Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Book Review: The Perfect Home

By Sara Steven

Until the girl went missing, we thought it was the perfect place to live… When we move into the exclusive Westford Park housing estate, we feel safe at last. More like a country club, it has everything we might need – beautiful houses with big gardens, a pool, a boating lake, extensive grounds. It’s also got 24/7 security.

Our new neighbours are lovely too. We start to make friendships that feel like they could last a lifetime.

It feels like nothing could possibly go wrong here.

It’s like our secrets haven’t followed us here.

Or that’s what we think at first… (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

Sometimes, looks can be deceiving. And as in the case of The Perfect Home, the perfect neighborhood, the perfect environment, the perfect people with their perfect families often have something to hide. I appreciated how the perfection of it all slowly unravels, until the truth is revealed, a little at a time. 

There are three primary families within this story–Avril’s family, who moved to Westford Park in order to start fresh after a traumatic situation sends them scattering for something new, where no one knows them or their past. Sandy’s family also has past trauma, and Sandy needs the safety and security of their new housing estate, so she can finally feel like she can breathe again. Lily doesn’t know where the reality of life begins and where the fakeness of her family persona begins–she’s been doing it for so long, it’s hard to know how to tear apart the blurriness of those sharp edges. But together, the three women have potentially found a way to combat their pasts, to begin to trust and heal again.

Until scary things begin to happen in Westford Park. Screams in the night. Near-death experiences. Missing persons. Sandy is convinced she’s brought terror to their “safe” neighborhood, while Avril questions if it’s someone from her own family who could be causing trouble. Lily doesn’t know if she can rely or depend on her own family members. Everything begins to break apart, and the support system the friends have recently come to rely upon feels like it was never real to begin with.

I honestly had no idea what would happen in the end. When the girl went missing, I didn’t know where she was, how it was done, or who the culprit could be, and I really liked that a lot! Often, the answer is so obvious, but that wasn’t the case here. I loved the thrill factor of that! Also, the underlying current beneath this mystery are the changes that are being made within all three women. Avril has to learn how to trust again. Sandy has to learn that she will no longer let anyone hurt her, not ever again. And Lily has to learn how to stand on her own two feet, and the reader gets to see that unfold through each suspenseful-ridden chapter. It was a definite five-star experience!

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Natasha Boydell is an internationally bestselling author of psychological fiction, including The Missing Husband and The Woman Next Door. She trained and worked as a journalist for many years before moving into communications in the charity and education sectors. She decided to pursue her lifelong dream of writing a novel in 2019, when she was approaching her 40th birthday and realised it was time to stop procrastinating. Her debut, The Missing Husband, was released in May 2021 and she went on to write three more novels, which are published by Bloodhound Books. Her first novel with Boldwood Books is The Fortune Teller. Natasha lives in North London with her husband, two daughters and two rescue cats.

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