Monday, November 26, 2018

Review: You Were Made for This by Michelle Sacks (audio)

Title: You Were Made for This
Author: Michelle Sacks
Narrator: Stephanie Willis, Jeremy Arthur, Caroline Slaughter
Published: June 2018, Hachette Audio
Length: 8 hours 29 minutes
Source: Publisher

A gripping page-turner for fans of THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR, Michelle Sacks's You Were Made For This provocatively explores the darker sides of marriage, motherhood. and friendship. 

Doting wife, devoted husband, cherished child. Merry, Sam, and Conor are the perfect family in the perfect place. Merry adores the domestic life: baking, gardening, caring for her infant son. Sam, formerly an academic, is pursuing a new career as a filmmaker. Sometimes they can hardly believe how lucky they are. What perfect new lives they've built.

When Merry's childhood friend Frank visits their Swedish paradise, she immediately becomes part of the family. She bonds with Conor. And with Sam. She befriends the neighbors, and even finds herself embracing the domesticity she's always seemed to scorn.

All their lives, Frank and Merry have been more like sisters than best friends. And that's why Frank soon sees the things others might miss. Treacherous things, which are almost impossible to believe when looking at this perfect family. But Frank, of all people, knows that the truth is rarely what you want the world to see.

My thoughts: I have become a fan of the domestic thrillers and this one is definitely unlike any other I have read before. It is dark and disturbing and goes where you least expect it to go...but it's like when you pass a car wreck - you just can't help but keep looking. I found myself completely mesmerized by this story - I just couldn't put it down and had to see where it all ended up.

At the heart of this book is the idea that nothing is really as it seems. And that couldn't be more true than with Merry and Sam. We start out thinking that Merry and Sam have this picture perfect marriage, living the ideal life in the Swedish countryside, but that quickly falls to the wayside when the cracks start to show...and those cracks become quite alarming very fast. And then Merry's best friend, Frank, comes to visit. Frank knows Merry better than anyone else - she knows all her secrets - and she sees right through Merry's phony act. But Merry isn't the only one with secrets.

I loved the way this story is told, at first alternating between Merry and Sam, and then adding Frank into the mix. Hearing from each of the characters, getting into their heads, makes this book come alive. And the crazy part is that none of these characters are particularly likeable, yet you cannot help but want to know every little bit about them. You end up having this burning desire to keep reading to find out just what they are up to. 

This book really gets under your skin. There is a sense of foreboding building and the short chapters only add to that as the suspense builds ever so slowly. It also evokes a wide range of emotions and will leave you utterly spent once you finish. For a debut novel, this surely is a stand-out and I will certainly be keeping an eye out for what comes next from this author.

Audio thoughts: I was not familiar with any of the three narrators going into this audio book, yet I think they all did a great job with their sections. I was completely captivated with this audio production and I think it was a wise move to have three different narrators - it really helped separate out the different sections. As disturbing and chilling as this book was, the audio was well done and a pleasure to listen to. 


1 comment

  1. I agree with everything you said about this book. I still think about it!


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