Book review: The Trophy Child

Paul Daly expertly crafts a thriller from within the walls of domestic life and shows how tragedy uproots the illusions and pretences of idyllic family life.

Paul Daly

Penguin, £12.99;

ebook, £7.99

Karen Bloom is not the maternal type.

She raises her children for success and does not accept less than perfection, especially when it comes to her young daughter Bronte who she refuses to let grow up the same as her drug-abusing brother Ewan, or her unruly step-sister Verity.

But this obsession with achievement masks a crumbling family dynamic in which each member struggles to keep their head above water, and individually rebels against Karen’s intensifying control.

What begins as a seemingly common tale of family fall-out, focusing on the archetypal role of the pushy parent and the overworked child, unravels to reveal a surprising and gripping read.

Whilst not a particularly adventurous plotline, Daly expertly crafts a thriller from within the walls of domestic life and shows how tragedy uproots the illusions and pretences of idyllic family life.


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