social calendar by throwing tastefully lavish family parties year round. Because it’s 1977, underage debauchery is to be expected—and Cat and Claire’s children, Bizzy and Choo, are at its very center. 

Underneath their well-maintained veneer, the Thorndens are quite dysfunctional, but have always had their entitlement to fall back on. And while some are finally ready to accept what they’re willing to give up for the life that they think they deserve, secrets that should’ve never been kept—especially not from each other—are bubbling unattractively to the surface.

So when a scandal threatens to unravel this tight-lipped family and their secrets, the Thorndens will have to decide how much they’ll let decorum rule social mores dictate their decisions and how far they’ll go to keep some secrets just that. Any choice they make could mean freedom from expectations but will change the course of their family's legacy forever.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book.  It sounded like a spin on a Desperate Housewives plot, or even Big Little Lies.  This being the year of taking chances, I certainly tried to embrace this book that is so far off my normal beaten path in thrillerland.

That being said, I didn't hate it.  The first half of the book was pretty hard for me to get through, if I'm being honest.  There are a lot of incestuous situations between Bizzy and Choo that quite frankly made me sick to my stomach, even knowing what was going on in the rest of the family.  I almost put the book down at the mention of an attempted rape.  I don't read about that.  It's yucky and just not for me.  It makes me feel gross, and that entire situation certainly did.  I took a break for several days debating if I was going to finish the book.

I'm glad I did.  The second half is soooo much better, though I'm not sure the end justifies the means.  I understand this is more meant as a satirical look at a rich family who tries so hard to be perfect, but is crumbling due to all the secrets.  I really enjoyed some of the character relationships.  Overall the ending was satisfactory, if not predictable.  I'm certainly glad I finished the book, maintaining my record of DNF books at 1.  Chickering did an amazing job with the detail in this book, which is probably what made the beginning so difficult for me.  It felt like I was there for the good, the bad, and allllll of the ugly.

In the end, the Thorndens get exactly what they deserve, and I loved seeing the decisions play out with each relationship.  This would have easily been a 4-star read for me, but loses 1 because the detail on the sexual situations between Bizzy and Choo were just too much, and to me not exactly necessary to the story.

🌟🌟🌟/5 Stars
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Enjoyed this book. Kept me interested all the way through. Would recommend to a fellow reader.  Love the cover.
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Twisted is undoubtedly the right description for this book, but I loved every minute of it. The author perfectly captured every era (from the 70s to the present), and it was interesting to watch the characters develop (or not, in the case of Claire) over the decades. The plot was intricately woven and sped right along; the reader followed Bizzy and Choo’s story, but also kept up with how the rest of the family fared over time – I enjoyed how some of the characters reappeared in unexpected places (I’m looking at you, Foster). Ultimately, it was a story of the secrets that families hide and the damage that comes from doing so. I loved the humor and emotion. This book had it all, and I highly recommend it. Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and the author for a complimentary pre-release digital ARC of this book.
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This book is a four generational romp through the Thornden family from Larkspur, New Jersey.  Marjorie and Dunsfield are the matriarch and patriarch of an entitled family that are admired in their area.  Things are not what they seem though,.  There is dyfunction that breeds more dyfunction that leads to two cousins that are a little too close.  As the years go by, their decorum flies out the window and all the cards are shown.  I had a lot of laughs from this one and became really attached to the characters.  I really liked this author and will look forward to reading more.  Thanks for the ARC, Net Galley.
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Sorry, I am a bit late in reviewing the book. I was laid up in bed unable to get to my computer and I do not review on my phone. I was unexpectedly sent Twisted Family Values by St. Martins Press, I want to thank them for sending me the book! 

Lets start from the beginning. This book is offbeat account at what goes on in the world. And FYI, if you're not a fan of the taboo, you might want to skip this one but I recommend that you actually read it. It contains a little something for everyone even if you aren't a fan of the subject matter. 

The good points of the are that it is a face paced, hilarious take on particular set of people doing their best to keep up with Jones's as my mother would say. Keeping up appearances happens a lot in our world, and therefore we never really see the people behind the mask. It explores the relationships between family, their friends and lovers, while bringing notice to the generations of the past and now, and just how much trends do affect us. The characters themselves are well-developed and I had a great time watching them grow and transform. 

The bad points is really just one, the taboo, that I mentioned. I will not spoil it and say that it is. Find out for yourself and pick the book up.  

I give this one 4 crazy stars!
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Twisted Family Values by V.C. Chickering was a very interesting read for me. I don't entirely dislike the novel, but just wasn't a thoroughly enjoyable story for me. Actually, I felt quite uneasy and uncomfortable at times. 

The story follows the dysfunctional lives of the Thorndens which to me seem absurdly crazy and whacky. It just felt too weird and too unsettling for me. I really had a difficult time with the narrative and I had to put it down a few times. The writing is good and the plot is well-developed, but I just wasn’t into it and honestly didn’t care about the characters enough to feel any emotions. In the end, I felt that the book as a whole isn’t enjoyable enough for me.

With humor, secrets, scandals, and unexpected surprises, Twisted Family Values is unique, unpredictable and quite interesting, but the story and characters just felt too twisted for me. It was an interesting read and I'm sure there are other readers who'll enjoy this book, but I personally felt unmoved and indifferent. Unfortunately, this just wasn't my cup of tea.

I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher, St. Martin's Press via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Over the course of 50 years, we watch this quirky and dysfunctional family evolve. I loved the characters and found the story to be both humorous and thought-provoking. What I loved about this book is that is about a family and the bottom line essence was love. I received a complimentary copy from NetGalley and the publisher and this is my honest opinion.
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This was not the book I expected it to be.  Sometimes that is a good thing. Other times, it is not. For me, it was impossible to connect with caricatures and to submit to assault with snarky cultural commentary that ricochets, vaults awkwardly, does not tell a story so much as it admires itself.  Because I feel compelled to say something complimentary, let me compliment the author on capturing accurately the basement party action of bored teenagers.  The drunken adults and the deviled eggs are also true to life -- only they are a lot funnier, less nasty, and much more delicious than depicted here. Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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V.C. Chickering, Author of "Twisted Family Values" has written an entertaining, unique, sexy, witty,  dysfunctional family novel. This has almost the feel of a satire and dark humor. The title says it all. In this novel are deep family secrets, scandals, and is quite unpredictable. The Genres for this novel are Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, and Women's Fiction. The author describes her dysfunctional characters as quirky, complicated, complex and dramatic. This certainly would make a good soap opera or series. The timeline for this story is a period of about 50 years. Larkspur, New Jersey is where the story takes place.

The Thornden family in an affluent part of New Jersey have many social parties and have priorities and expectations about the proper way to act. The two daughters Cat and Claire are as different as night and day. One sister is all about what is the proper thing to do and only cares what others think.  The other sister is kind and compassionate.  The two younger cousins  Bizzy and Choo are brought up to be close friends. BUT, not everything is as it seems to be. Is it? You have no idea!!!

I recommend this novel for those readers who enjoy reading an unusual, quirky story.
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If you grew up in a "normal" family like mine, you will recognize so much that goes on in this book. It made me laugh and stirred old memories. Yes, it's satire, but it's also got a good dose of the realities of family life.

Anyone that needs a laugh, is a fan of books that revolve around typical families and / or someone just wanting a light read will love Twisted Family Values! Seriously just pick it up and read it already! It's that good.

Thank you to Netgalley, the author and publisher for an ARC at my request. All thoughts in this review are my own and freely given.
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The cover for Twisted Family Values is quite eye-catching, and the blurb with its hints at secrets to be revealed appealed to the mystery lover in me. Unfortunately, that was the best of it for me. As a child of the 70's, I would've thought that I would be able to relate to some of the characters better, but the story goes a little too far over the top for me, and other than a few pop culture references, neither the people nor their actions rang true.There are secrets, this family is packed full of them, but without a connection to the characters, I couldn't find much curiosity for the revelations of those secrets. I don't read a lot of women's fiction, but I think it's safe to say that this wasn't the book for me.
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What a wild ride of a read from the perfect title through decades of family disfunction .Each character perfectly written the drama the fights who doesn’t relate to this.Highly recommend this book to all .#netgalley #st.martinspress.
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This book was set over many decades, and I really enjoyed the trip down memory lane of all the fashions, and even the cell phone and computer integrations. However that was more where it ended for me. I know this was supposed to be messed up, and get you to think of the gray line of the world but seriously this family isn't just twisted it is dysfunctional and completely despicable. The way they cheat on each other, lie to each other, and do the worst to each other is just mind boggling. 

Maybe it is just not my reality but this was just not for me and my family is anything but normal. Way too twisted. It just tries to make you overcome all your ideas of right and wrong, and even for a liberal in New England it was too much.
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Perfect summer read! This family soap opera travels through the decades with wit and an honest eye. I didn't always like these characters or their actions, but I needed to find out what happened next. And isn't that the hallmark of a great novel?
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This was a tough one for me.  I found the first chapter confusing, frantic, and to be honest, so annoying that I put it down.  I came back to it later and kept reading.  The main story- the tale of cousins Bizzy and Choo- is embedded in lots of curlicues about their family, starting with their mom/aunt Cat and Clare.  Fans of the dysfunctional family saga will appreciate this one for some truly bizarre and/or socially inappropriate behavior.  It is funny and bright and entertaining but you also have to pay attention to the language.  Thanks to the publisher for the ARC.  This might be a love it or hate it situation but do give it a try- it is a good read.
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