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  • Not a Happy Family

  • A Novel
  • Written by: Shari Lapena
  • Narrated by: Ellen Archer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (175 ratings)

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Not a Happy Family

Written by: Shari Lapena
Narrated by: Ellen Archer
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Publisher's Summary

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!

Another thrilling domestic suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door

“Lapena is a master of manipulation. With her latest page-turning thriller… she is once again at the top of her game.” —USA Today

“In this fast-paced, twisted family saga, Shari Lapena keeps you guessing until the very last page...” Paula Hawkins

In this family, everyone is keeping secrets—even the dead.

Brecken Hill in upstate New York is an expensive place to live. You have to be rich to have a house there, and Fred and Sheila Merton certainly are rich. But even all their money can't protect them when a killer comes to call. The Mertons are brutally murdered after a fraught Easter dinner with their three adult kids. Who, of course, are devastated.

Or are they? They each stand to inherit millions. They were never a happy family, thanks to their vindictive father and neglectful mother, but perhaps one of the siblings is more disturbed than anyone knew. Did someone snap after that dreadful evening? Or did another person appear later that night with the worst of intentions? That must be what happened. After all, if one of the family were capable of something as gruesome as this, you'd know.

Wouldn't you?

©2021 Shari Lapena (P)2021 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

“Who wouldn’t be drawn to a book called Not a Happy Family?,... Like [her] earlier best sellers.... Not a Happy Family splashes into a stew of nightmares.” (New York Times)

“Lapena is a master of manipulation. With her latest page-turning thriller.... She is once again at the top of her game.... Lapena does what she does best, so much so that trying to put the book down is futile. Once you start reading, you won't want to stop.” (USA Today)

“A quintessential ‘beach read,’ I half expected sand to fall out of it. This one brings lurid family mayhem to the Hudson Valley [and] plausible suspects. With her cascading short chapters and teasers by the dozen, you stick with Lapena eagerly.” (Washington Post)

What listeners say about Not a Happy Family

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not as good as previous books.

I usually like Shari Lapena's stories and gobble them up pretty quickly, but this one was a bit of a disappointment, took me much longer to finish. The story dragged out too much, the chapters were too short and brisk to my taste, many characters and lots of jumping from one to another, so it didn't feel like a good flow to the story. Having said it, I was intrigued to know who was the murderer, and all in all it was a relatively fun ride to the end. The narrator's performance was ok.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

First Time

First time reading Shari Lapena - it was a terrific ride, right up to the last seconds!!!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it

Although the twist wasn’t as climactic as expected it was still a good listen start to finish!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

Very interesting and held my interest, finished in 2 days ! Loved the ending, nice twist too

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Underwhelmed

I was expecting so much more from this book. This was my fourth Shari Lapena book and I wasn’t impressed compared to her other books that I LOVED. The story was written like it was a bad movie, no really story telling. The plot was underwhelming.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

If l could leave less than 1 star

Just wow. I have never read this author and now I know why! How was this plop ever published?! Just garbage. Take wooden characters that are never developed and then add in secrets one by one, never known to the reader, etc and so forth read by a reader that sounds like an AI machine and voila. Save your money. This was so bad, not only would I like my money back, I literally want to sue for time wasted!

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great one

Great performance. I’m usually quite picky with the readings bits she’s great. The story itself is good. I like all of Shari’s books.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I Hate Them

Boy!! They are really not a happy family!! Didn't like any of them, but the story had lots of twist & turns. kept me interested

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book! It gave me chills listening to it!

It kept me riveted until the very end! I wanted it to go onanx on!

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

No surprise twists unfortunately. But kept my attention.

So many complex characters, but it was my guess right from the beginning who was guilty. So that’s too bad.

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