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This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman
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's review
Apr 04, 12

bookshelves: read-shelves
Read in January, 2012

This book lost me from hello, and whilst at times it made an effort to win me back I never really bought it.
The premise is good one, its what caught my attention, and I was excited to receive an uncorrected proof from Waterstones. Examining the worst challenges a family can face from the relative safety of a book can make for very thought provoking reading. But this is no "We Need to Talk About Kevin."
I felt the main barrier to me connecting with this book was the characters, and the lives they led. Private school, high society, power jobs, spoilt children...there was nothing there that I could relate to, and more than that there was no humility. Possibly this is to show that even family disasters can happen in the "perfect" segment of society...but that isn't how it translates to paper. That side of it left me cold, it reminded me of a certain strain of chick-lit that has never attracted me. The characters came across as contrived and thoroughly dislikeable. As a result, I didn't care what happened to any of them - in my mind they all deserved a poor outcome.
Basically, this book failed to move me in the way I had hoped it would. Its probably more suited to women who are outgrowing chick-lit, venturing into something with a bit more meat but who need the security blanket of that genre.
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Courtney I had read WeVe Got To Talk About Kevin too, and this book seemed to be along the same lines....So disappointed in it.

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