My spotlight today turns to an e-ARC from NetGalley, with a release date of March 7, 2017. The Trophy Child, by Paula Daly, is a richly imagined world of suburban striving and motherly love, an absorbing page-turner about the illusions of perfection and the power games between husband and wife, parent and child.
Intro: (Monday, September 21)
The girls’ changing room smelled heavily of sweat, mud and a sickly-sweet deodorant that was beginning to irritate the back of her throat. She didn’t have a lot of enthusiasm for hockey. Not a lot of enthusiasm for school, full stop, now that she was on a probationary period. It was to be a period of indeterminate length, during which her behavior would be monitored by a variety of well-meaning professionals.
Verity Bloom: not quite a lost cause.
Teaser: (Part Two: Monday, October 5)
Verity could hear classical music playing in a far-away room. She had no idea who the composer was but she recognized the piece from a car-insurance commercial. After gawping at Jeremy Gleeson’s set of watercolours for what felt like the hundredth time, she decided he must be running late and so she pulled out Educating Rita from her rucksack. (42%).
Synopsis: 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.
I love how this author zeroes in on complex family issues and keeps me turning the pages. What do you think? Would you keep reading?