Book Review: The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry

 “It gave us an opportunity to miss each other, and sometimes you needed that in a relationship even when you loved each other as much as we did.”

― Lucinda Berry, The Perfect Child

A suspenseful first novel about a young couple anxious to have their own child—and the disturbing implications of finally attaining what they've always desired.

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. 

My reaction to the novel...

This book has only been in my possession for two days. I can't put it down to read it, not even on a busy day. I yearned to read more because it was so engrossing. Given her age and circumstances, I could understand Hannah, the main character, desiring to have her own child as a woman. So when they decided to adopt Janie, I immediately understood how thrilled and afraid she was. I was mistaken at the end, but even if the plot is the same as in the movie "The Orphan," I had the same level of excitement while watching it. My mind runs wild whenever I read a book, so I had the impression that the story in this book had actually happened.

Without a sure, this is among the craziest, most intense, most frightening books I've ever read. It was something I didn't want to end. It's tough to stop reading once you get going. It's a book I find myself unable to put down. I was immediately drawn in and couldn't look away. I found the characters to be very believable, especially Hannah. I could relate to practically all of her feelings, worries, and other characteristics.

Having said that, there were occasions when I felt let down and incensed, especially with Christopher. His actions and conclusions were questionable and unfair, even under the greatest possible conditions, as if he weren't a doctor. What he did was so out of character for him as a doctor and as a husband that I actually wanted to hit him to get him to come to his senses.  I found myself constantly commenting on each chapter of his point of view as a result of my annoyance. Every part where he is the one speaking was so difficult for me to read because I just wanted to scream and say how foolish he is.

I also liked that Lucinda Berry, the author, is a psychologist who specializes in child trauma, which I think is why she was able to write such an amazing story. Although I have only read one of her books, I am eager to read the rest since she has rapidly grown to be one of my favorite writers of psychological thrillers. Her use of a cliffhanger to leave readers wondering what will happen next and whether a sequel would be published was another aspect I found appealing. However, I feel that it works better as a stand-alone book, despite the possibility that readers would wonder what happened to the major characters and their reactions after discovering the truth about their adopted kid, Janie.

This book may be difficult to read for anyone who are not interested in stories involving abuse and murder because it is replete with them, despite the fact that I enjoyed reading it because I enjoy suspense, psychological mysteries, and thrillers. This book will be a nightmare for you if you don't enjoy that sort of thing. I can't recommend it to everyone since the story is too powerful for the weak of heart. You'll have a general sense of what happened and what will happen because I knew the back story before I finished it, but I was still surprised. I genuinely adore it. The story stuck in my thoughts for days.

My Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐(5/5)

“I wished I lived in a world where I didn’t know violence intimately, but I’d seen more than my fair share, given the work I did.”

It's rather irritating that there is a lot of domestic abuse out there. It was really difficult to consider how many children there are who are victims of abuse, and despite our best efforts to set things right for those who are victims, we are unable to change what has already happened. We can only work to improve their present and future for them. 

“Why did the universe allow people who hurt kids to have them? Why couldn’t it give them to people like me, who wanted them?”

There are many couples who are experiencing difficulty conceiving a kid, while some just do not wish to have them. This truly did happen. Perhaps giving those kids to the people who are praying for them would be preferable. They could have a better future in store for them. There's a chance that the abuse will end and more children will have a smile on their faces. 


Disclaimer: Booksreadbyhannel is not a business website. The opinions expressed here are unbiased and based only on my own feelings and reactions while reading the books I featured here in my blog. My reviews reflect my utmost sincerity. I paid for the books I review here out of my own pocket. Books provided by authors and publishers are otherwise specified.