Paula Daly is acclaimed for her distinctive voice, masterful plotting, and terrifying depictions of ordinary people whose everyday lives are turned upside down through deception and betrayal. In her unsettling new domestic thriller, The Trophy Child
, Daly digs beneath the serene surface of the idyllic Lake District community, delivering a suspenseful story of motherhood and fallibility.
Karen Bloom is not the coddling mother type. She believes in raising her children for success. Some in the neighborhood call her assertive, others say she’s driven, but in gossiping circles she’s known as "the tiger mother." Karen believes that tough discipline is the true art of parenting and that achievement leads to ultimate happiness. She expects her husband and her children to perform at 200 percentno matter the cost. But in a quest for excellence, her seemingly flawless family starts to rebel against her.
Her husband, Noel, is a handsome doctor with a proclivity for alcohol and women. Their prodigy daughter, Bronte, is excelling at school, music lessons, and dance classes, yet she longs to run away. Verity, Noel’s teenage daughter from his first marriage, is starting to display aggressive behavior. And Karen’s son from a previous relationship embraces the aimless stoner lifestyle. When tragedy strikes the Blooms, Karen’s carefully constructed facade begins to fall apartand once the deadly cracks appear, they are impossible to stop.
A thrilling tale of ambition and murder, Daly’s richly imagined world of suburban striving and motherly love is an absorbing page-turner about the illusions of perfection and the power games between husband and wife, parent and child.