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The Perfect Child

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  2,208 ratings  ·  305 reviews
A page-turning debut of suspense about a young couple desperate to have a child of their own—and the unsettling consequences of getting what they always wanted.

Christopher and Hannah are a happily married surgeon and nurse with picture-perfect lives. All that’s missing is a child. When Janie, an abandoned six-year-old, turns up at their hospital, Christopher forms an insta
Hardcover, 370 pages
Expected publication: March 1st 2019 by Thomas & Mercer
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  • The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry
    The Perfect Child
    Release date: Mar 01, 2019
    A page-turning debut of suspense about a young couple desperate to have a child of their own—and the unsettling consequences of getting what they alwa ...more

    Format: Kindle book

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    Availability: 100 copies available, 1994 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Feb 01 - Feb 28, 2019

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Jeanine Stage No. I was worried about that initially myself, but it is very different. Janie is an actual child.

    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    4.22  · 
    Rating details
     ·  2,208 ratings  ·  305 reviews

    Sort order
    Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
    I'm not sure I've ever read such a crazy, intense, non-stop, haunting, anxiety producing novel...but only in the best and most desirable way. I didn't want it to end.

    Once this book has you in it's grips, it won't let go. I started it this morning and literally could not put it down. My poor husband probably feels deprived.

    Having received The Perfect Child free as a Kindle First February option, I honestly didn't have high expectations. These freebie books are hit or miss for me. Sometimes the
    Danielle Stephens
    I’m okay with not having a happy ending, but an ENDING would be nice. I feel like the book ended in what should have been the end of a chapter.

    Good book, although I found the husband, Christopher, INFURIATING.
    PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
    After years of infertility Dr Christopher Bauer and his wife Hannah, a nurse, gave up the idea of having a biological child. When abandoned and battered six-year-old Janie winds up in the ER, they decide to adopt her. Despite warnings from professionals that Janie trauma will take years to heal, if it ever does, the Bauers feel they are equipped. Then somebody dies.

    Readers don’t know who the murder victim(s) is (or are) until near the end of THE PERFECT CHILD. Told from the first person points o
    Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    This may contain spoilers, but this book left me with a lot of thoughts and feelings.

    This sh*t was bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

    I started reading it on my lunch break on Monday and finished it a few hours later. I could not put it down, because I just had to figure out what the heck was happening! The story is told from three points of view. Christopher and Hannah (our main characters) and the child protective services lady, Piper. Christopher's character is absolutely infuriating, it amazed me how v
    Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Absolutely INCREDIBLE! This is my second read from Lucinda Berry and she is a phenomenal writer. I just bought two more of her books, Phantom Limb, was just .99¢ today!

    This book touched me, sent chills down my spine several times. I have worked with severely emotionally disturbed children, many who were in foster care. It touched me so much that I became an emergency placement foster parent. When I got married and had children I told my husband I was done having children in my home, I would not
    Feb 03, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
    No ending!

    Great story, but then it just stopped. It was as if the author got tired and quit. Such a disappointment.
    Elaine Maynard
    Feb 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
    There was a knock on the door, I peeped behind the curtains to see who it was then I didn't bother to write a review after all.

    Lynda Kelly
    Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: favourites
    This was my Kindle First pick for February. I had thought it was the author's debut only to find out once I finished it that she's written maybe half a dozen other stories. Don't know how she passed me by before but I'll be reading some of her others for sure. I see they all seem to be about damaged kids but you can also tell she knows her stuff (and explains things in simple, laymen's terms) so it's intriguing to learn about what she clearly gets to see in her "other job." I'm not a fan of chil ...more
    Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: read-2019
    Kindle First Reads free pick for February. (Side note, these kindle first reads books have been good and allow me to read something I wouldn’t normally find on my own!) God, this book. This is just an edge of your seat psychological thriller. I mean, you know something bad is going to happen. The whole book is like inching along in traffic knowing you are coming up on a really bad accident. This book left me unsettled through the whole thing but couldn’t put it down. I’m more disturbed finding o ...more
    Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
    This was a no brainer for my Kindle First pick, I've previously read several books from this author. Based on past experience I went in expecting disturbing and was not disappointed!

    It reminded me a little bit of Baby Teeth, but I thought this book was so much better. Christopher and Hannah are desperate for a child, but Hannah wants a baby and Christopher becomes very attached to six year old Janie after helping with her medical problems. It's clear from the beginning that Janie has many proble
    Amelia Strydom
    Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    "We'd like to think a mother and father's love can turn everything around, but there are times where parents do the very best they can, but the kid- even from the get-go - is just a bad kid ... Ignore the problem, and we could have blood on our hands." Adrian Raine, psychologist (University of Pennsylvania).

    After years of infertility, Christopher, an orthopaedic surgeon, and Hannah, a nurse, have given up on having a biological child. While they are lookin
    Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

    What I liked:
    Thriller, horror, and a splash of slasher make this a disturbing read. (This is only a plus if you like those genres I personally do)

    The dialogue was ok.

    I liked the short chapters focusing on piper hannah and christopher the chapters focused on what was important to them and showed three sides to the same situation. Reminded me of the saying there's three sides to every story, yours, mine, and the truth. Although at different parts of the story they all became unreliable wi
    Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
    The first few chapters and this book was a shoe-in for a 5 star review. However, as the book progressed the number of stars declined. I knew nothing about Child Abuse Syndrome so an internet search revealed some basic facts and also a good article in The Open Neurology Journal from 2016. I did get confused as to whether this was Janie's diagnosis or if there was an alternative. The story is told from 3 viewpoints- Hannah's, Christopher's (so husband and wife) and a police investigation which is ...more
    Michele Amedee
    Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: completed-2019
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

    I loved the different perspectives from each character in the book! Amazingly written and extremely scary to think this could and probably is happening in real life!
    Thomas Goins
    Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Emilie Rabitoy
    Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This sh*t will stay with me forever. This book was so amazingly haunting, in such a dark way. I’ll be looking over my shoulder for days and holding my family closer. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind I won’t be sleeping tonight. This was an incredibly gripping read, if you’re a fan of Rachel Caine’s Stillhouse Lake, you’re sure to love this book.
    Veronica Parker
    After reading Phantom Limb by Lucinda Berry and being horrified I made it through such a dark and twisted book while 3 months postpartum, I swore to take a break from the dark stuff and maybe read something by Sophie Kinsella, or for Pete’s sake, even something by Jodi Picoult. Something that wasn’t so detailed in its horrors.

    I was surprised to see that I had A Perfect Child already downloaded on my Kindle. I think I had preordered it from Amazon First Read’s last month, maybe. Regardless, I tot
    Kira FlowerChild
    There is no doubt the author of this book has the qualifications to write about this subject. However, I have to wonder if some of the content is exaggerated for dramatic effect. I have no doubt that the kind of abuse that was described happening at such an early age would cause a child to have severe mental and emotional problems. She spent her first two years with her grandmother, and it is not clear whether the child (Janie) was simply a high energy, challenging baby/toddler who was abused by ...more
    Feb 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Amazon Kindle First read for February. Just a 3 star for me.

    I thought the premise of the book was interesting but for the first part of it I thought the writing was a bit torturous and laboured. There were points that were overly explained which I thought needed little or none. There was one point that Hannah one of the 3 narrators of the story made which intensely annoyed me which basically said that men could not understand a woman’s desire to hold their new born baby. Really? How insulting t
    Mandi Ehman
    Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    A couple of chapters into this book, I wasn't sure whether I wanted to continue. Some of the writing felt forced, and I couldn't seem to forget that I was reading and get lost in the story. I paused to read a few reviews to see if it might get better, and a lot of the reviews talked about how dark and disturbing it was, which isn't always my cup of tea, which made me wonder if I would regret continuing.

    But I kept reading, and it's true—it IS dark and disturbing. But I was taken in by the story n
    Feb 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: ebook-kindle
    The Perfect Child

    I chose this as an Amazon Prime First Reads. It took a little time to get going until about 45% of the way in. By then, I'd already figured out the character of two of the main characters and figured there would be a rapid decline in a third.

    Once it picked up, I was determined to finish it quick to see the end. I do wish there was a postscript to know what ultimately happened as I feel it ended abruptly and without a resolution. However, I enjoy and prefer stories that have a re
    Traci Reed
    Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Saying a book like this was "good" feels strangely wrong. Compelling, yes. Horrifying, yes. Un-put-downable, YES. But good? Good implies redeeming value in the story arc, good implies resolution. If you're looking for those things, this book is not the one for you.

    The author is a trauma psychologist and I think her experience in the field is was made this book all too real and all too disturbing. Hannah and Christopher adopt an orphaned little girl with some deep-seated trauma and because no go
    Feb 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
    I loved this book for the first 2/3 of was crazy good. I literally could not put it down once I realized everything that was going on. It’s good that I was stuck at home with a bad cold so I could devour it! However, it felt like after the author built us up to the top of the rollercoaster, she just didn’t know how to end it. I feel like it is unfinished and none of the loose ends are tied up.this book had SO much potential!!
    Sophie Bristow Harris
    I came very close to giving this a full house of 5 stars. However the last line ended on a cliff hanger and I believe the author only writes stand-alones....
    It was a good, at times hard to read novel. The characters were all pretty unlikeable and unsavoury!
    I love the bright cerise balloon on the cover and it depicts the book extremely well.
    A nail biting and tense read which I read over a couple of days and enjoyed.
    Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Don't make plans!

    This book was amazing in the darkest way possible! I started it before bed and that was a mistake since I couldn't sleep till I was done! Favorite domestic thriller of 2019 so far!
    Caitlin Grace
    Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Interesting read that’s hard to put down

    Going into this book with no expectations, and no inclination of where it’s headed is the best way to approach The Perfect Child.
    Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

    Good heavens what a ride. Gripping. Not my usual type of book, but I could not put this one down.
    Kimberly P
    Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

    This book was a complete page turner! The story as told from the different perspectives of the husband and wife was so effective in showing how a difficult situation was allowed to spiral out of control. The ending was very abrupt though. The story could have used an epilogue to tie up some of the loose ends.
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    Dr. Lucinda Berry's background is as unique as her stories. She has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, specializing in trauma and children. She is the Assistant Director of Evidence-based Practice at UCLA's National Center for Child Traumatic Stress. She uses her clinical experience to create compelling tales that blur the lines between fiction and nonfiction. If you want to be notified of upcoming n ...more
    “Parenting a traumatized child is horribly difficult. Most of them suffer from severe attachment issues, and mothers are usually the targets of their rage. It can get pretty awful.” 1 likes
    “Children of trauma are experts at triangulation.” “Triangulation?” I asked. “The child will act a certain way with one parent and a different way with the other parent. They try all kinds of things to drive a wedge in the parents’ relationship.” 0 likes
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