The Trophy Child – Paula Daly

Meet the Bloom’s. Noel is a GP, with a daughter Verity from his first marriage. His second wife Karen brought to the marriage a son Ewan. Both Ewan and Verity are teenagers and not exactly what Karen would call perfect children. But Bronte is 10 years old and is the daughter of Karen and Noel  and she will be the perfect child. She does every extra curricular activity possible, additional languages, music and her time is constantly taken up improving her education. Karen’s whole life is consumed in ensuring that Bronte is the best.

Bronte is being pushed to the limit.

Verity has tried to strangle Karen and is now receiving counselling.

Ewan is achieving nothing other than familiarising himself with drugs.

Noel is spending more time at his job and in hotel bars. He seems to be struggling with the situation he finds himself in.

Karen isn’t aware of anything other than her and Bronte.

This family is disintegrating in front of our eyes.

Then something happens, something perhaps expected but nonetheless frightening and the family disintegrates further.

However it is what happens next……

There is a uncertianty to this book, which adds to the plot and the pace of the novel, which are both excellent.

All of the characters are fully formed and within a shot space of time, I managed to feel sympathy and empathy as well as sheer loathing for them all. Their actions are played out in such a way as to lift right off the page. This is what kept me captivated as the book progressed.

I recommend this book as a good strong example of Paula Daly’s work.

The Trophy Child is published on 26 January. 

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