Book Review: Not A Happy Family by Shari Lapena @PenguinRandomCA @doubledayca @sharilapena #NotAHappyFamily #booksof2021 #bookblog #bookblogger #bookreview #bookreviewer #booksonthebookshelf


PUBLISHER: Penguin Random House Canada, Doubleday Canada

PUBLICATION DATE: July 27th, 2021

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada, Doubleday Canada, for the eARC of this book via NetGalley.



In this family, everyone is keeping secrets—even the dead.

Brecken Hill in upstate New York is an expensive place to live. You have to be rich to have a house there, and Fred and Sheila Merton certainly are rich. But even all their money can’t protect them when a killer comes to call. The Mertons are brutally murdered after a fraught Easter dinner with their three adult kids. Who, of course, are devastated.

Or are they? They each stand to inherit millions. They were never a happy family, thanks to their vindictive father and neglectful mother, but perhaps one of the siblings is more disturbed than anyone knew. Did someone snap after that dreadful evening? Or did another person appear later that night with the worst of intentions? That must be what happened. After all, if one of the family were capable of something as gruesome as this, you’d know.



I am no stranger to books by Shari Lapena and of course was thrilled to learn about her latest novel.

Addictive, thrilling, edge-of-your-seat thrills as you flip through the pages of this novel. Families are supposed to be close to one another, and be there for one another no matter what…right? Wrong! The Merton family was not a close-knit family at all. The family consists of two daughters and a son, plus their parents. Their mother was distant and neglectful, their father was vindictive and mean. Of course the family didn’t grow up close to one another. Then you have three siblings, all who each have their own secrets and betrayals from one another. Throw in a combination of secrets, jealousies, betrayals, and lies and you have the perfect recipe for something to do so devastatingly wrong. And that’s exactly what happens of course, With a family such as this there are bound to be so much drama going on and I LOVED it!

Not everyone in the family is as they appear to be. They keep up appearances and pretend to be someone they are not, but behind closed doors in their own private world, when the mask comes off, not all is as it first appears to be. So when the Merton’s (mother and father) end up killed in their own home, who to suspect? Was it one of their children? Was it another disgruntled family member? Or was it someone else entirely?

All will be revealed as you flip along to these thrilling and chilling pages and uncover the secrets, lies and family dynamics of this one Merton family. A wonderful novel that I highly recommend that you read.

Well done Shari. I am looking forward to your next novel!


MY RATING: 4/5 stars

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