Such a Beautiful Family
reviewed by Cara DiCostanzo
Remember the adage “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” This is the theme of this thrill ride packed into a short novel.
Nora Harmon is an IT marketing whiz, living a very happy life with her beloved husband, David, and two teenagers, Hailey and Trevor. When the founder and CEO of IMPACT, a rising IT company, appears out of the blue and offers Nora the opportunity of a lifetime, a fantastic salary, flexible working hours and an exciting position, it seems too good to be true. Especially since she does not know how Jane Bell found her. And why is Jane so persistent that she take the job? After turning her down once, Nora realizes she would be crazy to turn down such an opportunity and leaves the job she has worked so hard for to start anew.
As Jane and Nora become closer, Nora suspects Jane is not all she seems to be. Described as beautiful and sweet with butter blond hair, she sounds like a dream. Jane seems lonely with no family of her own and is constantly inserting herself into Nora’s family, inviting herself over for dinner, buying the kids’ expensive gifts and flirting with David, her husband. Is she really just a lonely and beautiful woman or is there something more sinister going on? When work and home life pressures increase, she has little patience with Jane and makes a big decision which will set things into a spiral she may not get out of.
The prologue of the book has Nora going after her friend Allina, who is at a party and feels unsafe. At the party, she is given a Rohypnol and gets in an accident on the way home. The next time we see her, she is married with a family. We learn bits and pieces about the accident throughout the book but I didn’t make any connections until later on. I believe the connection between the prologue and the rest of the book is intentionally vague. Such a Beautiful Family has so many great characters but at various points in the novel, I just wanted to scream at them. David, Nora’s husband was annoyingly obtuse with Jane coming over every night and making them dinner. Haily, almost 16 in the book, was a typical teenager but brother, Trevor is a 40-year-old trapped in a 13-year-old body. This book is very fast-paced and a quick read. I was addicted from the first page and can’t wait to read more from this author.
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