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A Nearly Normal Family

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3.88  ·  Rating details ·  14,386 ratings  ·  2,425 reviews
M.T. Edvardsson’s A Nearly Normal Family is a gripping legal thriller that forces the reader to consider: How far would you go to protect the ones you love? In this twisted narrative of love and murder, a horrific crime makes a seemingly normal family question everything they thought they knew about their life—and one another.

Eighteen-year-old Stella Sandell stands accused of t
...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published June 25th 2019 by Celadon Books (first published June 20th 2018)
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Celadon Books ARCs were sent to those who won on Goodreads or signed up via a Facebook giveaway ad for an ARC. We do not send to those who have not signed up…moreARCs were sent to those who won on Goodreads or signed up via a Facebook giveaway ad for an ARC. We do not send to those who have not signed up somewhere :) ENJOY!!(less)
Dana Halek Damato You don’t have to request a book, necessarily, to be chosen to receive one. If you are signed up on publishers pages and are reading and reviewing…moreYou don’t have to request a book, necessarily, to be chosen to receive one. If you are signed up on publishers pages and are reading and reviewing books you can be randomly picked.I received a copy of this, and it’s a fantastic book.(less)

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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  14,386 ratings  ·  2,425 reviews


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Meredith
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
“We were a perfectly ordinary family, and then everything changed.”

A Nearly Normal Family is a tautly written psychological thriller about an 18-year-old girl accused of murder. Her seemingly perfect parents will do whatever it takes to protect her, even if it means destroying their family.


18-year-old Stella is accused of murdering her lover. Her father, Adam a pastor, and her mother, Ulrika a high power attorney, are determined to free their daughter. Doing so forces them to come
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Kaceey
This book just didn’t work-out for me the way I‘d hoped.
I read some fantastic reviews and was anxious to dig into this one, but for some reason it just never “clicked “with me.

Stella is seventeen and enjoying as much time as possible with her best friend Amina. Their carefree days are growing short as they both begin the journey into adulthood. Stella is off to Asia for her trip of a lifetime, while Amina plans to start medical school.
Everything goes sideways when Stella sneaks back into her
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Tammy
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Celadon should be to commercial fiction what Kleenex is to tissue. In other words, this imprint should be a brand name. I haven’t read everything they’ve published but what I have read has been outstanding. These folks know what they’re doing.

A Nearly Normal Family is not your average legal thriller. There is a murder, a trial and we don’t know who-dun-it but the family dynamics play an even greater role. The story is told in three parts from each member of a small nuclear family: the controlli
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Debbie
A slow burn that's hot… 4.5, rounded up

I usually don’t like slow burns, but this crime drama had a fire that warmed me right up. Did the nearly normal daughter commit this heinous crime? Did the nearly normal parents act normally?

Here is what the husband said about their lives:

“On Monday nights, my wife went to yoga and on Thursdays I played tennis. We had a mortgage, which we dutifully made payments on; we sorted our trash and used our blinkers and kept to the speed li/>“On
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Chelsea Humphrey
Book of the Month choice for June 2019

3-3.5 STARS

I can see why this slow burning legal thriller is garnering loads of hype; it's the perfect example of a steady building of suspense that explodes into a tantalizing climax that, for my part anyway, I didn't quite see coming. Based on this alone, I would whole-heartedly recommend this book to readers searching for a substantial thriller full of meaty characterization and deep introspection into family dynamics and secrets. My issues mainly stemm/>3-3.5
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Lindsay - Traveling Sister
4.5 stars!

Kept me highly intrigued and guessing from start to finish!

Eighteen-year-old Stella’s father is a pastor. Her mother is a criminal defence attorney. They paint the portrait of the “picture-perfect family” until the day Stella is arrested for murder. How could she be connected to an older mans brutal death? Stella’s parents are devastated as she is held in prison awaiting her trial. They do whatever they can to support their daughter.

This novel is told through t
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Felicia
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
______

"What is a lie? Just as there are different sorts of truths, there must be different sorts of lies. White lies, for example - I've never shied away from those. Better a kind lie than a hurtful truth, I've always thought.

But of course, this was different."


This is a complex multi-layered domestic drama that kept me chewing my cuticles until the very end.

Every character in this book is lying.

A pastor and father
A lawyer and mother ...more
Paromjit
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
MT Edvardsson writes a compelling psychological thriller in the dark and disturbing Scandi-Noir tradition which gives the reader insights into Swedish law. Set in the small Swedish city of Lund, a highly respectable and upstanding local family, Adam, a Church of Sweden pastor, his wife, Ulrika, an ambitious go getting criminal defense lawyer, are horrified and shocked when their strong willed, volatile teenage daughter, Stella, is arrested on suspicion of the brutal murder of a wealthy shady old ...more
Holly  B
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
A murder mystery, some courtroom drama and a family trying to hold it together.

Set in a Swedish city, a respectable family of three - Adam, a pastor, his wife- Ulrika who is a defense attorney and their 18 y/o daughter, Stella. They are about to hit the worst speed bump in their lives. Stella is arrested for murder.

Absolutely loved the narrative that gave the perspective from all three family members. We learn some secrets from their past, how they are dealing with the crime and some actions they took
...more
Linda
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Whose truth is nothing but the truth?

M.T. Edvardsson presents a heavy domestic drama wrapped around the Sandell family. From all indications this is a small, compact little family of Adam, Ulrika, and Stella. As the layers are peeled back, there's quite a bit beneath the surface.

Edvardsson sets his story down within the town of Lund in Sweden. There's a definite pendulum that swings back and forth in regard to their ever changing identities. Adam, a pastor in the Church o
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Norma * Traveling Sister * On hiatus due to health
Clever, compulsive, & emotive!

A NEARLY NORMAL FAMILY by M.T. EDVARDSSON was quite the unique, intense, and fascinating story. I was thoroughly entertained and loved how this story was broken up into three very powerful sections from each of the family members. The first section from the father's point of view started off a little shaky for me but then once I got to Stella's (the daughter's POV) I was hooked. This was such an emotionally gripping story that was absolutely unputdownable! High
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Katie B
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I can't get enough of family dramas and this was one of the better ones I have read recently. I thought the family dynamics were fascinating and the mystery of whether the daughter was innocent or guilty easily sustained my interest.

Stella Sandell is 18 years old and is accused of murdering a man. Stella's father is a pastor and her mother is a defense attorney and both are struggling with the realization their daughter could be found guilty of the crime. The story is told from the p
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Susanne  Strong
Apr 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: buddy-read, netgalley
3.5 Stars* (rounded down)

When you live with Dysfunction, you become Dysfunction. Just ask the Sandells. They have it down pat.


When Stella a teenager, is arrested for the murder of a successful businessman, parents Ulrika and Adam are beside themselves. Adam is a Pastor whose whole life has been based on honesty. His daughter’s arrest shakes his belief system to the core. Ulrika is an Attorney. The law is everything to her and success has always come before all else, even her family.

As far as
...more
sue
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a domestic drama based thriller that had all the elements I loved.

Mom, dad, annoying secretive daughter.

I had one of the characters under suspicion but just kept wobbling between 50/50.

It’s really rounded and written so well you stroll from page to page with ease, however tension does build that Spurs you on to find answers to your questions.

A lot of the time I was saying “oh....I didn’t expect that”.

I’m definitely following this author fo
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Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters
When both parents lie separately… and keep it from each other…trying to protect their child...
you gotta wonder about their faith in each other and faith in their child.
Their 18 year old daughter
was in a cell suspected of murder.

Lund, Sweden:
Not having been...
I looked Lund up on Google and drooled over the beauty of the small University town...
where this ‘playground-murder’-suspense story takes place.

When Stella‘s father, Adam Sandell, a pastor, viewed
...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Jul 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: i-m-intrigued
3.45 so it cannot rounded up 4 , stays as 3 (I’m merciless grader, if I would be a real teacher, my students could detest my guts!) psychological, legal, who is innocent, whodunit, why all the characters are so irritating stars!

Firstly I wanna confess that I adore Swedish and Scandinavia thrillers so much. I think it’s all about the geography, the hard conditions of the weather create harsher, tougher, quick thinker, merciless people who are so good to open the gates of dark side. S
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Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends
A Nearly Normal Family was our July pick for The Traveling Friends Goodreads Reading Group. This one started off seeming like a normal legal thriller here and even though it wasn’t the gripping read I was expecting here there wasn’t anything normal about this legal thriller, domestic/family drama, whodunit and courtroom drama all in one.

Give me a story with a family in crisis and I am all over it. The story did start off a bit slow for me until about 65% in and then things picked up and I was o
...more
Amanda
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adam and Ulrika seem like a normal family, trying to bring up their teenage daughter Stella to know right from wrong. When Stella is arrested on suspicion of killing Chris Olsen,it comes as a shock to Adam a pastor, who is respected by the community and his hard working Lawyer wife Ulrika.
Quote “It takes a long time to build a life, but only an instant for it to crumble.”

This story is told from the points of view both the parents and Stella. As each one recollects what happened
...more
Theresa Alan
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this novel, which is part family drama, part crime mystery.

The book opens from the first-person perspective of the father, who is a pastor. His eighteen-year-old daughter is being accused of murdering a man fifteen years her senior. Stella has always been Daddy’s little girl, even if she has been difficult these last few years.

The second part of the novel is told from the POV of Stella, who is waiting for trial in prison. She’d always thought Swedish prisons were basically like hotel
...more
Michelle
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"It takes a long time to build a life but only an instant for it to crumble."

Imagine that your 18 year old daughter has been accused of murdering a much older and successful business man? What would you do as a parent to protect her? This is what you will be asking yourself as you read A Nearly Normal Family.

"Until so recently, we were a perfectly ordinary family. Now we are prisoners under a merciless spotlight."

Adam, a well respected pastor, and his wife, Ulrika, a successful defense attorney have been put
...more
Dem
Jul 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller-crime
A well written and consistently thought provoking legal thriller set in Sweden that kept me entertained from start to finish.

How well do you know your family and how far would you go to protect your child are the questions at the heart of this well written novel

An 18 year girl is accused of of murdering a 32 year old man, an ordinary teenager from an upstanding family, her parents Uirika and Adam find themselves in a situation that is the stuff of nightmares and we watch as they frantical
...more
Larry H
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
How far would you go to save a family member? Are there lines you wouldn’t cross?

“It takes a long time to build a life, but only an instant for it to crumble.”

The Sandells seemed like every other family—Adam was a pastor, Ulrika was a lawyer, and their 18-year-old daughter, Stella, caused them some challenges and stresses through the years. But nothing prepared them for how their lives would be derailed when Stella is arrested for murder—the brutal murder of a man in his 30s, with whom she appar
...more
JanB

A man is brutally murdered and Stella, an 18 yr old teenager is the accused. This slow burn domestic drama is told in three parts, narrated by each member of Stella’s nuclear family. Adam, the father, is an over-controlling pastor, Ulrika, the mother, is a criminal defense attorney who is largely emotionally and physically absent, and Stella is the rebellious teenage daughter.

I liked how each member had their own section instead of switching POV each chapter. But, from the start, something felt
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marilyn
I felt so many things as I read A Nearly Normal Family. The parents of eighteen year old Stella are professionals, with dad Adam being a well respected pastor and mom Ulrika being an attorney. Stella has always been her own person, more likely to rebel against what she is told or is expected of her than to do the right thing. Over the years, as Stella has acted out and rebelled, her parents have tended to make excuses for her or play down her misdeeds, rather than trying to reel in Stella's bad ...more
Carole
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-books
A Nearly Normal Family by M.T. Edvardsson is a legal thriller with a difference. It involves a Swedish family: the father who is a pastor, the mother who is a criminal defense attorney and an eighteen-year-old daughter, Stella. Life as they know it suddenly becomes a nightmare when Stella is arrested and jailed for allegedly committing a horrific crime. The author divides the novel into three parts as each family member describes the events leading up to the arrest, giving the reader three point ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Oh, this was fun! I was gripped from the first couple sentences. Be ready for a slow, compelling burn! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The question throughout A Nearly Normal Family is if your loved one were in trouble, just how far would you go to protect her?

Stella is a teenager living with her parents, a pastor and a lawyer. They’d have to be on the up-and-up due to their work, right?

Well, Stella is accused of murdering a man fifteen years older than her. And when this happens, her parents are ethically challenge
...more
Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
A gripping courtroom drama that will have you asking yourself- what would you do? How far would you go to protect your family? Would you compromise every single thing you believe in?

There really was not a lot that is "nearly normal" with this family. They start out as the picture perfect family of three. Adam- the husband and father whom is a pastor. Ulrika- the wife, mom and defense attorney. Stella the 18 year old daughter who is gearing up to travel Asia. Sounds like a perfectly u
...more
j e w e l s
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
FOUR STARS

Deep characterizations.
Dark story line.
Dysfunctional family dynamics.
Deliberate, slow burn.

Definitely glad I listened to this one.
Dynamic Audio book!
Nadia
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'It takes a long time to build a life, but only an instant for it to crumble.'

Stella's parents, Pastor Adam and defence attorney Ulrika, struggle to keep their eighteen year old daughter Stella within set boundaries. Stella is a force of nature and always does what she wants. Her biggest dream is to go backpacking in Asia after the school finishes in a few months. The dreams are shattered when Stella comes home in the middle of the night with a blood stained blouse. A 32 year old Chris Olsen has been s
...more
Esil
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
A high 4 stars!

It’s always hard to find crime fiction that is clever, original and not too violent. A Nearly Normal Family hit the mark for me. It’s somewhat of a courtroom drama but much of the story goes back in time and outside the courtroom. The story takes place in Sweden and focuses on 18 year old Stella and her parents. At the beginning of the book, Stella is accused of murdering a man in his 30s. The story is told in three parts, from the points of view of the father, then St
...more
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