The Pretty One, a review by Di

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The Pretty One
Clare Boyd

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437 pages
Published Feb 26, 2021 by Bookouture

Amazon | Goodreads

The Pretty One is an edgy family drama that takes sibling rivalry to a whole new level.

The family is a blended one consisting of Anna and Dom, the parent. Dom’s daughter from a previous relationship, Bay. Nell and Iris, the 2 biological daughters. Bay came from a troubled home to live with her father and his family.

On the surface, they seem like an ideal family. Near the beginning, the surface appearance starts to crack. We have family discord, jealousy, terrible decisions, secrets, shouting and the inability to parent sensibly.

The story centres around a young girl who manages to land a successful modelling job. She is The Pretty One. But the troubles in the family started long before the modelling jobs. Right from the beginning, there was an undercurrent of tension between Bay and Nell, even though they seemed outwardly loving.

Fast-paced, character-driven and plot-driven. The reader is never sure where the story is going until it is there. Many times during the book I had trouble reconciling my feelings about the parents. Anna doubted her own intuition. Dom had his own agenda. I had lots of empathy for both Bay and Nell. And, poor little, oblivious Iris; all she wanted was a kitten.

Some book blurbs say this is a thriller. I think a more accurate description would be that it is a psychological study of a broken family. It is dark, dysfunctional families always are dark.

The ending is a bit tidy but also satisfying.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an Advance Readers Copy of this book.

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