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This Perfect World

3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  959 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews

Heddy Partridge was never my friend. I have to start with that.



Heddy Partridge was never my friend because I was pretty, popular, clever and blonde and my friends were pretty, popular, clever and generally blonde, too.



Heddy Partridge was none of these things.

Laura Hamley is the woman who has everything: a loving and successful husband, two beautiful children, an ex

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Kindle Edition, 316 pages
Published November 30th 2010 by Pan Books (first published March 5th 2010)
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(showing 1-30)
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Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
I really enjoyed this book a lot and am eager to read more from this author I have just discovered. This is a fantastic contemporary women's fiction novel that tackles some uncomfortable themes exceptionally well.

Laura has a perfect life, or so it seems. The big house, successful husband, lovely children and the "right" group of friends. But Laura hides away a part of herself, from her past that she dare not share with her circle of perfect friends. What would they think!

Heddy is in a mental hos
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Nicola
Jan 10, 2011 Nicola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a bit unsure about starting this book, because I wasn't sure if it would really be my kind of thing. However, after only the first page, I was completely captivated.

It was so refreshing and different to read from the point of view of a character who is terribly flawed, yet still be able to empathize with her. Laura is living in a world of French classes for toddlers and play-dates only with the ''right kind'' of children.

She thinks she has left her past behind her, until the mother of a gi
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Tracy Fenton
Dec 11, 2013 Tracy Fenton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truly uncomfortable look at childhood bullying and the ripple effects into adulthood.
Thought provoking, sad and gripping.
David Hebblethwaite
At the age of thirty-six, Laura Hamley lives the life of a stereotypical ‘yummy mummy’ — married to a successful lawyer, attractive children, yoga classes, paninis and air-kissing and dinner parties with friends. She has attained an aspirational dream of the times, but a phone call threatens to dredge up her past. The caller is Violet Partridge, whose daughter, Heddy, went to school with Laura. Heddy has been placed in a psychiatric institution, and Violet wants to get her released; perhaps Laur ...more
Andrea
Aug 01, 2013 Andrea rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anne
Sep 09, 2010 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This Perfect World is a spellbinding read, that draws the reader in from page one. Well written and a fairly quick read but also at times, a very difficult read.

Narrated by Laura, a woman who lives the seemingly perfect life - with the perfect children, husband, house and circle of friends. Her friends are women who are all married to rich men, women who spend their time talking hair, shoes, lunch and judging each other by what they have or do not have. A totally superficial life based on wealth
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Fiddlesticks
Sep 25, 2011 Fiddlesticks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, library
I did not expect to like this book. I read it because it was chosen for a book club I belong to. I actually found it incredibly readable - so much so that I read it in one day! And the story told is terribly touching. It is one of those stories that is about being human and being fallible, and about the way that as fallible humans we can do horrible things. Sometimes that we realise are horrible, and sometimes that somehow we manage not to see. As a result, this book is heavily about guilt and a ...more
Kim
Jan 24, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, 2011
This is a book about childhood bullying written from the bully's perspective. Laura and her friends made Heddy's life a nightmare- but her father continued to insist that she accompany Heddy to ballet and brownies.

Out of the blue Heddy's mum calls her and asks for her help. Heddy has suffered a breakdown and is in hospital. She wants Laura's help to get her home again. She reluctantly gets drawn in- and reveals images of the past. Her seemingly perfect world begins to unravel and the 'friends' s
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Cleo Bannister
Aug 11, 2013 Cleo Bannister rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a thought-provoking read!

This book is well written and very engaging.

Despite not liking the protaganist Laura at the start of the book it was a compelling read. The stories of life in the playground were uncomfortably realistic as were those of the "school mums." I am sure we all know or have known people like these.

The book is really about the consequences of our actions, Laura has to atone for her actions as a child and in the process quesitons her current life.

This is not an easy book to
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Sarah
May 04, 2013 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
I stumbled across this book while looking for something similar to Sophie Hannah's crime novels (which I love). At first glance it seemed to have the same sort of heroine with a dark past and promised intriguing plot twists. In reality it proved to be very different in style and genre. Despite the dark themes in Sophie Hannah's books, they are ultimately redemptive and have a positive vibe running through them - you know everything will turn out well for the central character in the end, even if ...more
Jo Barton
Jun 15, 2012 Jo Barton rated it it was amazing
Laura Hamley has everything - a perfect life, good husband, beautiful children and supportive friends, but old memories are reopened when she receives an unexpected phone call from the mother of a girl she once bullied at school. Laura has managed to successfully block from her life all the unpleasantness which was associated with her unusual relationship with Heddy Partridge, but when Heddy's mother asks for Laura's help in getting Heddy released from hospital, Laura must face the hidden demons ...more
Amanda
The long term consequences of childhood cruelty are explored in this very nuanced book. Consequences to the victim yes, but also to the bully. When Laura is reluctantly forced to confront her own past behavior she is horrified by her actions. As she slowly works towards some kind of redemption, she begins to examine everything that makes up her own " perfect life ".
I enjoyed this very much. An uncomfortable read at times. The cruelty to "poor Heddy Partridge" was painful to experience, but the
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Dan
Jun 22, 2011 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fantastic book which called back the narrator's memories of childhood bullying, but from the perspective of the perpetrator.
Laura recalls Heddy Partridge's treatment at her hands when Heddy is brought back into her life following a call from her mother.
As Laura questions her actions in childhood, the thin veneer of her seemingly perfect life as a middle-class suburban housewife starts to crumble.
This is a sad and soul-searching tale of bullying, self-harm, guilt and the question of
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Ceri
Jan 29, 2011 Ceri rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
This year so far hasn't been a good one for readng, I haven't read a five star book yet so I had high hopes for this book especially as I'd read some great reviews about it. It's a shame to say I was thoroughly disappointed, it wasn't until 250 pages in that the book moved on from the first page. It was very slow paced and seemed to go over the same thing, the main character in the book (Laura) and her friends just seemed to get get shallower and blonder as the story went on.

As the book has rece
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Najie Khalid
Uhm, honestly, this is not my cup of tea. but there are many lessons to it. 1) never, I mean never mistreat people. BE KIND. You never know how bad your words and actions can hurt someone's feeling. It might even cause depression. 2) well this world isn't perfect. You gotta deal with the aftermath of the destruction you caused in the past. It will haunt you somehow. So be nice!
Danielle
Feb 17, 2014 Danielle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A quick read, but a FANTASTIC one! So tense and deep, and definitely makes you think about decisions you've made, and how those decisions may have affected people. The topic of bullying at school is a big one here, and so realistic. A really excellent book I thought.
Chrissi
Jul 24, 2011 Chrissi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a brilliant book. It was hard to read at some points because of the subject matter. I felt for the character Heddy. Great writing and well worth a read.
Chloe Stam
Jul 16, 2017 Chloe Stam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I thoroughly enjoyed this book - it was well written and it explored nicely the themes of guilt and the emptiness of a materialistic status-seeking and status-maintaining suburban life for women, how it can trap you into convention. It was also nice to read a book that centred on a bully rather than the bullied. The we actually see very little from the victim's point of view, but in a way that represents life - how often would the bully really see or understand things from the victim's point of ...more
Karen Wickham
Jan 16, 2017 Karen Wickham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Totally engrossing story. The author has a way of showing people at their worst and digging into so called perfect families to find the lies we tell ourselves.
Annemarie
Nov 28, 2013 Annemarie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anders dan ik – Suzanne Bugler
Hoge verwachtingen had ik van dit boek na het lezen van de achterkant. Een boek over pesten en vooral over pesters. Wat doet dat met je als je een ander pest?

Helaas was het grootste gedeelte van het boek (zo’n 2/3e) voor mij te oppervlakkig, te nietszeggend, te weinig over het onderwerp waar het boek over zou gaan. Er werd het perfecte leventje van Laura omschreven, de pester uit het verleden op de basisschool.

Maar wat een geweldig einde! Was het hele boek maar zo g
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Jenneke
Aug 31, 2014 Jenneke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: age-adult
"Heddy was nooit een vriendin van mij. Laat ik dat vooropstellen. Dat was ze niet omdat ik knap, populair, slim en blond was, en mijn vriendinnen waren ook knap, populair, slim en de meeste blond. Heddy was dat allemaal niet."

Laura heeft het perfecte leventje, ze heeft het allemaal voor elkaar, een leuke man, twee kinderen die natuurlijk ook de perfecte vriendjes hebben en een leven in de 'high class' van advocaten, doctoren en nog meer rijke snobs. Een telefoontje van de moeder van een oud-klas
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E
Dec 01, 2015 E rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"What fun there is to be had when you are young, and fortunately perfect. It seemed to me back then that some people are born to picked on, and others to do the picking."

This really struck a chord with me, because as a child I had a friend who went to various different schools, but wherever he went, he was picked on. Completely new start, same result. Is there some gene that makes children vulnerable and others fortunate. I still don't know the answer. But this quote really struck a chord with m
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Stephen
Feb 18, 2015 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love when books surprise you. Knowing nothing at all about this book when I picked it up, I was expecting something light. But This Perfect World isn't light - rather the opposite, in fact. Instead, it's a sharp, funny, dark look at the lives of suburban "yummy-mummies" and their rich husbands.

Bugler's writing is concise and to the point, and she paints some great images, especially in the scenes regarding Laura's phobia of germs. Laura's memories of bullying Heddy are vivid and uncomfortably
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Jen
Nov 01, 2012 Jen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Laura Hamley inhabits a world of suburban bliss, with her perfect husband, her perfect children, and the perfect social storm of friends and hangers-on whirling around her. Heddy Partridge was the stereotypical fat social pariah of the playground, but now she is a patient in a psychiatric hospital. Heddy�s mother, desperate to help her daughter, reaches out to Laura, who rapidly finds herself entangled in the famiy�s problems. This perfect world of hers has little room for guilt, for introspecti ...more
Esther Echendu henderson
The subject matter drew me to this book. As I haven't 'really' witnessed the cruel side of school bullying either as a victim or the bully in the part of world where I grew up, and having a daughter that will grow up in a world different from d one I experienced, I felt the need to 'investigate' the subject matter- bullying.
This book thus gave me an insight on that and more interestingly from the bully's perspective. It tried implicitly to answer what rejection means. And I thought of this illus
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Robyn
Feb 23, 2016 Robyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars.

I was debating over whether to give this book 3 or 4 stars so just decided to settle in the middle. It took me a while to get into the book, especially as the narrator, 'perfect' wife and mother of two young children, is the kind of person that I really do dislike. But once I got about halfway through, I really enjoyed it and finished that last half in one day.
This book deals with the theme of childhood bullying and how the things that happen to you in childhood can have ripple effect
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Ellie M
Mar 09, 2012 Ellie M rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, fiction
I'd have given this book 3.5 stars if I could. I liked it but didn't really love it, but saying that the story was compelling and I read it in a relatively short space of time and would read other books by the author.

The story flits between the present and the past. Laura is a 30 something living a middle-class life in suburban England. She takes her young kids to French classes, does yoga and lunch with her friends, and chats about shoes, home decor and other concerns of stay at home yummy-mumm
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Ann
Jan 07, 2012 Ann rated it really liked it
I found this a compelling though not a comfortable read. Once I started it I found it difficult to put down

Laura, the narrator, leads a rather Stepford Wives existence with a handsome successful husband and two beautiful children. Then she receives a phone call from the mother of Heddy a girl she was at school with. Heddy a victim of bullying as a child, is being held in a mental hospital after a breakdown. Her mother wants Laura's help in getting Heddy released. Laura is initially reluctant to
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Zoe
Sep 25, 2015 Zoe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
'The Perfect World' is based on the life of Laura. Stay at home mother of two with a city worker husband. Laura has money and social class - and that is all that really matters in her shallow friendship group. One evening, Laura is contacted by the Mother of an old classmate - a classmate Laura bullied mercilessly in her schooldays.

Heddy is in a mental hospital following a severe break-down and Heddy's mother turns to Laura to make things right. Can she put old demons to sleep? Can Heddy forgiv
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Sian
Mar 27, 2010 Sian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010
I have just finished reading this and have to say I really enjoyed it.

As someone who was bullied as a child it really struck a cord in me and I did actually really like Laura, she was just a child at the time and sometimes as a child you dont really know better and obviously her parents didnt help anything and actually made her worse than what she probably would have been if they hadnt kept forcing the situation on her. Also her husband what a total *beep beep beep* makes me realise how fantast
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