The Perfect DaughterThe Perfect Daughter by Alex Stone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh this is so cleverly written, looking at the psychology of close relationships, digging deep into the interplay and subtle manipulations that inevitably occur. Between Abigail and Jess, perhaps not quite so subtle. The relationship between mother and daughter is suffocating to the point of claustrophobic, disturbing and totally believable. Abigail just wants to protect Jess. Doesn’t she? Jess loves her mother and knows that, in steering her life, choosing her clothes, her career path, her boyfriends, she’s only trying to do her best for her. Isn’t she? And then along comes Adam, a plumber, someone Abigail can’t possibly approve of. Someone she aims to remove from her daughter’s life. But he’s not a plumber. He’s Jess’s plumber. He loves her. He sees her, a side of Jess she’s never seen in herself. In his company, she’s a butterfly emerging from the chrysalis, breaking free. He’s perfect, until he’s not. What happened on the day Adam disappeared, now presumed dead. Why, when he never touched it, was he drinking whisky? What secrets was he hiding? Is Jess’s recollection skewed – her memory has failed her in the past, her friend reminds her. She doesn’t recall things accurately, her mother reinforces it. What secrets might Jess be hiding. What secrets is her mother hiding regarding the disappearance of Jess’s father from her life?

The intrigue is ramped up throughout the story with short, sharp sentences, stuffed full of intrigue and delivered like the icy drip of a tap, every single one guaranteed to leave you hanging and make you want to read on until you reach the final shocking twist. The Perfect Daughter really is beautifully, powerfully written from first point of view in a style that leaves me in admiration of the author. I highly recommend it. I promise you will not be disappointed.

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