A Nearly Normal Family – MT Edvardsson

When the teenage daughter of responsible, upstanding parents is accused of murder, a family realizes that it isn’t love that will keep them together: it’s lies.

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 a respectable local family. What reason could she have to know a shady businessman, let alone to kill him?

Told in an unusual three-part structure, this gripping, domestic drama pushes a family to its limits. The father, a pastor, believes his daughter can only be innocent, despite mounting evidence. The mother, a defense attorney, believes no one is telling the truth. And the daughter, desperate for her dreams of the future, believes no one understands how far she is willing to go.

In this complex, multi-layered novel, every character’s loyalty and morality is tested. Are we duty-bound to defend our family, even with the evidence against them? Is anyone who they seem on the surface? And what are we willing to compromise to keep our lives, as we know them, intact?

Book Information: Print Length: 480 pages. Publisher: Macmillian. Publication Date: 25 June 2019. Listening Length: 12 hours and 31 minutes.

About the Author:

M. T. Edvardsson is an author and teacher from Trelleborg, Sweden. He is the author of three previous novels and two books for young readers in Sweden. He lives with his family in Löddeköpinge, Sweden.

My Review:

I listened to this book on Audible. It’s brilliantly narrated by Richard Armitage, Rachel Willson-Broyles and Emily Watson and is literally a tale of 3 sides.

This is the story of 18 year old Stella, who has just been arrested for murder. Narrated in the first part by Richard Armitage as Stella’s father, Adam, a Pastor and devoted husband and father who can not accept that his beloved daughter is guilty of anything. He is in denial, despite her temper and troubled behaviour since childhood, he will not accept that Stella could do anything so awful. He becomes obsessed in finding out more about the victim and slowly begins to cross the line to prove his daughters innocence.

The second part of the story is Stella’s version, now telling us her story whilst in prison awaiting her trial. We learn more about Stella’s relationship with her father, her childhood and what led her to the situation she finds herself in.

The final part of the story is from Ulrika’s perspective. Mother, wife and a dedicated Defence Attorney, Ulrika looks back on her life regretting putting her career before her family and wondering if this is a contributing factor for their current predicament.

All three narrators were superb, they each brought to life the voices and emotions of 3 very different personalities and showed a very normal family facing a very abnormal situation.

With plenty of twists and turns, I found the audio version of A Nearly Normal Family gripping and hard to put down. Fans of domestic noir, legal thrillers or anything with a psychological edge, you will thoroughly enjoy this book. Highly recommended.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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