The Perfect Family – A High-Quality Domestic Thriller
One of Duffy’s recommended lockdown reads!
‘A roller-coaster ride … For fans of Celeste Ng, Gillian Flynn and Liane Moriarty.’ Booklist (starred review)
The bestselling author of The Party explores what happens when a seemingly perfect family is pushed to the edge by cruel, vindictive and increasingly dangerous attacks in The Perfect Family.
Thomas and Viv Adler have a picture-perfect family. Affluent and attractive, with two well-mannered kids almost out of the nest, they live in a beautiful house in a well-to-do neighbourhood. Their jobs are fulfilling; their children are thriving; the world is their oyster.
Until one morning, when they wake up to find that their house and car have been pelted with eggs. Thomas dismisses it as the work of a few out-of-control kids, but when a smoke bomb is tossed on their front lawn, and the tires on their BMW are punctured, he begins to worry. Unable to identify the perpetrators, they are helpless as the assaults escalate. The police assure them that this is just the work of bored teenagers, but no one in the Adler family believes it. After all, each of them has a secret – kept not only from the outside world but from each other.
As the Adlers grapple with their guilt, fear and shame, the assaults grow deadly. Their ‘perfect’ façade is crumbling, and it may be too late for any of them to do anything about it.
Duffy’s thoughts on The Perfect Family
I thoroughly enjoyed The Swap by Robyn Harding so I was intrigued to read The Perfect Family.
The Adlers are an addictive family to read about! Parents Viv and Thomas and teenage children Tarryn and Eli all have and harbour dark secrets, all whilst putting on the facade of the perfect family living in suburban Oregon.
The chapters switch between each of these four central characters as the secrets each of these people are keeping are slowly revealed. Also revealed are the complex family dynamics of this supposedly normal family. However, which Adler family member has triggered such escalating attacks on their home and why? I really liked each of the characters, but in particular, connected with Eli, I found his story respectfully and carefully reflected the pressures teenagers are under when it comes to social circles and navigating and surviving toxic frat culture.
Harding has a knack for developing realistic characters that readers can resonate with on many different levels. Being able to hook into these characters and the escalating pace of the plot kept me engaged right to the last page. So much so, I read The Perfect Family in just two sittings!