book reviews

Alyssa’s Reviews – Perfect Little Children by Sophie Hannah

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

I apologize for the lack of posts this month. I have been very busy at school, specifically trying to get settled in all of my classes this semester. I have only read two books in 2020 thus far, but my reading pace has been picking up over the past week! I was able to complete Perfect Little Children by Sophie Hannah in just three days, and if that doesn’t explain how much I enjoyed it, I don’t know what does!

Synopsis (Goodreads.com):

All Beth has to do is drive her son to his Under-14s away match, watch him play, and bring him home.
Just because she knows her ex-best friend lives near the football ground, that doesn’t mean she has to drive past her house and try to catch a glimpse of her. Why would Beth do that, and risk dredging up painful memories? She hasn’t seen Flora for twelve years. She doesn’t want to see her today, or ever again.
But she can’t resist. She parks outside the open gates of Newnham House, watches from across the road as Flora and her children Thomas and Emily step out of the car. Except… There’s something terribly wrong. Flora looks the same, only older. As Beth would have expected. It’s the children. Twelve years ago, Thomas and Emily were five and three years old. Today, they look precisely as they did then.
They are still five and three. They are Thomas and Emily without a doubt – Hilary hears Flora call them by their names – but they haven’t changed at all.
They are no taller, no older… Why haven’t they grown?

This book was really, really excellent. I had never read anything from Sophie Hannah before, and I was very pleasantly surprised by her writing. It was easy to follow and straight to the point. Since the characters are English, I enjoyed the small touches of typical English lingo.

The characters in this novel were really interesting to read about. Throughout the novel, I was constantly struggling to determine if the main character, Beth, is an unreliable narrator or not. Near the middle of the novel, we figure out the definite answer, which was enjoyable to read. I also really enjoyed the other central characters, especially Suzzanne, Beth’s teenage daughter. I thought her character added a lot to the story overall, and her development throughout the novel was fantastic. I would have loved to have read more about the side characters, specifically Thomas and Emily and other people in their household (no spoilers here!).

This book took many twists and turns, however, I found the ending to be quite anti-climactic. There was nothing about it that shocked me, and there were a few twists I had personally thought of that would have added a little more suspense to the ending.

While reading this book, I was surprised that this novel was not more popular on bookstagram. Even though I haven’t been super active on Instagram lately, this seems like this book would have a lot more discussion if it was released from one of the more “mainstream” thriller authors. This one was definitely up to par with some very well-established thriller authors, including Ruth Ware, Riley Sager, Sarah Pinborough, and others. If you enjoyed books from those authors in the past, I highly recommend this novel to you.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and gave it 4/5 stars. It is not one of my new favourite mystery/thriller novels, but it is definitely one of the best one’s I have read recently!

Good Night Book Owls!

2 thoughts on “Alyssa’s Reviews – Perfect Little Children by Sophie Hannah

  1. I haven’t heard about this one! I’m going to add this to my TBR! It sounds like an interesting mystery.

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