You Were Made For This Hardcover – 18 June 2018
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- Publisher : HQ Fiction GB (18 June 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 400 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0008261245
- ISBN-13 : 978-0008261245
- Dimensions : 15.9 x 3.3 x 24 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 878,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
‘Extremely scary scandi-noir, definitely not for the squeamish… the writing is first-class.’ Daily Mail
‘This dark, unflinching look at motherhood, friends and marriage is unsettling but addictive’ Fabulous Magazine
‘A domestic thriller in which dreams unravel into nightmares.’
‘A chilling, gut-wrenching psychological thriller with an extraordinary intense narrative and utterly believable characters.’ Helen Fields
'Dark, unsettling, and utterly absorbing … I loved it from first page to last.' Amanda Jennings
‘Bloody Nora! If dark toxic relationships are your thing, this is one for you. Unsettling intensity with each page turned, arresting and intriguing. I read it holding my breath.’ Nina Pottell
‘You Were Made For This has everything a psychological thriller needs…toxic and stifling, the story drew me in and kept me up turning the pages long after I should have gone to bed.’ Lisa Hall
‘Absolutely addictive. A dark exploration of motherhood and friendship – visceral, unputdownable, and original. You’ll never look at Sweden the same way again!’ Phoebe Morgan
‘A haunting first novel… an unblinking look at beautiful people with ugly secrets, it has the voyeuristic fascination of a Bergman film.’ Publishers Weekly
‘an insightful and skilfully constructed novel… will keep readers rapt to the final page.’ Booklist
‘Sacks’ first novel expertly portrays the dark side of domesticity and motherhood. Fans of dark and twisted psychological thrillers will be swept up in the appearance of domestic bliss and maternal perfection, only to be left off-kilter and breathless with each costume change.’ Library Journal
The dark, shocking thriller that everyone is talking about
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All three of the main characters have despicable traits; truly awful. Sam is a sacked professor; a liar, womaniser, shallow and controlling. Merry is deluded, cruel and a liar. Frank, the friend, is like a cuckoo and is a user, a leech, deluded and another liar. In fact, there’s absolutely no redeeming features in any of them.
Sam and Merry move to a remote island in Sweden to start a new life, with their baby, Connor. Sam has been sacked after having an affair with a student but he’s a serial adulterer. All is happy clappy on the surface. Big trouble brews beneath the flimsy outer appearances and Merry struggles to cope with Connor. Along comes Frank, Merry’s best friend and all hell lets loose.
From the outset of reading the book you will know something isn’t right with the set up and relationships. The storyline is a horrible one but as mentioned, gripping. The characters start off bad and just get worse.
An unusual writing style, with each character taking a role in the telling. Certainly recommend and I would definitely read another book by this author.
The great thing about this book is that the author spends time to develop the characters and expertly takes away layers from their glossy exterior to uncover each of their flaws. And there are plenty of flaws. Some difficult themes are tackled here including postpartum depression / psychosis, mental health burden of with being in a foreign country with no family or friends and the pressures of looking after an infant and jealousy. It is all handled very well by the author Michelle Sacks who is clearly a talented writer. This is her first full length novel and it was originally published under the title You Were Made for This. I will certainly look out for her work in the future.
Enter Merry’s oldest friend, Frances (Frank), and you have two women who know each other intimately. Frank has witnessed Merry’s ‘shapeshifting’ and the many different personas she has adopted over the years, but Frank herself is no angel and it doesn’t take much for her to unsettle the rocky family equilibrium and a tragedy to arise. The characters are all deeply flawed and the book is laced with insights and clues as to how their individual childhoods have left their mark on the adults they have become. This is also true of Merry and Frank’s competitive friendship which has spanned three decades with some of their unspoken resentments and bitterness stemming from grudges established years earlier.
After a taut first half which introduces the characters, their toxic relationships, secrets and lies the second half turns into a murder mystery and after witnessing how morally bankrupt the trio are, there was very little left to surprise me. Bleak, claustrophobic and comprised of short, sharp mostly well-written chapters I found it difficult to invest in the story or conceive of three such despicable people with absolutely no redeeming features having any kind of lasting friendship in reality.