LET’S CURL UP WITH “THE TROPHY CHILD”

books-fairytales-tuesday-excerpts

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

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.

 

the-trophy-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.

Not yet.

***

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?

***

LET’S CURL UP WITH “PRETTY LITTLE WORLD”

books-fairytales-tuesday-excerpts

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is Pretty Little World, by Melissa DePino, “a skilled, funny, and highly engaging examination of family, love, and marriage…This book is a win.” —Meg Mitchell Moore, author of The Admissions…

 

 

 

pretty-little-world

 

Intro:  If Celia had been paying attention, she might have noticed the signs—the pipes clanging much too loudly when she turned on the shower, the water pressure dropping off just enough to prevent her from completely rinsing the conditioner out of her long blond hair, the dirty water that had backed up into the utility sink in the laundry room.  But Celia was never good at noticing things like that.

She had given herself twenty minutes to throw in the laundry, shower, blow-dry her hair, and get dressed before going downstairs to hurry the kids outside for some fresh air.  It was tight, but in about half an hour she had the three of them—two boys and a girl all under the age of seven—dressed and out front to play.  Two big orange cones blocked the end of the small tree-lined city street where she and her husband, Mark, had lived for the past eight years.

***

Teaser:  They sat across the cafe table from each other in the spotless eat-in kitchen area at the back of the house, breaking off pieces of flaky croissant oozing with melted chocolate and sipping their coffee while debating whether or not you could ever have too many shoes.  Still on her spending binge, Stephanie had just bought three pairs in the basement sale at Anthropologie, so she didn’t have much room to talk, even though she was adamant that Nikki weed through the more than forty pairs that she had accumulated over the years. (50%).

***

Synopsis: On a cozy street in Philadelphia, three neighboring families have become the best of friends. They can’t imagine life without one another—until one family outgrows their tiny row house. In a bid to stay together, a crazy idea is born: What if they tear down the walls between their homes and live together under one roof? And so an experiment begins.

Celia and Mark now have the space they need. But is this really what Celia’s increasingly distant husband wants? Stephanie embraces the idea of one big, happy family, but has she considered how it may exacerbate the stark differences between her and her husband, Chris? While Hope always wanted a larger family with Leo, will caring for all the children really satisfy that need?

Behind closed doors, they strive to preserve the closeness they treasure. But when boundaries are blurred, they are forced to question their choices…and reimagine the true meaning of family.

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***