A Nearly Normal Family

A Nearly Normal Family

Book - 2019 | First U.S. edition., First international edition.
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Eighteen-year-old Stella Sandell 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.
Publisher: New York : Celadon Books, 2019.
Edition: First U.S. edition., First international edition.
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781250204431
Branch Call Number: EDVAR
Characteristics: 389 pages ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Helt vanlig familj. English


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Aug 13, 2020

Let’s be honest: the ending of this whodunit is never really in question. Which makes the fact that this Scandinavian novel (almost a genre in itself these days) is still an intriguing, engaging read. What it is not is a light read, driven as it is by questions of love, integrity, friendship, fear, guilt, and disappointment. None of which are answered easily, if they are answered at all.

Jan 10, 2020

Meh - this was fine. While acknowledging that Scandinavian writing can be a bit plain and stark as a rule... I found the translation of this book to be very awkward. The writing felt very stilted and choppy and made it difficult to get really sucked into this book.

None of the characters were well developed and felt like cardboard cut outs of stereotypes which was frustrating. I wanted to care about the parents and their daughter but I just found everything they did/said irritating and predictable. I did not care one way or the other how the trial shook out.

In the book's favour, I was not able to figure out for certain who the killer was and didn't know until the very end. This is typically not the case for me with thrillers/mysteries and definitely elevated the book in my eyes.

Maybe I just don't like slow burns and this was mega slow.

Dec 21, 2019

This is really good. I almost gave up during the first part, as I started to believe the father was a caricature.
But I strongly recommend that readers push through that. This is a very intelligent, complicated book.
The later portions gave me a lot to think about.
Strongly recommend.

Dec 16, 2019

Never liked ANY of these characters...especially the Dad! Most of this was his viewpoint, his panic...and I'm sorry I just didn't care how anything worked out for this over-average family. The writing was mediocre, the plot tired...

Oct 09, 2019

Written in 3 different voices: father, daughter and mother with each voice expressing an insight into this complicated and seemingly normal suburban family affected by the teen-daughter’s involvement in a murder of an adult male. Each voice questions and defends their place in the family and in the community while justifying their reasons for their actions including keeping secrets from each other. At times, I was frustrated by their decisions and not until the end does it all seem to come together. Good read and a real page turner.

Sep 01, 2019

A compelling read. An interesting structure with the story developing through three POV. The characters and relationships developed in a very real and intriguing manner. The question of what would you do to help your child threads throughout the narrative, with a satisfying conclusion.

Aug 28, 2019

Great start but slowed down from the middle on and became a little predictable. Overall a good, easy, catching read

Aug 17, 2019

A Nearly Normal Family by M.T. Edvardsson is a legal thriller with a difference. It involves a Swedish family: the father who is a pastor, the mother who is a criminal defense attorney and an eighteen-year-old daughter, Stella. Life as they know it suddenly becomes a nightmare when Stella is arrested and jailed for allegedly committing a horrific crime. The author divides the novel into three parts as each family member describes the events leading up to the arrest, giving the reader three points-of-view to help solve the mystery. I recommend A Nearly Normal Family to readers who enjoy legal mysteries unlike the usual.

Jun 19, 2019

A riveting glimpse into the Swedish court system and a dysfunctional family. We see the story from three sides: Adam (father and pastor), Stella (daughter and accused) and Ulrika (mother and hard-boiled defense attorney). The three have a tight-knit family facade, but the cracks are widening as we learn more about them. The bottom line is, they all show themselves to be unreliable and that keeps you glued to the narrative right through the Epilogue. Sure to be a popular pick for vacation reading.
I could also see book groups finding much to discuss as the narrative explores the themes of family, truth and justice.

debwalker Jun 08, 2019

A Heather pick!

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