This was on sale and it just sounded good so it was an impulse buy and an almost immediate read. It did grabbed my attention and I started the ride one evening and finished the next day – a 12-hour listen.
A Nearly Normal Family
by M.T. Edvardsson
Translated by Rachel Wilson-Boyles
2019 – 400 pages
read by Georgia McGuire – 12h 31m
rating – B / suspense – legal
In a city in Sweden Adam, a minister, his wife Ulrika, a defense attorney, and Stella, a 18-year old newly out of school comprise this “nearly normal” family. When Stella is arrested for murder Adam and Ulrika are determined to stand by her no matter what. But as the evidence mounts it looks bad for the good guys.
Stella is incarcerated from early on and that wreaks havoc on everyone including the prison employees because Stella is not a compliant customer. Everyone in the family seems to have problems. And as the story unfolds, the man Stella is supposed to have murdered tops the list of problem-people. To make matters worse he was rich and the adored son of a powerful prosecuting attorney.
Themes of women vs the justice system, rape, loyalty, love and friendship family dynamics/ dysfunction are all explored, but the main thrust is whom do you believe?
There is a lot of backstory so the structure alternates from current time to back story with different 1st person narrators in each of three parts. It works. The tension builds nicely and the characters are all intriguing, if not “likeable.”
It’s a great one-gulp read – one weekend or something.