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The Perfect Child

Written by: Lucinda Berry
Length: 10 hrs and 15 mins
Price: CDN$ 31.32
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Publisher's Summary

A pause-resisting debut of suspense about a young couple desperate to have a child of their own - and the unsettling consequences of getting what they always wanted.

Christopher and Hannah are a happily married surgeon and nurse with picture-perfect lives. All that’s missing is a child. When Janie, an abandoned six-year-old, turns up at their hospital, Christopher forms an instant connection with her, and he convinces Hannah they should take her home as their own.

But Janie is no ordinary child, and her damaged psyche proves to be more than her new parents were expecting. Janie is fiercely devoted to Christopher, but she acts out in increasingly disturbing ways, directing all her rage at Hannah. Unable to bond with Janie, Hannah is drowning under the pressure, and Christopher refuses to see Janie’s true nature.

Hannah knows that Janie is manipulating Christopher and isolating him from her, despite Hannah’s attempts to bring them all together. But as Janie’s behavior threatens to tear Christopher and Hannah apart, the truth behind Janie’s past may be enough to push them all over the edge.

©2019 Heather Berry. (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What the critics say

"A mesmerizing, unbearably tense thriller that will have you looking over your shoulder and sleeping with one eye open. This creepy, serpentine tale explores the darkest corners of parenthood and the profoundly unsettling lengths one will go to to keep a family together - no matter the consequences. Electrifying and atmospheric, this dark gem of a novel is one I couldn’t put down.” --Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author

“A deep, dark, and dangerously addictive read. All-absorbing to the very end!” --Minka Kent, Washington Post bestselling author

What members say

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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
  • shelley
  • Raleigh, NC
  • 2019-03-02

You can see it coming... but how bad is it?

What happens to this family - Pretty Bad!
Lucinda Berry is a psychologist who deals mostly with childhood trauma. My guess would be that her stories come from her cases. If this case is based on facts my heart goes out to the parents of this child.
This book takes parenting a foster child to an extreme. . Many new foster parents believe they are saviors to these children and the publisher's summary hints at the husband feeling this way. Add a new mother to two children. One is with an adopted child with sociopathic tendencies. She like to hurt other living things, urinate on the carpets and smear feces on the wall. The other child is a newborn who rarely sleeps. And let's not forget Mom's going through major postpartum depression.
This book goes from a timeline of events told from three different points of view to a hearing after incidents you won't find out until the end. This book certainly kept me interested and guessing.

The three narrators worked beautifully together.
If you found this review helpful please indicate so.
Thank You.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Helen
  • MANAHAWKIN, NJ, United States
  • 2019-03-23

Clunk! This is how it ends?

The story, although improbable, mostly held my interest. I kind of wish Christopher began to have at least some doubts and chinks in his healthy denial system as time went on. The last quarter of the story sputtered and wheezed and finally died an unhappy death on the finale.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jenn
  • 2019-03-05

domestic drama version of “Baby Teeth” by Zoje Stage

This book is like a domestic drama version of “Baby Teeth” by Zoje Stage, which was more on the creepy, thriller side. This story held my interest the whole time, I expected a more dramatic push and pull with the husband and wife believing/not-believing, taking sides etc (there was quite a bit already but not like in other similar stories) so it definitely unfolded a little differently than I thought — not a bad thing at all, it just placed the book in a different genre than I initially anticipated.

On a side note, the story was very focused on “the system” of child services and social workers and there was too much blatant blame on them even though across the US they are so over worked and underpaid. The “system” is not the best but the social workers aren’t to blame and don’t get even close to the level of credit they deserve.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lori
  • 2019-04-07

Most abrupt ending!

I thought I was missing some chapters. Can’t recommend this due to the fact the book just stopped and you never find out what happened. So strange!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • A Bennett 2
  • 2019-03-25

captivating

Well formed characters. Excellent narration . 4 stars because it ended to soon! I would love a second book. I need an epilogue for this book! I would absolutely watch this movie.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Edward R. Swierbinski
  • Elgin, IL
  • 2019-04-22

wah waaahhh

I looooved the book but i am sooo mad at the ending!!!!! total cliff hanger!!!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer# 9999
  • New York NY
  • 2019-04-21

Real world problems

Real world problems with no real solutions. The reality of this book is accurate as well as infuriating. If two parents that are medical professionals have these kind of problems dealing with the incompetent system imagine how less educated, and poor people do it!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Crystal Sowa
  • 2019-04-21

Thought provoking read

This book was suspenseful and thought provoking. Great story all around. A must read story, but be prepared for heartache and chills.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Marteece
  • 2019-04-18

Not easy to see how story ended

It was dark story about a real problem...left with too many questions about what happened for certain with it’s the characters...unrealistic to think that Christopher could be so constantly out of touch with reality..what happened? Would not recommend

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • dawn Longman
  • 2019-04-17

Lots of twists and turns

Very well written book. Lots of twists and turns, but I felt like the author ran out of ideas and the plot fizzled out. I was disappointed with the ending! The performers did a great job!