Cover Image: The Happy Family

The Happy Family

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Member Reviews

OMG how great. This Author can do no wrong. This book is beyond incredible and totally unputdownable! Just go in blind and you will read for hours. It's that great.
Thanks to Netgalley.
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Beth's mother, Alice, walked out of her life when she was just 10 years old. As a child, growing up, feeling unwanted by her mother, she takes her anger and hurt out on others. Until one day she goes too far. 
Beth is now grown up, has her own house and is raising her two children with her ex-husband,  with whom she has an amicable relationship. She has a small circle of friends and is overall happy with her life, but her past still haunts her. 
One day, there is a knock at the door and it's Alice. Beth is ecstatic to have her mother back in her life. She is everything Beth could have imagined. Unfortunately, Beth's life starts to slowly fall apart and she's not sure who she can trust. 

This story was not hard to figure out, everything was just so obvious. I am not a fan of characters that are ridiculously naive and trusting, like Beth. She was not at all a likeable character and when we find out her past, I found it hard to feel sorry her. 
How do you just blindly trust a stranger and question every other person that's been in your life for years???  Nobody is that blind! 
That said, it wasn't a horrible read, I just wasn't expecting any surprises and I didn't get any. It was still somewhat entertaining to see how it all played out.
One last thought, the title really doesn't fit the book. It wasn't about a family so much as a woman forced to face her past.

Thank you to Netgalley and Harper 360 for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review
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Absolutely nothing at all happened in this book. I felt like I was reading the same story about this poor pitiful woman, who’s mother returns after 30 years of abandoning her. Beth is so gullible, it is sad.  I just thought she was a complete fool for being so naïve. This book was repetitive, and I got very bored. I would not classify it as a thriller at all because there was nothing thrilling about it.  2 stars
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This is a super slow-moving thriller. It was just an ok book in my opinion. There are a couple of twists in this book. One I very clearly saw coming but the other totally stumped me. There was a bit in the middle where the story dragged just slightly, as the same types of things kept happening and I was like "we get it, already".
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Beware of who knocks on your front door and be even more careful when you open it. Beth is a divorced mother of two who is living happily in Cheltenham, peacefully co-existing with her ex who left her for another woman, and happily employed as a manager at a surgical facility. Beth grew up with her father after her mother left the them, never to be heard from until one day when Beth answers her front door. Mum, who is about to turn 60 years old, appears. Beth is excited and confused, but welcomes Mum into her home. Surprisingly, Beth soon becomes disconnected with her friends and workplace for reasons she cannot explain. Beth begins drinking more and sees faces in her windows and a stranger following her. Beth's keys go missing; her son is injured in a trampoline accident, naked images of Beth appear on Facebook. Such are the twists and turns in Jackie Kabler's The Happy Family. A good read that makes readers question what is real and what is imagined.
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I loved this one! I think a big part of the reason why was because of the writing style. It was so easy to follow and understand. It was also descriptive, but not too descriptive. I will definitely read more by this author!!

Despite the downward spiral at times, I really enjoyed Beth’s character. I also thought all of her friends and even her ex husband and his girlfriend were pretty great. Not to give too much away, but the author even made me not absolutely hate the antagonist (I won’t mention who that is). 

I did see the ending coming, but again that didn’t mean the story wasn’t  entertaining along the way. I read this book in a little over a day, and couldn’t put it down. It was a cosy thriller that was a great mental escape! 5/5 would highly recommend.
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"Every choice we make in life has consequences, doesn't it?"
 (Jackie Kabler) 

"The Happy Family" by Jackie Kabler begins with Beth Holland. She is a divorced mom raising two children. Beth has always felt incomplete. Her own mom (Alice) disappeared when Beth was just ten years old. Feeling the pain of her mother's abandonment, her emotional struggle continues as a adult. She can't let go of secrets and guilt stemming from her childhood. 

Thirty years go by before Alice tracks Beth down, and knocks on her door. Alice wants to make amends, and try to develop a long lost mother-daughter relationship. Beth forgives her mom, and in fact, is over the moon about a second chance for them to be close. Things go excepionally well for a little while. Beth's family and friends adore Alice and openly welcome her.  As time goes on, Beth begins to notice that her friends are acting odd, and treating her different. They basically go out of their way to avoid Beth. Additionally, a stranger begins following Beth, household items go missing, and some very incriminating gossip is leaked about her.

While I enjoyed parts of this book, it was very slow in the middle. I was not a huge fan of the ending because  it felt unrealistic. Thankfully, we are all individuals and have different taste in books.  Please never let my reviews stop you from reading something you may enjoy. "The Happy Family" will be published January 25, 2022 by Harper 360.

Thank you NetGalley and Harper 360 for the free e-book in exchange for my honest review.
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A gripping psychological thriller that I couldn't put down! It had many twists and turns,  some predictable but still held me wanting to see how and why. I would definitely recommend!
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This is a psychological thriller that has everything: intrigue, mystery and constant twists and turns. I couldn't put it down
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This is a domestic drama with some criminal elements. I wanted to like this British mystery more than I did. Jackie Kabler is an author I have not read. I own a prior book of hers, but never found time to read it.
The main character, Beth, is riddled with guilt over an incident which occurred when she was in grade school. It is referenced throughout, not revealed until towards the end. Beth is divorced from Jacob, mother of two children, some sort of surgeon, has a housekeeper, Robin, and friends who are all older than her. Beth's Mum (Alice) abandoned her family thirty years ago. Despite therapy, Beth still struggles with feelings of being unworthy of love.
Out of nowhere Alice appears at Beth's door. Then strange things begin to occur in Beth's home and daily life. 
The story was much longer than it needed to be, too much repetitive musings in her mind. It was not thrilling or fast paced, seemed to drag for me. Perhaps I simply read too much or am too perceptive, because I had most of the plot figured out early on. 
On a positive note, there were many interesting and descriptive characters, the co-workers, neighbors, friends, her elderly father, her children and X-husband. There are certainly some thoughtful lessons to be learned, forgiveness, and relevant topics discussed. The resolution and ending were nicely tied up.
Many thanks to Jackie Kabler, Netgalley, and Harper One More Chapter for the advance digital copy of "The Happy Family". These are my personal thoughts and opinions given voluntarily.
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I did not finish this book. I did not connect to the writing or the characters. This may be a better fit for another reader.
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This book was a page turner from beginning to end. A perfect family that is not what it seems. Then one day our main characters long lost mom shows up on her doorstep when she is at her lowest. She cannot believe the timing. Her father is dying and she needs her the most, never understanding why she left. Then weird occurrences start to happen. And her mother will do anything to protect her. Anything. A little predictable but still a very good read.  I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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The Happy Family by Jackie Kabler, was impossible to put down. It was fast paced, full of action, and thoroughly enjoyable. The novel centers around Beth and the disappearance of her mother when she was 10 years old.  Beth is now a successful adult with a family of her own, when her mother reenters her life. However, as her mother returns, Beth's life begins to unravel. It couldn't be related to the reappearance of her mother, could it? Beth's friends begin to drift away, her job performance wanes, and things are disappearing. What could be happening? Who is out to destroy Beth's life? There were many twists and turns in this book that kept me guessing. This book was fun to read and impossible to put down.  This book is a must read for those readers that enjoy psychological thriller. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the advance review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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I am not sure if I have ever reviewed a book before I finish it, but I am not sure if I can finish this book.  I have struggled to hang in there for this long.  The storyline is interesting enough, but the characters are horrible, I just cannot get invested.  I am giving two stars for the storyline and putting this one aside.  Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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This is my 2nd by Jackie Kabler and I enjoyed her last thriller so I expected this to follow suit and am happy to say it did! I felt myself immediately drawn to this story and did not want to put it down. The main character Beth is a great main character in that she's naive, gullible, and incredibly frustrating which makes for an easy target in a domestic thriller. She is likable in the sense that you feel bad that she's so naive to everything and you want her to win anyway. However, get series of bad decisions coupled with a twist I did not see coming made her incredibly hard to like even when I was trying. I don't mind that in a thriller because I don't need to necessarily like the chapters to enjoy the path they go down. I was completely shocked by both of the twists in this and though the ending was quite satisfying. I enjoyed this one more than the last I've read by Kabler so I'm expecting even more in the future. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you Netgalley and Harper 360, One More Chapter for the arc of this book. It started slowly, and it was hard for me to concentrate on reading it. because I didn't really care about Beth. I liked her even less when I found out what she had done because it was horrible. 
The book was all from Beth's POV and there was too inner dialogue much that I ended up skipping as the book went on. However. Most of the writing was good, and I will check out other books by this author to see if this book was an anomaly. 
The story could have been great, but I had it all  I figured out early on. I kept reading because I wanted to make sure I was right, 2.5 stars rounded up to 3.
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Enjoyed this twisty domestic thriller that hosts a cast of great characters!   Story plays on some of our basic human emotions and how far one might go to see those through.  
Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book
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I really enjoyed this book! It was suspenseful with twists that kept me guessing. I rate this book a 3.5!
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Beth’s mother had abandoned her and father decades ago. Since then many secrets have been kept. When her mother suddenly tuns up she is thrilled and can’t wait to make a connection. However strange things keep happening and all of the sudden everything is in a downward spiral. 
This book was predictable and at times frustrating- first who invites a mother that left them 30 years ago to live with them immediately? And because I don’t want to give to many spoilers I will just leave it at the plot lines were obvious to me. 
However it was a well written book and I do see how people might enjoy it as a light mystery read- it just wasn’t for me.
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My first read by this author. 
This was slow at getting started and I usually don't have the patience and end up putting the book down BUT I stuck with it and am so glad I did.
This mystery/thriller had a cozy vibe to it, twisted but cozy.
 I thought the storyline played out well. The characters were relatable.
Her writing style was intricate.
It held my attention.
 All in all, I enjoyed this book and will be reading more of this Authors's books. 
Thank you, NetGalley for approving my request.
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