Friday, 4 August 2017

Book Review: The Trophy Child by Paula Daly

Karen Bloom is not the coddling mother type. She believes in raising her children for success. Some in the neighbourhood call her assertive, others say she's driven, but in gossiping circles she's known as: the tiger mother. Karen believes that tough discipline is the true art of parenting and that achievement leads to ultimate happiness. She expects her husband and her children to perform at 200 per cent - no matter the cost. But in an unending quest for excellence, her seemingly flawless family start to rebel against her.

Her husband Noel is a handsome doctor with a proclivity for alcohol and women. Their prodigy daughter, Bronte, is excelling at school, music lessons, dances classes, and yet she longs to run away. Verity, Noel's teenage daughter from his first marriage, is starting to display aggressive behaviour. And Karen's son from a previous relationship falls deeper into drug use. When tragedy strikes the Bloom, Karen's carefully constructed fa├žade begins to fall apart - and once the deadly cracks appear, they are impossible to stop.

Sounds like a pretty good premise for an exciting, thrilling, gripping novel, right? Sadly, The Trophy Child is anything but. I found it to be wholly unoriginal, lacking in character development, and totally illogical. Which is strange, because I usually love Paula Daly's novels. Which is why I was so excited to read this one! I was totally disappointed, though. 

I don't like to bad-mouth books, especially not when I've loved the author's previous work, but The Trophy Child was severely lacking. And when it came down to the ending, I had to shake my head in disbelief. Not only was it predictable, but it also made no sense. In fact, I read this book twice in an effort to make sense of it. And I still couldn't. It's almost like Paula Daly took a vacation before writing the ending, and then forgot what her story was all about!

I really wanted to like this novel, so I was super disappointed when I found I didn't. It won't stop me from reading any of Paula's future novels, but this is one I won't be sad to see the back of!

Rating: **

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