A Nearly Normal Family: A Novel
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Published:
Celadon Books 2019
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Checked Out
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"...A compulsively readable tour de force." —The Wall Street JournalNew York Times Book Review recommends M.T. Edvardsson's A Nearly Normal Family and lauds it as a "page-turner" that forces the reader to confront "the compromises we make with ourselves to be the people we believe our beloveds expect." (NYTimes Book Review Summer Reading Issue)

M.T. Edvardsson's A Nearly Normal Family is a gripping legal thriller that forces the reader to consider: How far would you go to protect the ones you love? In this twisted narrative of love and murder, a horrific crime makes a seemingly normal family question everything they thought they knew about their life—and one another.

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?

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
06/25/2019
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781250204424
ASIN:
B07J4RDJTJ
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70

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Date Added:
Jun 21, 2019 12:57:34
Date Updated:
Sep 15, 2019 02:08:22
Last Metadata Check:
Sep 14, 2019 20:57:40
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Sep 14, 2019 20:57:43
Last Availability Change:
Sep 14, 2019 08:51:05
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
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      • bioText: M. T. Edvardsson is an author and teacher from Trelleborg, Sweden. He is the author of multiple novels and books for young readers in Sweden. A Nearly Normal Family is his first novel published in the United States. He lives with his family in Löddeköpinge, Sweden.
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shortDescription

"...A compulsively readable tour de force." —The Wall Street Journal

New York Times Book Review recommends M.T. Edvardsson's A Nearly Normal Family and lauds it as a "page-turner" that forces the reader to confront "the compromises we make with ourselves to be the people we believe our beloveds expect." (NYTimes Book Review Summer Reading Issue)

M.T. Edvardsson's A Nearly Normal Family is a gripping legal thriller that forces the reader to consider: How far would you go to protect the ones you love? In this twisted narrative of love and murder, a horrific crime makes a seemingly normal family question everything they thought they knew about their life—and one another.

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...

isOwnedByCollections
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title
A Nearly Normal Family
fullDescription

"...A compulsively readable tour de force." —The Wall Street Journal

New York Times Book Review recommends M.T. Edvardsson's A Nearly Normal Family and lauds it as a "page-turner" that forces the reader to confront "the compromises we make with ourselves to be the people we believe our beloveds expect." (NYTimes Book Review Summer Reading Issue)

M.T. Edvardsson's A Nearly Normal Family is a gripping legal thriller that forces the reader to consider: How far would you go to protect the ones you love? In this twisted narrative of love and murder, a horrific crime makes a seemingly normal family question everything they thought they knew about their life—and one another.

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?

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reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        April 8, 2019
        Swedish author Edvardsson make his U.S. debut with an ambitious novel that focuses on the question: What would one do to save one’s child from the consequences of a horrible crime? Rebellious 18-year-old Stella Sandell has a violent temper and a penchant for getting into trouble, reflecting a need to defy her overprotective father, Adam, a Church of Sweden pastor in the town of Lund. When Stella is arrested for the murder of her lover, 33-year-old Christopher Olsen, a criminal law professor’s son with a checkered past, Adam and his lawyer wife, Ulrika, go to great lengths to help their troubled daughter. Edvardsson uses first-person narratives from Adam, Stella, and Ulrika to tell the story of the family, the crime, and the trial. This structure adds complexity and ambiguity, but the three different versions of the events result in too much repetition, dampening the suspense and weakening the denouement. This novel works better as a domestic drama than as a mystery. Agent: Astri Ahlander, Ahlander Agency (Sweden).

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        April 15, 2019
        In Swedish author Edvardsson's U.S debut, a family is shattered by a heinous crime. Adam is a well-respected pastor, and his wife, Ulrika, is a defense attorney. Their daughter, Stella, has just turned 18 and is planning a trip to Asia. From the outside, the Sandells are the perfect family, but that facade crumbles when Stella is arrested for the brutal stabbing of 32-year-old Christopher Olsen at a playground. On the night of the murder, Adam finds Stella's shirt covered in dark stains; he will do anything to keep his daughter out of prison, including providing a false alibi, but his decision contradicts his faith and shakes him to his core. The story is told in three parts, from the viewpoints of Adam, Stella, and Ulrika. Adam presents Stella as a troubled child and out-of-control teen. Stella reveals that much of her acting out stemmed from her desire to control her own life, her father's overprotectiveness, and her mother's perceived coldness. Further, Adam and Ulrika's failure to report a sexual assault on Stella by a trusted camp director when Stella was 15 created a permanent fissure in the family. Stella's whirlwind affair with the wealthy and attentive Chris is complicated by his ex-girlfriend, who tells Stella he's abusive. The romance eventually spins out of control, but could Stella be a killer? Much of Ulrika's narrative is spent in the courtroom during Stella's murder trial, which may lead some readers to feel like she got short shrift. In between flashes of courtroom drama, Ulrika contemplates her marriage, motherhood, and her alienation in the face of what she felt was an impenetrable relationship between Adam and Stella. The murder mystery falls a bit flat and the resolution is overly neat, but Edvardsson ably weaves themes of parental guilt and sacrifice into a nuanced family drama. Not terribly suspenseful, but as a dissection of a family in crisis, it works.

        COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

subtitle
A Novel
popularity
12886
publisher
Celadon Books
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