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.
I am going to start out by saying You Were Made for This by Michelle Sacks is not going to be for everyone. She has a very unique writing style, plus there are no quotations in this book. For whatever reason though, I really liked it!
What it’s about: Merry and Sam move from the hubbub of New York City to a quiet place in Sweden where they can raise a family. Merry is seemingly the perfect wife and mother, she makes her own baby food, keeps the house spotless, and does whatever Sam needs her to do. But when Merry’s friend Frank comes to visit things start to get interesting and we learn that not everything is as it seems, including Merry and Frank’s friendship.
The viewpoints switch between Merry, Sam, and Frank which is something I loved right off the bat. I would say that Sacks’ style of writing is very “in your face” so to speak, it’s very direct and specific, and like I said earlier; she doesn’t use quotation marks in this novel. Somehow she managed to write in a way that I was never confused about who was speaking, which is a problem I have encountered in other novels written in a similar style.
You Were Made for This was also very gripping and I didn’t want to put it down. Short chapters also make it a very fast read and I finished it in just a few hours. I do have to say though that there are 0 likable characters in this book, except for the baby boy who obviously can’t speak. So if you read this book, don’t say I didn’t warn you! The way the characters act is pretty appalling and there is a very dark and ominous theme to the novel, at least in my opinion.
The twists and turns were somewhat expected as well, although a couple of things did surprise me. Even though I pretty much knew what was going on, I still enjoyed reading it and seeing what would happen. It’s like watching a train wreck and not being able to look away – that was basically how I would equate my experience with You Were Made for This.
Final Thought: I think this book is a decent psychological thriller, and there was a very unique female friendship as well. I haven’t read it yet, but I have heard this book compared to Give Me Your Hand at least as far as the female friendship goes. I recommend going into this book blind if you can and letting the story unravel for you. This was a debut novel with not a debut novel feeling in sight, so I will definitely be reading more by Sacks if she writes anything else!
MY RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 5
Thank you to Little, Brown and Company for providing me with a free review copy of this book in exchange for my review! All opinions are my own.