"...A compulsively readable tour de force." —The Wall Street Journal
New York Times Book Review recommends M.T. Edvardsson’s A Nearly Normal Family and lauds it as a “page-turner” that forces the reader to confront “the compromises we make with ourselves to be the people we believe our beloveds expect.” (NYTimes Book Review Summer Reading Issue)
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 the brutal murder of a man almost fifteen years her senior. She is an ordinary teenager from an upstanding local family. What reason could she have to know a shady businessman, let alone to kill him?
Stella’s father, a pastor, and mother, a criminal defense attorney, find their moral compasses tested as they defend their daughter, while struggling to understand why she is a suspect. Told in an unusual three-part structure, A Nearly Normal Family asks the questions: How well do you know your own children? How far would you go to protect them?
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About the Author
M. T. Edvardsson is an author and teacher from Trelleborg, Sweden. He is the author of multiple novels and books for young readers in Sweden. A Nearly Normal Family is his first novel published in the United States. He lives with his family in Löddeköpinge, Sweden.
Reading Group Guide
Whose point of view did you enjoy reading the most, and why?
Do you think a parent would read this book differently than someone who doesn’t have a child?
What do you consider a normal family?
Do you think Ulrika had her daughter’s best interests at heart?
What was Adam’s greatest motivation: protecting his daughter, his family or his reputation?
How did you feel about Shirine and the books that she gives to Stella to read: The Bell Jar, The Catcher in the Rye, Crime and Punishment, and Thérèse Raquin.
Author M.T. Edvardsson is also a teacher. How do you think this affected his portrayal of Stella and Amina?
How did Ulrika’s relationship with Amina affect her relationship with Stella?
Discuss Stella and Amina’s friendship.
Have you had any friendships in your life that caused you to do something you regretted?
How did Stella’s time at church camp affect her relationship with her parents?
How far would you go for your child?