A gripping page-turner for fans of The Woman in the Window and The Perfect Nanny, Michelle Sacks's You Were Made For This provocatively explores the darkest 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.
In Sacks's haunting first novel, Columbia University anthropology professor Sam Hurley and his set designer wife, Merry, ditch the comforts of Manhattan for a radically different lifestyle in an isolated cottage he has inherited in Sweden. Although the attractive couple and their baby, Conor, present an idyllic picture, deep-rooted problems threaten their relationship. Sam, who never told his wife that he was fired for inappropriate sexual relationships with students, lies to her daily about his activities. Merry chafes at the happy homemaker role Sam insists she was made for, but soldiers on through endless gardening, baking, canning, and tending an infant for whom she feels nothing. But the family loses its shaky equilibrium with a visit from Merry's glamorous lifelong frenemy, Frank, during which an unthinkable tragedy occurs. Though Sacks (Stone Baby, a story collection) doesn't give readers anyone to root for, her unblinking look at beautiful people with ugly secrets has the voyeuristic fascination of a Bergman film.
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Psychological roller coaster
When I first started reading this book I felt in love with the characters. As I continued reading I realized none of these messed up characters are likable. The book was alright but I expected more. Not the story I expected. Read it if you are into messed up marriage and cunning best friend. But I warn you. None. None of the characters are likable