Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Trophy Child by Paula Daly

Hardcover, 386 pages
Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Grove Press
Paula Daly is acclaimed for her distinctive voice, masterful plotting, and terrifying depictions of ordinary people whose everyday lives are turned upside down through deception and murder. In her unsettling new domestic thriller, The Trophy Child, Daly digs beneath the serene surface of the idyllic suburban Lake District community where families strive for perfection, delivering a suspenseful, surprising story of motherhood and fallibility.

Karen Bloom is not the coddling mother type. She believes in raising her children for success. Some in the neighborhood call her assertive, others say she’s driven, but in gossiping circles she’s known as: the tiger mother. Karen believes that tough discipline is the true art of parenting and that achievement leads to ultimate happiness. She expects her husband and her children to perform at 200 percent—no matter the cost. But in an unending quest for excellence, her seemingly flawless family start to rebel against her.

Her husband Noel is a handsome doctor with a proclivity for alcohol and women. Their prodigy daughter, Bronte, is excelling at school, music lessons, dance classes, and yet she longs to run away. Verity, Noel’s teenage daughter from his first marriage, is starting to display aggressive behavior. And Karen’s son from a previous relationship falls deeper into drug use. When tragedy strikes the Blooms, Karen’s carefully constructed facade begins to fall apart—and once the deadly cracks appear, they are impossible to stop.

A thrilling tale of ambition and murder, Daly’s richly imagined world of suburban striving and motherly love is an absorbing page-turner about the illusions of perfection and the power games between husband and wife, parent and child.

My Thoughts…

 I am new to Paula Daly.   With each book I expect suspense, drama, and an unsolvable mystery for the reader.      This is exactly what The Trophy Child was for me.   The suspense of the missing child, the mixed family, and the psycho tiger mom were written perfectly.     The drama of the family was interesting.    A child from past relationships for both parents and one child together almost always leads to some interesting happenings but in this family it went farther than that due to the tiger mom.     Tiger mom??  I could come up with some much better words to describe the mother.    

I know this is fiction but I so wanted to slap Noel.   He needed to wake up, deal with his wife, be a father, and take control of his out of control life.    His children needed them, all 3 of them, so badly.   He failed them.   Noel truly lived in his own world, letting everyone else circle around him.  

I really enjoyed this book from beginning to end.   Paula Daly had me guessing and changing my mind at each new clue.    The ending surprised me.   I never saw it coming.      Definitely pick up The Trophy Child.  

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