‘A Nearly Modern Family’ by M. T. Edvardsson
Genre: Scandinavian Noir/ Suspense/ Thriller
Published: 25th July, Macmillan
Swathi’s Rating: 5/5
Verdict: Mysterious and engaging in every aspect, this book is an EPIC thriller of the year!!
Hey my dear book buddies!!
Today I am sharing my thoughts on how much I enjoyed reading this book last week and can’t wait for everyone to grab a copy and read it! It’s going to be huge HIT of the year and definitely on my list of TOP 5 Thrillers of ’19!
Enjoy the plot and do not forget to read my thoughts below!! Happy reading xxx
Every murder case starts with a suspect.
What if the suspect is your daughter?
Would you believe her, or the evidence against her?
Believes his daughter has been framed.
Believes she is hiding something.
Believes they have no idea what she’s truly capable of . . .
There are three sides to the story.
And the truth will shatter this family to pieces.
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. Told in an unusual three-part structure, A Nearly Normal Family asks the questions: How well do you know your own children? How far would you go to protect them?
‘A Nearly Modern Family’ unfolds the story of a family of three – Adam, a pastor in the Church of Sweden; Ulrika, an ambitious defence Attorney; and they 18 year old daughter Stella. This family is your normal, quiet next door neighbor kind of family until one day Stella gets arrested on the suspicion of murdering a local 32 year old wealthy businessman.
Narrated in the 3 perspectives, starting from the father, followed by the daughter and then finally the mother, the reader never actually gets accustomed to any of these characters as they’re equally unreliable and dysfunctional. This is an expert storytelling technique used by My Edvardsson to keep his readers absorbed and speculate what-comes-next and who-did-what!
The story begins with the events happening on the day of Stella’s birthday as the parents get her a 30 thousand kronor Vespa as her gift. Stella’s instant disinterest tells us she’d rather prefer the money instead of the vehicle. Soon as the hours pass, and Stella isn’t home until midnight, the worried parents await their daughter’s arrival – who comes home late at midnight and heads straight to her room. The following day is when she gets arrested and the parents are shocked and questioned for their daughter’s alibi while the whole town of Lund watches!
We are also taken back to the events from the past where Stella, 15 attends her confirmation camp, gets mixed with a bunch of teens smoking weed and then getting raped by the camp counselor. Adam being the protective dad he is, wants to report the event to the police but is convinced by Ulrika that their daughter’s private life will be spoiled and will never be the same again. So they decide to hide their daughter’s rape incident and pretend nothing happened. This only shows how deranged the family has become from being a normal one.
The final chapters of the book focuses on the trial where several revelations unfolds and the author brilliantly finishes the climax with the most unexpected twist!! The readers get to learn more and more about the laws governing the Court of Sweden and it’s refreshingly original.
‘A Nearly Modern Family’ is highly psychological and thrilling to read with it’s steady pace of storytelling and the change of narratives. Deceival, depression, abuse, betrayal, religious ethics are only a few things that can affect and destroy a normal family but what is more scary is the parent’s decision to ignore and hide their daughter’s rape abuse and pretend to live in a web of lies. It’s horrendous to learn such a thing happened to their child, but it’s also the duty of parents to protect their kids and respect them for the person they want to be and not impose expectations on them.
This book got me emotional and thoughtful at the same moment as it’s totally possible such a disaster could happen to your very own family before realising it’s too late to stop it! Modern world is a dangerous place to bring up teenagers and I am so grateful to have had caring parents who helped me get through those impossible years!
I highly recommend this book to every Thriller Lover, especially when you’re up for a cozy scandinavian mystery! As much as I loved Mr Edvardsson’s thought-provoking storytelling, credits also goes to the English Translator Rachel Willson-Broyles whose impeccable narration is the reason for the English reading audience to enjoy the essence of this well-written Thriller!!
My sincere thanks to Macmillan for the early proof copy of the book. All opinions are solely mine.
Meet the Author:
M. T. EDVARDSSON is a writer and teacher from Trelleborg, Sweden. The author of three previous novels and two books for young readers in Sweden, Edvardsson lives with his family in Löddeköpinge, Sweden. A Nearly Normal Family has been sold in twenty-nine territories.
He tweets @Mattiasedvard