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All booksLegal thrillerA Nearly Normal Family
A Nearly Normal Family by M. T. Edvardsson
Legal thriller

A Nearly Normal Family

by M. T. Edvardsson

Quick take

A verified last page "whoa" moment.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LegalThriller

    Legal thriller

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Whodunit

    Whodunit

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Murder

    Murder

Why I love it

Angie Kim
Author, Miracle Creek

A Nearly Normal Family is so much more than a typical thriller. It’s a Scandinavian noir that culminates in a dramatic courtroom sequence. It’s a murder mystery told by three narrators, none of whom agree on the same version of events. And most importantly, it’s a compelling family drama, each member trying desperately to keep secrets and lies from the others. If you love fast-paced thrillers, if you love flawed, real characters with distinctive voices, if you love smart puzzles, look no further. You’ve found your book.

Welcome to the nearly (but not quite) normal world of the Sandells: Adam, a pastor with an almost obsessive need for order; Ulrika, his workaholic attorney wife; and Stella, their mercurial, occasionally temperamental teenage daughter. When Stella is arrested for the murder of an older stranger, Adam and Ulrika stand by, ready to defend her against shocking accusations. How far will each go to protect her ... and themselves?

One of my favorite things about A Nearly Normal Family started out being my least favorite: the style. The first section, narrated by Adam, is methodical and dry, with a monotonous rhythm. I might have stopped reading if not for the propulsiveness of the plot. Gradually, though, it occurred to me that the austerity of his voice might be a character-driven choice. My suspicion was later confirmed when the voice switched to that of an angsty teenager in the daughter’s section, and then to an introspective tone when the mother finally took over for the murder trial we’d been patiently (or not so patiently) awaiting.

And that ending! When I closed the book, I sat for a while, marveling at the clever resolution, the satisfying reveals that kept coming and coming until the very last sentence. This riveting novel is M.T. Edvardsson’s first U.S. release, and I hope we get many more very soon.

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Synopsis

Eighteen-year-old Stella 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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Preview

Get an early look from the first pages of A Nearly Normal Family.

Member thoughts

All (11209)
All (11209)
Love (4935)
Like (5647)
Dislike (627)
11418 ratings
  • 43% Love
  • 49% Like
  • 5% Dislike
  • Bedford, IN

    A nearly normal family is not what you think. You would be surprised at what lengths someone will go to protect family, especially when your relationship with them has not always been cohesive. Love prevails

  • Lubbock, TX

    Beautiful book that was well written. One of those that you’d love to see get a movie/ tv show adaptation but know they won’t give it justice. I couldn’t put it down, and I was on vacation in Colorado

  • Raymond, NH

    Couldn’t put this book down!!! I loved how it is written in 3 parts in the perspective of 3 characters. Each one is very distinct & being “in their heads” is very cool. The story keeps you guessing!

  • Sioux Falls, SD

    Nearing the end of the book, I thought i had it all figured out. But the twists weren’t done yet. With each side of the story, this book got even more addictive. A real page turner you won’t put down.

  • Missoula, MT

    Hard to read about the type of parent I can’t stand. Always wanting to be perfect and constant excuses for their faults and their child’s. Sometimes hating the character should is what makes it good.

  • Breese, IL

    Loved this whole new take on a “whodunnit”. Ethical questions, differing characters met by writing from Dad, daughter, Mom perspectives as he (the author) builds the story! Keeps you guessing til end.

  • Canoga Park, CA

    This was the first book I read after moving to a brand new house. It helped me escape life stresses and was a great distraction. I even ended up naming a hamster after the main character, Stella! ????????

  • East Aurora, NY

    Loved this book! A lot of unexpected twists and on the edge of your seat who did it. My only complaint is the title. This family is clearly not “nearly normal”A LOT of things happen within this family

  • Willoughby Hills , OH

    Very honest in how it portrays conversations. Many books are not realistic in dialogue, this one is. Portrays the rough relationship between parent and child and the decisions everyone must make. 5⭐️

  • Media, PA

    Took a little bit to get into this, about 50 pages or so. I think it was mostly me getting used to the author’s cadence, as it’s translated from Swedish. Once I fell in though, I fell all the way in!

  • Austin, TX

    Completely captivated. I love how it was broken into 3 perspectives and it made sense as to why each part was told by that persons view point. I couldn’t put it down. The short chapters made it easy.

  • Corpus Christi, TX

    Very enjoyable. I agree with other reviews, the dad’s perspective was painstakingly boring and frustrating. Fortunately the last 2/3 of the book made up it. Not as shocking as I hoped, but still good.

  • Lorena, TX

    This book drew me inand and kept my mind reeling. The suspense and characters were well-developed, and I thought I had them all figured out... Until I didn’t! This is a fast read with a strong finish!

  • Phoenix, AZ

    I read this book in a day because I couldn’t put it down after 6 hours! I liked the way it was broken up and the last section had me anxiously turning the pages until it was over. I loved Stella too!

  • Kingston, ID

    I liked reading the three different perspectives of what happened. It made me think I knew what happened until I realized I didn’t know at all. Not as fast paced as I like, but the end made up for it.

  • Camarillo, CA

    I totally fell in love with this book! It was the kind of book you curl up and read and cant put down until you get to the end! You will not...at all...know what is going to happen until your at the end

  • Shelby Twp, MI

    Interesting story, moral topics, short chapters, cliff hangers= why it’s hard to put this one down and dangerous to start reading it at night. It touches on so much more than the murder mystery. Loved

  • Lakewood, CO

    Really enjoyed the different narrators and subtle ways that things were repeated but from different perspectives. Quick, easy read with an ending that wasn’t shocking, but wasn’t inevitable either.

  • Smith Center, KS

    This book had me spinning in circles with all of the captivating twists and turns of the story. I truely love suspenseful thrillers that leave you flipping the pages faster than you can actually read

  • Campbell, CA

    This book is the best thriller/mystery I’ve read all year. I loved the structure of it, told from three different perspectives. Each character was relatable/likeable without being purely good or bad.

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