Books, Thriller/Mystery

The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry Book Review

None of it was her fault. All she’d done was be born and we didn’t get to choose our parents.”

Excerpt from:
Lucinda Berry,
The Perfect Child
Synopsis from Goodreads

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.

I’ve only been reading this novel for two days. Even on a hectic day, I can’t stop reading it. It was so compelling that I was left wanting to read more. As a woman, I could understand Hannah, the main character, wanting to have her own baby, especially given her age and circumstances. So I completely understood how excited and terrified she was when they chose to adopt Janie. Though the plot is identical to that of the film “The Orphan,” which proved me incorrect in the end, I felt the same intensity while watching it. Every time I read a book, my imagination runs wild, so I felt as if the tale of this novel had truly come to life.

This is, without a doubt, one of the craziest, intense, haunting novels I’ve ever read. I didn’t want it to come to an end. Once you start reading, it’s impossible to stop. For me, it’s a book that I can’t put down. It grabbed my attention right away and didn’t let go. The characters, especially Hannah, she seemed extremely real to me. I could identify with her emotions, concerns, and almost everything else.

Having said that, I was disappointed and angered at times, especially with Christopher. Even at the best of circumstances, his decisions and acts were dubious and unjust, as if he wasn’t a doctor. I really wanted to slap him so that he could come to his senses because what he did was so out of character as a doctor and as a spouse. And because of my irritation, I found myself continuously commenting on every chapter of his point of view. It was so hard for me to read every chapter when he is the one talking, because I really wanted to yell and shout how stupid he is.

I also appreciated the fact that the author, Lucinda Berry, is a psychologist focusing on child trauma, which I believe is why she created such a compelling masterpiece of a novel like this. This is my first book by her, and I am looking forward to reading all of her novels because she has quickly become one of my favorite authors in the psychological thriller genre. I also liked how she finished the book on a cliffhanger, making the readers wonder what will happen next and whether there would be a sequel. But, for me, it works better as a standalone novel, even if it may leave readers speculating about what happened to the main characters and their responses after learning the truth about their adopted kid, Janie.

Although I loved reading it since I appreciate suspense, psychological mysteries, and thrillers, this book may be tough to read for individuals who are not interested in stories involving abuse and murder because this novel is filled with them. And if you don’t like that kind of thing, this book will be a nightmare for you. The narrative is too intense for the faint of heart, therefore I cannot suggest it to everyone. Even though you’ll have an idea of what occurred and what would happen because I guessed the back story before finishing it, I was still taken aback. I really do love it. I couldn’t get the story out of my head.

My Overall Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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