You Were Made for This,
by Michelle Sacks
Publication: Little, Brown & Company; June 19, 2018
About the book:
A gripping page-turner for fans of THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW and THE PERFECT NANNY, Michelle Sacks’s You Were Made For This provocatively explores the darkest sides of marriage, motherhood, and friendship.
Doting wife, devoted husband, cherished child. Merry, Sam, and Conor are the perfect family in the perfect place. Merry adores the domestic life: baking, gardening, caring for her infant son. Sam, formerly an academic, is pursuing a new career as a filmmaker. Sometimes they can hardly believe how lucky they are. What perfect new lives they’ve built.
When Merry’s childhood friend Frank visits their Swedish paradise, she immediately becomes part of the family. She bonds with Conor. And with Sam. She befriends the neighbors, and even finds herself embracing the domesticity she’s always seemed to scorn.
All their lives, Frank and Merry have been more like sisters than best friends. And that’s why Frank soon sees the things others might miss. Treacherous things, which are almost impossible to believe when looking at this perfect family. But Frank, of all people, knows that the truth is rarely what you want the world to see.
If you’re looking for a twisted, crazy thriller by a debut author, then look no further than You Were Made for This, the upcoming novel from author Michelle Sacks. The blurb of this one immediately sparked my interest and it certainly did not disappoint.
Sam and Merry are the seemingly perfect couple, living in a remote area of Sweden with their infant son, Conor. They go through each day making gag-worthy comments about how perfect their lives are and how happy they are when actually, they are both the biggest liars and manipulators on earth. Merry is incredibly unhappy in their idyllic home, frequently alone with their young son. Sam is nothing like the facade I saw at the beginning of the novel, and with each chapter, more honestly starts oozing out about what these people really think and feel. Add in Merry’s oldest, closest friend Frank to the mix, and things just continue to get more bizarre. Decades of an oddly close friendship between these women, coupled with bone-deep jealousy and resentment, it makes for an interesting friendship. Sam and Merry seem to be going through each day without any major hiccups (because they don’t know what the other is doing), but once Frank arrives for her visit, everything changes.
Let me begin by saying that with exception little Conor, there are no likable characters in this novel. Even dead characters that are included during the characters’ memories, thoughts, etc. are completely wretched human beings. Those that have read my reviews before will remember, however, that I always give major kudos to authors that put so much into their characterization that I am able to have such despicable hatred for a fictional character. Michelle Sacks slowly reveals the inner-workings of the characters’minds throughout this novel and it just intensified my disgust with them all.
Furthermore, without giving spoilers, let me say that You Were Made for This is darkly emotional and could contain possible triggers regarding a wide variety of abuse, specifically involving children. Nevertheless, this is a novel that I could not put down. In spite of the horrible people in the novel and their obvious insanity, I had to keep reading to find out more. There are several twists and turns and multiple times where I felt as if I knew “whodunnit,” only to be proved wrong. Or actually, perhaps I wasn’t proved wrong because the sneaky, evil author left me wondering at the end who was the craziest, who did it, and where can these people seek psychiatric help.
I highly recommend this to any lovers of psychological thrillers, especially if you like them a little different and unexpected. However, if you are a reader that needs definitive answers and closure, you may find yourself frustrated with the ambiguous ending. I am typically one that does like some concrete closure, yet I still absolutely loved this novel. You Were Made for This is disturbing, uncomfortable, and absolutely fabulous. Pre-order this one and put it at the top of your TBR.
*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Pre-Order You Were Made for This on Amazon.
Learn more about debut author Michelle Sacks!